Supporting public education, arts, conservation, and human services in Harris, Travis and Walker counties since 1967

About Us


2121 San Felipe, Suite 110
Houston, TX 77019

Telephone: 713-523-7557

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Ben and Kitty King PowellThe Powell Foundation was initially formed as an Indenture of Trust in 1967 by Ben H. Powell, Jr. and Kitty King Powell. It was originally governed by Mr. Powell and two business associates, Albert Maverick, III and Sim Gideon. Upon Mr. Powell’s death in 1989, Mrs. Powell and her daughter, Nancy Powell Moore joined Mr. Maverick as Directors of the Foundation. Soon thereafter, Ben H. Powell V became a Director and Antonia S. Day, an Independent Director.

In 1991, Nancy Powell Moore assumed the position of Managing Director. In 1999, the Foundation incorporated and emerged as a private, family foundation with articles of incorporation, bylaws, and a succession plan for directors. At this time, additional seats on the board were created for all members of the family’s second generation, as well as for third-generation family members. In the near future, members of the fourth generation will be eligible to serve on the board. The Powell Foundation is viewed as a place where family members are able to build on their shared values and interests while continuing the philanthropic vision and intent of the founders. In 2002, the Foundation hired non-family member, Caroline Sabin, as Executive Director to oversee the Foundation’s day-to-day operations. In 2017, Katherine Osborne Valdez, a member of the third generation assumed the position of President of the Board.

Since its founding, the Foundation has awarded nearly $26 million in grants to charitable organizations.  During the year 2017, the Foundation made 115 grants totaling $6,296,857 to organizations working in five program areas:  education, (60%); the arts (6%); human services (6%); conservation (22%); and other program areas (6%).