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Frequently Asked Questions

Our FAQ page is currently separated into two sections: 

1) Frequently asked questions in relation to General Considerations including priorities, eligibility, and feedback.

2) Frequently asked questions in relation to the Application Portal 

General FAQ

1. Are your grants limited to a particular geographic area?

The Foundation makes grants to non-profit organizations across the United States. The Foundation does not establish geographical preferences within the United States. The Foundation can also consider requests for organizations based in the United States but whose programming takes place abroad, as well as requests from organizations located in U.S. Territories. The Foundation cannot consider requests from organizations that are not based in the United States. 

2. Does the Foundation give grants for operating support?

The Foundation does award funding for operating support, as well as for specific projects or activities of an organization. The Foundation does not have a preference between program and operating support. 

3. What are the Foundation's funding priorities for this year?

The Foundation does not establish funding priorities on an annual basis, but rather supports worthwhile activities for which an organization has made a compelling case to receive funding. As a result, Foundation staff cannot advise applicants on the appropriateness of one potential submission over another. Instead, we generally suggest that organizations select programs for which they can make their best case for support, and for which a small amount of money can have a large impact.

Examples of the Foundation's general areas of interest may be found on the Application Page however, the Foundation will consider applications from any 501(c)3 based in the United States of America for which a relatively small amount of funding might make a large difference.

4. Is it possible to meet with someone with the Foundation?

Unfortunately, no. Due to the large number of requests for such meetings and the small size of the Foundation staff, it is not possible to accommodate all of these requests. 

5. Can we receive feedback on our application?

Unfortunately, no. Due to the number of requests received for each round of grants, we are unable to provide feedback on individual requests. 

6. If our application is accepted, will we be asked to submit a full proposal/Do you require a Letter of Interest?

No. All narrative information in regard to your Foundation and its programs are collected in the initial application. 

The Foundation does not require or consider letters of interest or letters of introduction. Due to the number of communications the Foundation receives, we may not respond to letters of interest/letters of introduction. 

7. Will the Foundation consider emergency grants? 

The Foundation cannot make emergency grants. 

8. How many applicants applied during last cycle? What percentage were successful?

The Foundation has no interest in tracking or providing this information; not believing it to be beneficial to either party. 

9. Can my organization submit an application under a fiscal sponsor? 

Yes.  When creating the organization profile, write your organization's name in the "Organization's Legal Name" field and the name of your fiscal sponsor in the "DBA" field. 


In the application, mark "No" to the question "Is your organization a 501c3 organization?" on the application. Select "applying through a fiscal sponsor" and enter the name of your fiscal sponsor. You will also need to attach the 501c3 determination letter for your fiscal sponsor. 

For the 990 fields, upload those of your fiscal sponsor. 

10. Can publicly supported organizations, such as schools or local government institutions, for which a 501(c)3 determination is not appropriate, apply for funding?

Yes, requests from publicly supported organizations can be considered. Mark "No" to the question "Is your organization a 501c3 organization?" on the application. Select "on behalf of a publicly-supported organization such as a school university or government entity". In lieu of a 501(c)3 determination letter we require a signed statement from a senior administrator as to the organization's means of support. 

11. Can my application include indirect costs and if so, up to what percentage? 

The Foundation does not have a specific policy regarding indirect costs or their percentage. Requests containing indirect costs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Because the vast majority of organizations applying for funding are not required to include indirect costs in their request, we recommend keeping any required indirect costs as low as possible. 

12. My organization does not yet have three years of 990s, can we still apply? 

No. The Foundation requires organizations to provide at least three years of 990s to apply. 

13. Are 990-N/postcard 990s acceptable? 


14. My organization is not required to file 990s, can we still apply? 

Publicly supported organizations, such as school or local government institutions and faith-based organizations that are not required to file 990s can still apply. Individuals and businesses (LLCs) may not. 

In lieu of three most recent 990s instead attach your organization's three most recent operating budgets.

15. How much funding do you recommend a first-time applicant apply for? 

The Foundation does not recommend a specific amount for first-time, or any other, applicant. However, we do expect the requested amount fall within our typical giving range ($1,000-$20,000) and relate sensibly to the grants' intended purpose, as well as the organization's budget/s. Be aware that in an effort to support as many worthwhile organizations and programs as possible, the Foundation may choose to award an amount less than the amount requested by an organization.

16. Can we apply for multiple years of funding in one application? 

No. The Foundation will not commit to or consider applications for multiple years of funding. 

Application Portal FAQ

1. To whom can I address the Letter of Request? 

Your LOR may be addressed to Mary P. Surrey, the Foundation's President. 

2. How do I change our organization's login email address?

This change cannot be made by the user. Please contact the Foundation at with a request to change your login email. The Foundation will not change the login email address from one personal address to another. We

will require a general email address, such as an info account, that can be accessed by multiple users within the organization.  

3. Can I create a new organization profile if I'm unsure whether or not my organization has one already?

You should not create a new organization profile unless you're positive your organization does not already have one. To keep

ongoing records for the sake of both the foundation and your organization, organizations are expected to use and maintain one organization profile. There is no way to combine organization profiles. Duplicate organization profiles will be deleted upon discovery, without notification, including any applications connect to it. 

4. How can I check if my organization already has on organization profile on the portal?

Organizations are expected to maintain their own records however, in the event you need to check you may email to ask. 

General FAQ

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation

Portal FAQ
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