Grants & Donations History

Total Grants & Donations History

2004 through 2014 as of 12/31/14

In 2004, the Embrey Family Foundation began a tradition of granting in the North Texas community that continues to hold a special place in the hearts of the EFF Board and staff. Since the initial 6 grants totaling $36K in 2004, EFF has granted $5.2 million to the North Texas non-profit community to support a broad range of social programs in the areas of Education, Human Services, Human Rights, Arts & Culture, Community Enhancement and Animal Rights. Community Grants in North Texas continue to be made each year by EFF at its October Board Meeting.

As the Board and staff of EFF began learning more about the needs of the North Texas community and of the potential impact that a significant dollar commitment over a multi-year period can have on non-profit institutions, an expansion of EFF’s granting philosophy was implemented. Beginning in 2006, EFF identified 9 North Texas institutions to receive a total of $6.1 million over the seven year period from 2006 to 2012. These multi-year commitments signaled the belief of EFF in the importance of education (human rights education, arts education, access to education), the support and empowerment of women and girls, the power of play and participation in sport, and the rights of animals. In 2013, EFF extended this multi-year commitment program with continuing grants to 2 institutions dedicated to education in human rights and to education in gender rights.

In 2009, EFF expanded its community grant making program to the state of Colorado. Grants in Colorado have primarily focused on Human Services, Arts & Culture and Animal Rights. Between 2009 and today, EFF has granted $950K to organizations serving the needs of the Colorado community.

As a result of knowledge gained from its granting programs over the first 5 years of its existence, EFF became aware of the dire need for real systemic change in order to effectively address the myriad of injustices that impact our society and its members. EFF knew that achievement of such systemic change would require an expansion of EFF’s geographic borders and a strategic clustering of EFF’s giving infused with the willingness to give big and bold at this pivotal time in history. Operating with a compelling sense of urgency and an understanding that EFF had the resources available to be a role model and to help affect vital change, EFF committed $15 million to a 5 year initiative to drive systemic change in the following areas: Human Rights, Domestic Human Trafficking, Women and Girls Leadership, Racial and Gender Equity, Arts for Social Change and Women’s Media. For more information, please see the Mission Without Borders tab.

As EFF was embarking on its Mission Without Borders initiative in 2010, EFF came to understand the value of funding grants to organizations that were either: (1) pursuing innovative strategies to address the issues that EFF was passionate about, (2) engaged in programs that were creating change by raising awareness through gatherings, convenings, performances and social media, or (3) just starting out as organizations. These organizations were not geographically limited to Texas or Colorado, but rather, were working throughout the United States. Because of the varied and unique nature of these grants, EFF began approving and funding these grants throughout the calendar year as the need for funds arose. Through the end of 2014, EFF has granted $1.6 million in discretionary grants.

In 2010, EFF began making periodic donations to organizations that EFF wanted to support in a general way. The work of these organizations may or may not be totally aligned with the issues that EFF primarily focuses on, but it is work that EFF admires. EFF has currently funded $290K in donations.



Mission Without Borders

One Foundation’s Down Payment for Human Rights

Mission Without Borders was created in 2010 to catalyze real systemic change to counter injustices with dire consequences to our society and its members.


MWB was started at a moment when many in the US were awakening to the depth of human rights issues in the USA and its communities—large and small. Civic and human rights leaders also were noticing the growing scale of domestic human trafficking; the media sexism against women political candidates was undermining campaigns in several parts of the country and racial and gender inequity was creating bigger economic gaps for women and especially women of color. The Embrey leaders perceived the urgency of circumstances in which women found themselves regarding human and economic rights.


Could a young, medium-size Foundation make a difference in these outsize challenges? The Foundation leaders said, “YES!” and made four key decisions:

Focus on intersections of major themes that are central for gaining human rights/women’s rights:

  • Human Rights framing and policies
  • Domestic Human Trafficking
  • Women and Girls’ Leadership
  • Racial and Gender Equity
  • Women’s Media
  • Arts as Social Change Agent

Design strategy with a change- model that aims for systemic social change:

  • Transform the lives of real people
  • Engage more supporters
  • Define and re-frame the issues so that people understand
  • Change the policies and system
  • Build needed infrastructure
  • Resist backlash and invest in deep implementation

Going Beyond 5% investing

  • An investment of $15 million over 5 years—well in excess of EFF’s 5% and ultimately a step towards a long term spend-down strategy

Go Big…Innovate and Lead

  • Collaborative work and network building
  • More than money investments (Leadership, Leverage, Visibility)
  • EFF values and relationships embedded in every grant
More on the Embrey Human Rights Education and Awareness Program


The Foundation funded a total of 13 core organizations with multi-year grants over the five years and set to work as a forward-thinking funder using some of the best practices in social change models; collaborative learning; highly engaged grant making; emergent strategy design; participatory evaluation; and high-leverage actions including board-level leadership roles with some of the bigger grantees and a commitment to impact investing (a goal of 100% of its portfolio). In addition the foundation committed itself to initiate and support innovation in its own work and that of its grantees. Mission Without Borders has catalyzed important and immediate results as well as far-ranging ripples of change.

The Results

Build an Education Model to Fuel Human Rights Policy and Action


The centerpiece commitment of Mission Without Borders is the founding support for a Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University. Now known as the Embrey Human Rights Program, it engages faculty from disciplines across the university to find and teach to the human rights issues in their disciplines; and the program enables students to learn together through on campus activities and travel about human rights struggles globally.


The Center’s program is creating leadership for human rights in its students and faculty. And the University itself has emerged as a leader of human rights education in the higher education field. SMU’s Embrey Center is used by many others as a model for education and action.

Helped Build an Infrastructure to Counteract Domestic Human Trafficking


MWB supported the development and sustainability of the U.S  Trafficking Hotline and the Colorado model for identifying and organizing strategic and effective community responses to trafficking.

Pushed and Pulled Gender and Race into Central Strategic Positions


The plight and potential of women and girls is at the core of MWB’s design and the MWB grants seeded efforts big and small to move gender lens thinking into the center of human rights, human trafficking, and media.


  • Amnesty International revitalized its national programs on women and girls and acknowledged the growing importance of young women as the backbone of its college programs and next-generation membership.
  • The American Indian College Fund created a leadership program to strengthen the opportunities for women students in the Native American college system to complete their educations while learning personal and civic leadership skills.
  • The Women’s Media Center and She Should Run battled sexism and misogyny towards women political candidates.
  • The University of Texas Women’s Studies Program broadened gender into curriculum and tapped the civic leadership potential of UT students.


An interest in defining and clarifying the ways in which institutionalized racism holds back human rights and women’s equality led Embrey and the MWB to turn the attention of Dallas leaders to the significance of race in achieving the vision and aspirations of the city.  MWB initiated a partnership with Race Forward (a national resource organization) and also organized a local Dallas coalition of non  profit organizations, civic leaders, churches into Dallas Faces Race.  In November 2014 more than 200 local Dallas leaders joined the other 1400 leaders at the Race Forward conference hosted in Dallas.  Dallas Faces Race forum will continue to carry the work forward.

Positioned the Arts as Social Change in Conflict and Forgiveness


The Arts as a Tool for Social Change took shape through two major strategies:


  • Support of prize winning documentary films (Chicken and Egg; Moxie Institute and others).
  • One of the largest single investments was made in the Global Arts Corps to further develop its unique approach to original theatre production with and for people searching for conflict resolution and forgiveness while remaining in highly traumatized post-conflict situations (South Africa, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Cambodia).
Leverage and Leadership


The Foundation optimized its resources in every possible way. The maximum number of grants were made; a discretionary fund for smaller ventures and small supportive gifts extended seed support for many; the endowment was invested in mission-driven impact opportunities; and the Embrey sisters and their staff members invested time and effort mentoring and connecting their grantees and ultimately also served on the boards of many MWB grantee organizations.

MWB Grant History

2010 through 2015


Human Rights Education & Awareness


Amnesty International $1,200,000.00
Collective Heritage Institute – Bioneers $13,000.00
Pachamama Alliance $1,050,000.00
Peacejam – Nobel Women’s Initiative $54,508.40
Planned Parenthood – North Texas $250,000.00
Planned Parenthood Federation Of America $500,000.00
Smu Embrey Human Rights Program $1,762,568.81
Texas Freedom Network $200,000.00
World Affairs Council – Dallas Ft. Worth $50,000.00
Total Grants $5,080,077.21

Domestic Human Trafficking


Arlington Police Department $15,000.00
Children At Risk – Ht Resource Database $75,000.00
Equip The Saints – Ht Resource Database $20,000.00
Hunt Alternatives Fund – Demand Abolition Campaign $299,845.00
Laboratory To Combat Human Trafficking $1,177,343.00
Letot Capital Foundation $500,000.00
Polaris Dc $150,000.00
Women’s Enews $20,000.00
Total Grants $2,257,188.00

Women & Girls Leadership


American Indian College Fund $1,125,000.00
New Leadership Development Network At Ut $104,200.00
White House Project / Political Parity $130,000.00
Women’s Foundation Of Colorado $825,000.00
Women’s Funding Network $333,333.00
Total Grants $2,517,533.00

Racial & Gender Equity


Applied Research Center / Race Forward $75,000.00
Criterion Institute $25,000.00
Dallas Women’s Foundation $250,000.00
Facing Race Initiative $148,382.44
Man Up $50,000.00
Ms Foundation For Women $1,005,750.00
Ut Women & Gender Studies $666,490.00
Total Grants $2,220,622.44

Arts For Social Change


Chicken & Egg Pictures – Mother Wit Fund $150,000.00
Culture Project $24,980.00
Dallas Film Society – Silver Heart Award 2011 & 2012 $55,000.00
Global Arts Corp $1,384,000.00
Half The Sky $25,000.00
Moxie Institute – Connected $112,500.00
Women, War & Peace – Educational Outreach $50,000.00
Working Films – Hell & Back $10,000.00
Total Grants $1,811,480.00

Women’s Media


Spark  $25,000.00
Women’s Media Center / Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation $751,440.00
Total Grants $776,440.00

History by Grantee

2004 through 2014


Distribution by Grantee (Alphabetic)

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