Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does the Foundation have a formal application and/or guidelines?
    Yes. The application and guidelines are available on the Foundation’s web site ( ) or can be obtained by emailing your request to [email protected] or by mailing your request to Earl C. Sams Foundation, Inc., Attn: Grants Manager, 101 N. Shoreline Blvd., Suite 500, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401.
  2. Does the Foundation accept applications via email?
    Yes, applications scanned in PDF format will be accepted.  Applications submitted electronically in PDF format is preferred.  The Foundation's application form can be downloaded from the Foundation's web site ( ).  Please email completed application packet in PDF format to the following email address: [email protected].
  3. Do you fund individuals for special projects or scholarships?
    No. The Foundation does not make grants to individuals. While the Foundation does periodically fund scholarships at various institutions, the institution, not the Foundation, determines the recipients of those scholarship funds.
  4. When does the Foundation board meet and what is the deadline to submit a proposal?
    The Board of Directors generally meet three times a year on the first Monday of March, June and November.  All applications must be submitted  by the application deadline set by the Foundation (generally 30 days prior to a scheduled Board of Directors meeting).  Applications received after the deadline will not be considered at the upcoming meeting, but will be considered at the following meeting. Currently scheduled meetings and corresponding application deadlines are posted at   Scheduled meetings and corresponding application deadlines can also be obtained by emailing a request for this information to [email protected].   
  5. What geographical areas receive grants?
    Primarily South Texas.
  6. Does the Foundation ever give outside of Texas?
    Generally no. However, the Foundation on rare occasions has made grants outside of Texas.
  7. To whom should the proposal be addressed?
    Address proposals to:  Bruce S. Hawn, President and email to [email protected]
  8. Can we have a copy of your 990PF or Annual Report?
    Yes. The last three 990-PF’s filed by the Foundation are available upon written request addressed to Earl C. Sams Foundation, Inc., Attn: Grants Manager and emailed to [email protected].  Prior grants listed by year are posted on the Foundation's website at or can be obtained by emailing your request to [email protected].
  9. Does the Foundation give to building or operating grant requests?
  10. How often can I submit an application?
    Once each calendar year. However, Grantee's that have received a grant for three consecutive years will not be allowed to submit an application the following grant year.  In other words, such a grantee will be required to sit out a year.
  11. When can I submit an application?
    Anytime of the year, however, the Foundation meets three times a year.  Your application will be considered at the next board meeting, provided the application is received by the application deadline for that meeting, if not it will be considered at the following  board meeting.  Currently scheduled meetings and corresponding application deadlines are posted at   Scheduled meetings and corresponding application deadlines can also be obtained by emailing a request for this information to [email protected]
  12. When will I be notified of a decision of the board?
    You will be notified soon after the board of directors meeting.
  13. Why was my proposal declined? May we re-submit our proposal?
    The Foundation is unable to fund every request. The Foundation receives requests in excess of the funding available for grant giving. A decision not to fund a request does not reflect on the applicant or the importance of the proposal. You may re-submit next year.
  14. Should we send letters of support for our proposals?
    Usually it is not necessary, however, if needed, a staff person will contact you.
  15. Can I make a formal presentation at the Foundation Board meeting?
    No.  However, individual board members are willing to meet with prospective applicants prior to meetings, at which time a presentation can be made. To arrange for such a meeting, please contact the Grants Manager by emailing your request to [email protected]
  16. Does the Foundation have a policy prohibiting or restricting grants for administration/operating expenses, construction costs, fund raising costs, seed money/startup funds, program expenses, capital campaigns, equipment, endowments, challenge/matching grants, etc.?
    No, while the Foundation may not be as inclined to make grants in some of these areas, the Foundation has and will continue to make such grants in the future. 
  17. Our organization's 501(c)(3) determination letter is more than 7 years old. What do we do?
    You can obtain an updated letter in relatively short order by calling the IRS and ask them to mail you an updated ruling. State that you are only seeking an updated determination letter and are not seeking a change in exempt status. The IRS number to call is 1-877-829-5500. It may take a while to get through all the options. The option you want to select is to speak to an IRS representative.
  18. Does the Foundation make grants to Supporting Organizations?
    Yes and no, The Pension Protection Act (the "Act"), became effective August 17, 2006.  The Act states that any grant to a Type III Supporting Organization, unless "Functionally Integrated", will not count towards the Foundation's mandatory 5% distribution requirement.  Accordingly, the Foundation will not make grants to Type III Supporting Organizations which are not "Functionally Integrated".  The Foundation will make grants to Type I, Type II, and "Functionally Integrated" Type III Supporting Organizations, provided, that the organization provide the Foundation with a "reasoned opinion of counsel" setting forth the Supporting Organization's "Type" classification and the rationale and factual basis for making that determination.