Frequently Asked Questions

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.

2. Does the Foundation give grants for operating support?

The Foundation provides support for specific projects or activities of an organization, as well as for 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.

4. May I submit my proposal via email?

We ask that potential grantees submit their requests by regular mail. Given the volume of requests that are received and that would need to be printed out locally, as well as the variations in software used to create the documents submitted as part of the proposal, a printed and mailed submission ensures that your request is complete and in the appropriate format.

5. To whom should the request be addressed?

The request should be addressed to Mary P. Surrey, President, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 414, Washington, DC 20007. (Note: Some online listings might give an address for the Foundation in White Plains, New York. That address is no longer in use.)

6. Do you count the cover letter, budget(s), and 501(c)3 determination letter as part of the three-page letter of request?

No. The cover letter, budget(s), and 501(c)3 determination letter are considered to be separate components of the request package.

7. Is it possible to meet with someone with the Foundation, in order to introduce my organization and to make a stronger case for Foundation support?

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. As a result, in fairness to all applicants, we suggest that organizations make their best case for support in their letter of request.

8. If our initial request is not accepted, may we receive feedback on our request?

Unfortunately, no. Due to the number of requests received for each round of grants, we are unable to provide feedback on individual requests that were not selected for support. The Foundation receives a growing number of submissions for each cycle, and is able to award grants only to a small number of applicants. We do invite organizations to apply again in the future, however we do ask that organizations not apply for consecutive cycles. 

9. If our initial request is accepted, will we be asked to submit a full proposal?

No. This is a one-step process, meaning that you should make your best case for support in the three-page letter of request and cover letter. As a result, the letter of request should be specific as to the nature of your organization and the purpose of the requested funding. 

10. When should I expect to hear from the Foundation regarding the status of my proposal?

Organizations applying for the Fall grant round (May 10th deadline) can expect to receive a status update by the end of October. Organizations applying for the Spring grant round (November 10th deadline) can expect to receive a status update by the end of April. Updates will be provided by postal mail or email. 

11. May my organization submit an application under a fiscal sponsor? 

Yes.  Your organization's fiscal sponsor should be mentioned in your cover letter and the 501(c)3 determination letter of your organization's fiscal sponsor must be included with your request. 

12. May 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-base basis. 

13. What are some common problems with grant requests received by the Foundation?

a. The copy of the organization's 501c3 determination letter is not included. (A copy of the organization's state sales tax exemption form is not sufficient.) For publicly supported organizations, such as schools or universities for which a 501(c)3 determination is not appropriate, the application should include a signed statement from a senior administrator as to the organization's means of support.

b. The organization's name, contact person, and postal address are not included in the request. (With the large number of requests received, there is not enough time to search your web address in order to find out who and where you are.)

c. The nature of the request is unclear and obscured by jargon. Be specific in your proposal, and the amount of support being requested. (A request for "any amount possible" makes it more difficult to evaluate your request.)

d. Providing single Income and Expense totals instead of itemized budgets.

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation