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Faye L. and William L. Cowden Charitable Foundation


William L. Cowden was born in 1910 in Midland County to a prominent ranching family specializing in fine stock and beef cattle.  The family also owned extensive mineral interests that were the source of much of the Cowden wealth.  Bill Cowden attended Alan Military Academy in Bryan, Texas.  As a young man, he worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Oklahoma and with the Ford Motor Company in Dallas.  During World War II, Mr. Cowden’s National Guard unit was called to active duty and stationed at Lackland Air Force Base.  It was during this time that he met Faye Langley and the two were married in San Antonio in 1943.  Following the war, he remained active in ranching throughout his lifetime with ranches in both Texas and South Dakota.

Faye L. Cowden was born in 1913 in Charlotte, Texas.  One of the Cowden’s closest friends was the renowned artist Korczak Ziolkowski (1908-1982), the sculptor of the Crazy Horse Mountain monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Avid world travelers, the Cowdens joined the Ziolkowskis, traveling extensively in Italy and visiting the many famous marble quarries that have provided stone for important works of art since antiquity.  Sculptor Ziolkowski executed a marble bust of Mrs. Cowden that is in the Crazy Horse Museum in South Dakota.    Mrs. Cowden was a board member of the National Commission of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation.

Mr. and Mrs. Cowden did not have any children of their own and wanted a way to assist those in need.  They established the Faye L. & William L. Cowden Charitable Foundation in 1988, to help as many people as possible, with an emphasis on children.  After Mr. Cowden’s death in 1989 Mrs. Cowden continued to make charitable donations to qualifying organizations.  The foundation was fully funded after Mrs. Cowden’s death in 2003.

Application Deadline


Mar 31



*Only requests submitted by the deadline will be considered.  Requests submitted after the deadline are considered in the following year.

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Entities Eligible to Apply

Trust Document states:

"Distributions shall be made only to organizations which at the time of distribution are described in Sections 170(c)(2), 2055(a)(2) and 2522(a)(2) of Internal Revenue Code and are entitled to exemption from federal income tax..."


The Faye L. and William L. Cowden Charitable Foundation makes distributions on an annual basis. These grants are directed to 501(c)(3) organizations which fall within the principal charitable purposes of the foundation as outlined in Paragraph 2 of the document. This Paragraph reads as follows:

"This trust is created and shall be operated exclusively for charitable, educational, scientific and religious purposes... Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the principal purpose of this trust is to provide financial assistance, to be used in the State of Texas, to Qualified Organizations which direct their activities toward one or more of the following charitable purposes:

(a) The health, medical care and treatment and rehabilitation of children, including related medical research.
(b) The education of children and young adults, and the provision of special educational opportunities for young persons otherwise unable to afford them.
(c) The prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
(d) The protection and preservation of wildlife and natural areas.”

To be considered for a grant, an organization must submit an online grant application and a copy of the organization's current IRS Determination Letter, along with any other documents deemed relevant to the request.


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