The Webber Family Foundation (WFF), founded by Neil Webber in 1999, focuses on expanding educational opportunities for youth from low-income communities, and on promoting curiosity and open dialogue. Since inception, it has awarded over $21 million in grants to support a wide variety of programs.
Initially, WFF intentionally made grants to a wide variety of educational programs, which allowed the Foundation to learn more about community needs and gain experience in grantmaking. In 2008, after several years of funding a wide variety of educational programs, WFF adopted a more focused grantmaking strategy centered on high-achieving, lower-income youth in Austin, TX and the Washington, DC area. By giving more strategically, the Foundation has been able to achieve greater impact on an issue that concerns us: the gap between proficiency and potential for lower-income youth. We’ve also been fortunate to develop stronger, more long-lasting relationships with a smaller set of grantees, and provide funding that builds their capacity to provide expanded, higher quality, and/or more sustainable services. This work is part of the Foundation’s Opportunities for Youth Achievement (OYA) initiative.
Over the last twenty years, WFF has been a leader in convening education-focused funders in Central Texas to learn together and to streamline the grant application and reporting processes for education nonprofits. WFF was recognized in 2019 by the Austin Association of Fundraising Professionals as the Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation of the Year.
In late 2022, WFF decided to launch a new initiative, No One Way (N1W). N1W reflects the foundation’s commitment to drawing on differences to solve problems. Insisting that there’s one right way to think about an issue or to move forward is at odds with innovation, progress and community. We believe the strongest solutions emerge when we welcome diversity of thought, practice curiosity, honor human dignity, and embrace complexity.