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Mission + History

Our Mission

Our mission is to build, sustain, and enhance organizations that make Houston a stronger, more vibrant community. As a family-directed foundation, we selectively participate in distinctive grantmaking opportunities across Texas and beyond.

Honoring the legacy of our founders, the Foundation values visionary leadership; entrepreneurialism; loyalty; a commitment to excellence; and an orientation toward action and direct service. The Foundation purposefully maintains a low profile, keeping the focus on the mission of our grantees and the communities they serve.

Our History

After building Brown & Root into a successful enterprise, Herman and Margarett Root Brown and George R. and Alice Pratt Brown founded The Brown Foundation, Inc. in 1951. The Brown brothers were builders, and they used philanthropy to build stronger educational, cultural, and civic institutions in Houston and beyond. Over its nearly 70-year history, The Brown Foundation has distributed more than $1.7 billion in grants across the state of Texas.

Today, the Trustees of The Brown Foundation are entrusted with the responsibility of carrying forward the philanthropic legacy of the founders: to create opportunity by supporting education; to uplift the spirit through the arts; to strengthen communities through direct service; and to enrich life through shared civic assets.