Philanthropy and Outreach

In Texas, Harry Bass was the administrator of two non-profit foundations. The Harry Bass Foundation, created by his father, has for a long time, supported various Dallas area activities including religious and charitable institutions, hospitals, and museums. A separate foundation, the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Research Foundation, was set up to advance research and scholarship in certain areas of United States coinage including literature, patterns, and gold coins, with particular interest in outreach on the Internet and electronic media. It also engages in significant philanthropic endeavors in other fields.

It is planned that the Foundation will make available to a wide circle of numismatists much information gathered over a long period of time by Harry Bass. This will include availability on the Internet of detailed descriptions and illustrations in full color.

To further its philanthropic objectives, the Harry W. Bass Jr. Research Foundation commissioned our firm to showcase at public sale many important items from its vast and impressive holdings, of which the present sale catalogue is the beginning. No effort will be spared to make the planned series of catalogues a fine memorial to Harry's efforts and also references of lasting numismatic importance and value.

In addition to the auction presentations, our organization will work closely with the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Research Foundation to collate Harry's notes and create a sylloge, or catalogue raisonne of the items retained by the Foundation as well as notes on many other pieces. Along the way, the sylloge will contain information about Harry Bass' life' connoisseurship, the history and background of the series he collected, and much other information that should prove to be of interest, value, and importance. While various series will be showcased in the sylloge, its focal point will be American gold coinage of the 1795-1834 era.

Harry Bass Foundation was established in 1983 by Harry Wesley Bass, Junior, of Dallas, to respond to the needs of those human beings for whom foundation support could make a significant difference.

Originally funded from proceeds of family oil interests, foundation assets grew with the sale of a portion of the coin collection Mr. Bass gave to his foundation.

With a keen interest in numismatics (i.e. the study of money as it relates to history) Mr. Bass, in the last thirty-five years of his life, put together a complete and widely acclaimed collection of coins and currency minted by the United States between the years of 1795 and 1933.

Current president of Harry Bass Foundation is the founder's widow, Doris Bass, other trustees being Michael Wylie of Dallas and Michael Calhoun of Houston. David Calhoun currently serves as Executive Director of the Foundation.

With a primary interest in the welfare of children and youth, the Foundation makes grants in five areas: Education, Human Services, Religion, Science, and Arts and Culture.



The Harry Bass Foundation exists to enrich the lives primarily of the people of Texas. Under the terms of its charter, the Harry Bass Foundation can distribute grants only to qualified public entities or 501 (c)(3) charities. The Foundation neither lends nor grants money to individuals.

Grants are made in five areas:

Arts and Culture



Human Services


Grant applications for specific programs or projects, capital projects or, less often, general operations are considered. Endowment gifts are rare. The Foundation also considers program-related investments as part of its grant making activities.

The Foundation strives to be responsive to the needs of all eligible organizations and considers requests of any amount. There is no formal application form. Grant requests are accepted at any time throughout the year. Each organization is limited to one application within a twelve-month period. Requests are usually processed within three to four months. For more information, contact the Foundation.

The Foundation looks for one or more of the following conditions in an application:

Foundation support would be vital or catalytic to a proposed project's success

A collaborative network exists that multiplies the impact of the grant

The proposed project is likely to continue and expand after the grant period

The proposal is innovative and efficient in its use of funds

Expenses are reduced by sharing resources with other agencies or groups

The project is well-planned

The project promotes better human relationships and a sense of community

In general, grants are not made for purposes of:

Church or seminary construction

Annual fund-raising events or general sustentation drives

Professional conferences and symposia

Out-of-state performances or competition expenses

To other private foundations

Applications should include:

A copy of the determination letter from the IRS showing it is a tax exempt organization under 501 (c)(3) dated within the last five years.

A brief history of the organization and its work

A description of the proposed program

The specific request to the Foundation and date payment is needed

A list of all entities asked to give financial support to the proposed project (including their responses to date and dollar amount committed)

A project budget with both income and expenses, as well as plans to support the project after the grant period

Specific plans to evaluate the project

A list of trustees or directors and corporate officers that includes profession, ethnicity and gender

The number of times each year that the Executive Committee and/or Board meet

Names and qualifications of staff involved with the proposed project

The organization's last year and current year-to-date financial statements

The last IRS Form 990 filed

A copy of the latest verification of tax-exempt status from the Internal revenue Service under Section 170 of the IRS Code

A grant contract will be executed before a grant is made and a report to the Foundation on the accomplishments of the grant at the end of the project is required. Only one, unbound application is needed. The Foundation discourages pre-application meetings, preferring to schedule meetings, if needed, after receiving an application. Receipt of all applications is acknowledged within three weeks.

The Foundation accepts applications submitted over the Internet, but cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information contained in electronic submittals. Submit Internet grant applications to dcalhoun@airmail.net (no file attachments). A printed copy of the application should follow all electronic submittals.

Please address grant correspondence to:

Grants Department
Harry Bass Foundation
4809 Cole Ave., Suite 252
Dallas, TX 75205

214-599-0405 (fax)


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