General CGMF FAQs

Q: Did Mr. Mitchell’s estate bequeath funds to the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation?

A: For many decades before their passing, Cynthia and George Mitchell planned to leave most of their wealth to charity. When George signed the Giving Pledge sponsored by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates, he made public their long-held private intent that the majority of their wealth would be donated to philanthropic initiatives.  The foundation is dutifully and purposely committed to carrying out George and Cynthia’s philanthropic legacy—supporting the issues and organizations that reflect their values and vision. 

To date, Cynthia and George Mitchell and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation have distributed or pledged an estimated $900 million in grants to causes, programs, and institutions. Examples of notable legacy initiatives are archived in the website's Legacy of Philanthropy section.

Q: What criteria does the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation use to make funding decisions?

A: For more than 40 years, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation has partnered with visionary organizations and individuals who have helped to change Texas and the world for the better.

The foundation’s resources are small compared to the challenges we address, but we do our best to invest carefully as we practice a unique kind of philanthropy—one that is strategic in seeking out and supporting innovative leaders, thinkers, and organizations as engines of change in both policy and practice. We strive to support high-impact projects at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity, and economic vibrancy, focusing primarily in the state of Texas.

Funded projects fit specifically within a series of integrated program strategies. We do not accept unsolicited grant applications and are able to fund only a small fraction of submitted requests.

Q: What are the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation’s grantmaking programs and initiatives?

A: Cynthia and George Mitchell were very generous people who were deeply committed to supporting the people and organizations important to them. The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation is committed to carrying out the philanthropic legacy of both Cynthia and George—supporting the issues and organizations that reflect their values and vision. 

As the foundation continued to evolve, we increasingly focused on sustainability issues, seeking ways to ensure human societies flourish in harmony with a thriving natural environment. Our geography of focus continues to be Texas. In 2023, our grantmaking programs included Clean Energy, Galveston, Land Conservation, Mitchell Innovation Lab, Subsurface Energy, Sustainability Education, and Water. CGMF also operates Cook’s Branch Conservancy and protects a large tract of land that is part of the property through impact investing. 

While social equity has always been part of the foundation’s mission, in 2020 we took a more visible stand on the topic, laying out short-term actions and longer-term goals for how CGMF will promote racial equity.

CGMF also makes select grants to various other organizations that reflect the legacy, values, and vision of Cynthia and George Mitchell and the Mitchell family.

© 2012-2024 Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.