Our Mission & History

The Powell Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to catalyzing progress in public education through bold and collaborative grantmaking and initiatives. Recognizing the importance of promoting conditions necessary for children and youth to thrive, the Foundation also invests in the arts, conservation, and human services. 

These priorities have guided the Powell Foundation since its inception in 1967 by founders Ben H. Powell, Jr. and Kitty King Powell. 

Above all, Ben and Kitty emphasized the importance of education in their own lives and in the lives of their children and grandchildren. In honoring Ben and Kitty’s legacy, the Foundation made an important decision to prioritize grantmaking in support of public schools. To date, the Powell Foundation has distributed more than $90 million of grants in an effort to create a strong public education system across Houston, Austin, Huntsville, and the state of Texas. Today, the Board of Directors, comprised of Powell family members and independent advisors, continues to champion the philanthropic heritage and intent of the founders.

Founders Kitty King Powell and Ben H. Powell, Jr.