Fort Worth. photo: bobcooltx/shutterstock
With a net worth of approximately $5.1 billion, Robert Bass is an important name to know in Texas. Bass is the founding partner and chairman of the aerospace firm, Aerion Corporation, as well as the president of Keystone Group. Yet much of his wealth has come from investments in oil, gas, and real estate, especially since he inherited millions from his oil tycoon uncle, Sid Richardson.
Robert Bass and his wife, Anne, established an independent foundation back in 1984. However, securing grant funding from the Anne T. & Robert M. Bass foundation is often easier said than done. Here are three things that Texas grantseekers should know before approaching this funder.
The Couple Strongly Supports Higher Education, But That’s Not All
Robert and Anne Bass have given tens of millions to both Stanford and Duke universities over the years, which is the philanthropy they are best known for. For example, the foundation made news in 2005 when it gave $30 million to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the largest gift in the school’s history. Both Basses have Stanford degrees, and one of their children graduated from Duke. Other higher education support includes sizable sums to Rockefeller University, and Smith College, where Anne received her undergraduate degree.
But there’s more to the couple’s philanthropy than gifts to elite schools. Over the years, they have also supported numerous health and human services causes at the local level, including the Women’s Center of Tarrant County, Presbyterian Night Shelter, and the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center in Fort Worth. They have also supported All Saints Episcopal Church and the Texas Ballet Theater, where they serve on the board. And a few years ago they made a donation to the Brookings Institution to create an initiative about innovation and placemaking to transform public spaces into opportunities to build dynamic communities.
Giving is Often Centered on the Fort Worth Area
Robert Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and is still dedicated to the region. After graduating from Stanford, he returned to the area and has shown strong support for the local community. This is especially true for health and human services causes. The Basses have recently supported causes like the Fort Worth Museum of Science, United Community Centers, and the Warm Place.
In addition to Fort Worth, the couple reportedly has homes in New York and Washington, D.C.
The Foundation Keeps a Low Profile
Unfortunately for local grantseekers, this isn’t the most accessible or transparent foundation in town. In fact, the Bass foundation doesn’t have a website and doesn’t make its guidelines known to the general public.
For now, the best way to keep up with the funder’s giving habits is by reviewing its annual tax records. While this foundation doesn’t appear to welcome unsolicited funding requests, it is certainly an important one to keep an eye on in the coming years. The Basses have already made it onto lists of the nation’s top 50 philanthropists, and—given the wealth waiting in wings here—we have a feeling that things are just getting started.
To learn more about this Texas foundation, check out IP’s full profile of the Anne T. & Robert M. Bass Foundation.