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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Legacy Foundation?

The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that invests in and serves as a catalyst for ideas, partnerships, medical education, research and programs that improve the health and quality of life in South Texas. The Foundation defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being.

What is the relationship between The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation and the Valley Baptist hospitals?

The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation (dba The Legacy Foundation) was previously known as the Valley Baptist Medical Foundation. As part of the joint venture between Valley Baptist and Vanguard Health Systems in September 2011, additional assets were entrusted to the Foundation’s care with the purpose of improving the health of residents in the lower Rio Grande area. In 2012, Vanguard Health Systems sold to Tenet Healthcare and in 2015, Tenet purchased the remaining portion of the joint venture.

What does The Legacy Foundation fund?

The Legacy Foundation funds programs that measurably improve the health of those living in the lower Rio Grande Valley by promoting healthy lifestyles and providing increased access to healthcare for all. Our #1 strategic priority is Obesity and Diabetes Prevention. However, will we consider funding for all types of health-related initiatives. To learn more, see the Program Areas section of our website.

How much money does The Legacy Foundation grant each year?

The Legacy Foundation awarded its first grants in 2014 and to date, has awarded in excess of $70 million.  In 2016, the Foundation was classified as a Private Foundation and is ethically and legally bound to spend a minimum of five percent of our asset base in the grants process.  Our annual grants budget is close to $18 million.  It is our goal to fund as many programs as possible to positively impact health in the Rio Grande Valley into perpetuity.

How do I know if my organization is eligible to receive funding?

If your organization is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) or 170(c); or an organization described in sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, and your programs are directed at improving the health of those within Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr or Willacy counties, you could potentially be a candidate for a grant award from The Legacy Foundation. See the Guidelines section of our website for further details.

If my organization is not based in one of the four counties, may I still apply to the Foundation for support?

The Legacy Foundation supports programs that directly affect persons living in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr or Willacy counties. Provided the project funds requested from the Foundation will be spent in one or more of these counties, and benefit primarily residents of those counties, your organization may be eligible to apply. See the Guidelines section of our website for further details.

How do I apply for a grant?

The Legacy Foundation offers several types of grant opportunities.

Responsive Grants – If your organization plans to apply for a one year grant of less than $50,000, you must complete our on-line Responsive Grant application form. This is our most common form of funding.

Collaborative Grants – If your organization is working on a larger, longer-term project, possibly even a multi-year grant, or capital grant, or is requesting a grant between $50,000 – $500,000, you must complete a Letter of Interest (LOI), also found online. If the Foundation staff feels that there is a potential match between your project and our priorities, you will be asked to complete a full Grant application.  Please know that LOI’s have a strict deadline for each cycle.

Matching Grants – The Legacy Foundation recognizes a need to leverage funds from other funders for our local organizations.  If you anticipate a need for a matching grant, please be in contact with our office and we can see if your project meets our criteria.

Foundation Initiatives – The Legacy Foundation will seek out projects that meet with our strategic objectives. Funding will typically exceed $500,000.  Organizations that are sought out must meet all eligibility criteria.  In addition, organizations may bring an idea to the Foundation for consideration.

What activities are not funded by The Legacy Foundation?

As a general rule, The Legacy Foundation does not fund event sponsorships, annual campaigns, debt retirement, operational deficits, insurance premiums, political or lobbying activities, or religious organizations for sectarian purposes.

What if my organization is not a 501c3 organization?

The Legacy Foundation cannot legally fund any organization that does not already have approved non-profit status from the IRS. However, organizations that are designated as a 501 (c)(3) may act as a fiscal agent and be held accountable for charitable activities that do not have a separate 501 (c)(3) designation.  There are other exempt organizations formed for the public good that may qualify, by being exempt from taxation under section 501(a) and 170(c); or an organization described in sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.

What size grants does the Foundation typically award? How much should I ask for?

We will fund as much as possible while retaining the fiscal integrity to continue the “legacy” of the Foundation into perpetuity in order to benefit our communities for the long-term. For now, we recommend that you ask for the amount you truly need and we will fund the programs that we believe will have the greatest impact on health in our area. We have not established a minimum or a maximum amount for a grant proposal, but the larger the request, the more important your ability to obtain multiple funding sources outside The Legacy Foundation.

What will improve our chances of being funded?

The Legacy Foundation is strategic in its approach to grant-making. Please study our website carefully to determine whether your project is clearly responsive to our program goals and guidelines. We recommend each applicant apply for its highest priority program or project within The Legacy Foundation’s program areas. We will also offer community forums periodically to explain our goals and application process, as well as answer questions you might have about your specific circumstance. Please check our News/Announcements section to find out when the next forum is planned.

How do I apply for scholarships?

The Legacy Foundation has several scholarship opportunities in place related to healthcare education. Please check out the Scholarship section of our website.

What if I have further questions?

Please feel free to contact us at (956) 335-3040 and we will be happy to assist you however we can. We look forward to working with many great people and organizations striving to improve the health of those in the lower Rio Grande Valley!