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W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund

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A thriving community is built on the foundation of good jobs, strong relationships, enriching educational opportunities, quality healthcare and a safe environment. We believe that connected communities have the power to prevent social problems and repair brokenness. But this can only occur when we commit to bringing those who have been marginalized by past and current systems of exclusion into the center of our circle of care.

The William Walter Caruth, Jr. fund is dedicated to bringing about this inclusive, multifaceted vision of community. This was Mr. Caruth’s goal when he established the fund in 1974. Mr. Caruth was the heir to a plantation estate that stretched from today’s downtown Dallas to Forest Lane and from Inwood Road to east of White Rock Lake. He purchased land on his own or from his parents at fair market value to build his personal wealth. Motivated by a passion for science, education and crime prevention, he and his wife, Mabel Peters Caruth, contributed an estimated $300,000 to a variety of causes.

Mr. Caruth understood that the forces that shape quality of life are deeply interdependent. He observed that without “security of person and property, other desired objectives [to improve education and health] were of no consequence.” He saw the alleviation of poverty as a solution that would address the other social problems that were his greatest concern. When he died in 1990, Mr. Caruth left $400 million — the bulk of his estate — to the Communities Foundation of Texas to continue and accelerate the work he had begun. It is the largest fund at CFT, and has established a reputation for funding big ideas that have the potential for transformative impact. 

Learn about our recently awarded Caruth grants totaling $6.3 million

The overall mission of the Caruth fund is to encourage organizations to tackle complex social issues related to health, education and public safety systems through innovation and collaboration. We invest in solutions that are:

  • Data-driven and evidence-informed: embedded in a clear analysis of the scope and scale of the targeted problem, committed to using evidence-based practice when relevant, and engaged in ongoing review of data to track progress
  • Innovative: creative and technologically savvy in the type of solution
  • Collaborative: aligned with key partners to ensure efficiency and achieve systems change impacts that would not otherwise be possible
  • Targeted: as far upstream as possible, or at the critical transition points where individuals or communities face life-altering risks
  • Intersectional: recognizing the interdependence between risk and resiliency factors, and advancing solutions that overlap with multiple issue areas
  • Equitable: cognizant of historical and current systems of oppression and actively seeking to undo them within the grantee organization and in the communities that are served
  • Relationship-based: designed to strengthen relationships within the family, between neighbors and across difference to solve problems and build the resilience of the community.​
Information about grant cycles, current grantees, and insights from this work will be updated regularly on Twitter using the hashtag, #CFTImpact, on Facebook and on this page — check back often!


Caruth Grantmaking FAQ

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Organizations must be a 501(c)(3) and in good standing with the IRS, or a public-private partnership, that is working to effect change through improving system coordination or improving implementation while scaling up (please see the RFP for more detail).

For 2018 applications, grants will be made for up to a maximum of $500,000, paid out over one to two years.

July 2018 – Caruth RFP (Introduction and Workshop)
August 2018 – deadline for first round submissions
November 2018 – deadline for invited second round submissions

Nonprofit professionals were able to sign up for phone consultation "office hours" with W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund staff between July 13-27, 2018

Potential applicants were encouraged to contact our staff via email at with the subject “Caruth,” or on our Twitter page @GiveWisely using the hashtag #CFT_Caruth.

  • Total projected project budget should show the total projected cost of the proposed project/program.
  • Amount raised to-date should show the amount of funding the project has raised to-date.
  • Total organization budget should show the total annual budget for the applying organization, which should include the amount budgeted for the proposed project.
  • The amount requested from the Caruth Fund should show the amount of funding the project is seeking from the Caruth Fund, up to a maximum of $500,000.

W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund By the Numbers

Over the past 20 years, the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund has provided bold, visionary, large-scale "risk capital" for transformational North Texas projects in the areas of health, education and public safety

The Caruth Fund remains dedicated to investments in intersectional areas focused on pushing the boundaries on solutions to our most complex community issues, including emerging projects in early planning stages and mature projects dedicated to scaling up effective interventions and advocating for policy change. We know that today's solutions must cross single-issue areas because the factors that affect health, education and public safety are highly interconnected. 


in grants across multiple systems


in grants across education systems


in grants across health systems


in grants across public safety systems

Are you ready to apply for a grant?

The overall mission of the Caruth fund is to encourage organizations to tackle complex social issues related to health, education and public safety systems through innovation and collaboration.

Apply for a grant