Mission Statement

The Elkins Foundation seeks to enrich the quality of life for individuals from all walks of life by supporting a wide variety of educational, healthcare, cultural, community, and religious organizations located in and serving Houston and the Greater Gulf Coast.

The Elkins Foundation

Margaret Wiess Elkins and James A. Elkins, Jr. established The Elkins Foundation in 1956 as a way to help strengthen and enrich the community in which they lived. Today, their descendants continue that work. Under the stewardship of Elise Elkins Joseph, Leslie Elkins Sasser, Virginia Arnold Elkins and an Associate Board representing the next generation, The Elkins Foundation contributes each year to numerous organizations serving Houston and the Greater Gulf Coast.

The Foundation supports specific capital needs, as well as other needs, of a wide variety of endeavors. As residents of the community they serve, the Foundation’s trustees and Associate Board review each grant request individually. They are guided by a belief that a community’s strength lies in the vision of its people and the health of its institutions.


  • Virginia Arnold Elkins
  • Elise Elkins Joseph
  • Leslie Elkins Sasser

 Associate Board

  • Margaret Elkins Davis
  • Buck A. Elkins
  • Harry C. Elkins
  • James A. Elkins, IV
  • John C. Elkins
  • Lucy G. Elkins
  • Samuel H. Elkins
  • Christopher E. Joseph
  • Russell C. Joseph, Jr.
  • Jennifer Joseph Laporte
  • Caroline E. Sasser

Grant Application

The trustees primarily focus on organizations serving Houston and the Greater Gulf Coast. They prefer to support specific capital needs and projects. To further the goal of funding a wide variety of organizations and projects, the trustees typically do not give to the same organizations year after year. In addition, with the exception of a limited number of appeals, the trustees have a policy of declining grants to annual giving campaigns, endowment funds, operating budgets and special events. The Foundation is unable to make grants to individuals. The Foundation’s annual report is available for review by appointment.

Applications for funding may be submitted from January through June 30 of each year using the Foundation’s online system. As described earlier on this site, completed applications are reviewed by the Board of Trustees and the Associate Board. The review process takes place during the summer and ends in early October. Final decisions regarding funding are made by October 31. Please understand that because we always receive far more applications than we can fund, we are unable to provide individual feedback on why an application was declined. As long as an application meets our guidelines, it will be given every consideration during the review process.

If you wish to apply, please use the following link to begin your application: 2024 Application



  • Deadline for submitting an application:  June 30
  • The Elkins Foundation only accepts submissions through our online application