David Weekley Family Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The David Weekley Family Foundation practices a venture philanthropy model of investing to grow nonprofits and social enterprises serving the global poor.

IP TAKE: A foundation that originally focused on Texas has expanded its interests in recent years to include international development. Weekley has an interest in microloans and micro-clinics. It's an emerging area in the foundation's philanthropy, but one that Weekley has plenty of ideas about.

PROFILE: When David Weekley of David Weekley Homes first established the David Weekley Family Foundation in 1990, his initial priority was to help his community: "When you start working in your own community, there are a lot of positives. You’ve already got relationships... I myself focused on those kinds of things in the first 10 years of my giving." An element of the foundation's philanthropy still addresses local Texas communities in areas such as education and religious organizations, but increasingly, the foundation is expanding its interests.

The foundation largely focuses its grantmaking on education, health, and livelihoods. It focuses on helping young, innovative organizations scale up their proven models to reduce poverty.

Weekley says he looks for three things when funding an organization: "One, is it high leverage? Two, is it scalable? And, three, is it sustainable?" Although the foundation's work in microfinance is still emerging, Weekley says that he is particularly drawn to "[f]aith-based microfinance groups, like Hope International and Opportunity International." 

Grantseekers should keep in mind that this foundation's priorities are still developing. However, Weekley plans on "[a]t least half of [his] giving to be directed internationally." 

The Weekley Family Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding. 


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