Program SUmmary

catalyst grants

The Catalyst Grant Program is an exciting, relatively new program designed for organizations seeking smaller grant awards (between $2,500 and $20,000). The program offers a simpler application process to provide ease of use for smaller or all-volunteer nonprofit organizations. This program is also great for nonprofits with little or no grant experience as feedback is given to organizations even if a request is not funded.  

A committee of residents aged 45 and younger from across the Texas Panhandle review the grant applications and make funding recommendations to the AAF Board of Directors. Committee members become familiar with the grants process and opportunities to serve throughout the Panhandle.  

Applicants must choose whether to submit a proposal to the Catalyst Program or the Discretionary Program. Applicants may only apply to one of these two programs once a year. Applications are available at and must be submitted through that portal. After submission, applications and all accompanying materials become the property of AAF and are used as deemed appropriate. The materials may be reviewed with others as part of the assessment process. If you have questions about how and why information may be used, feel free to contact us via email at or phone at (806) 376-4521. 


Foundation Requirements


Applicant must hold a current tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. This includes: traditional agencies that have current 501(c)(3) status; a recognized government entity requesting funds for public charitable purposes; K-12 public schools; community colleges or universities; or churches/faith-based organizations for projects benefitting the community at large. Individuals are not eligible applicants. (See graphic to help determine eligibility.)

Applicant must use grant funds within and for the benefit of the residents and communities of the 26 northernmost counties of the Texas Panhandle.

Applicant must provide appropriate financial statements:

Annual Operating Budget

Corresponding IRS Requirement

Financial Information Required

<$50,000 990-N (Postcard) Internal financial statements*
$50,000-$499,999 990-EZ or 990 IRS 990 Form
$500,000+ 990 Audit**

*statement of activities (i.e. income/expense statement) and a statement of financial position (i.e. balance sheet)
**annual financial audit completed by independent CPA using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

AAF will not accept proposals from the same organization within 12 months of a previous proposal. If previous proposal was funded, a new proposal will not be accepted within 12 months of the last grant payment.

Proposals that have been previously declined will not be accepted without significant change.

Proposals will not be accepted from organizations that have not fulfilled the reporting requirements of any previous grants.

Applicants must wait 3 years before applying for the same program regardless of approval or declination of previous application.
Am I eligible?

Funding Exclusions

AAF will not accept any proposals for projects that serve communities or residents located outside the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle. The board also does not grant funds to the following projects: 

  • Religious activities or programs that serve specific religious groups or denominations 
  • Parochial or private schools primarily funded through student tuition 
  • Direct political lobbying or legislative activities (except if lobbying aligns with the core purpose of the foundation) 
  • Debt retirement or deficit funding 
  • Already completed projects 
  • Fundraising activities and events

The Catalyst Program has similar exclusions to the Discretionary Program. If you have questions about what may or may not be eligible, AAF staff is available to discuss potential requests and answer questions about the grantmaking process.  You are strongly encouraged to contact Foundation staff in advance of developing a proposal by e-mailing or by calling 806.376.4521 to speak to someone from the Grants Team. 

The Amarillo Area Foundation (including each of its programs and related organizations) does not discriminate – nor limit participation in any of its programs – on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability, or any other improper criteria. All organizations or entities receiving assistance of any kind from Amarillo Area Foundation must also agree to follow these rules regarding any program supported by AAF.