We prefer to fund innovative projects proposed by established organizations with a track record of innovation. Many times such projects require two or more years to come to completion, and we will consider renewing a grant based on the previous year’s accomplishments. However, we generally do not fund an organization for more than 3 years. Occasionally, we will renew funding to an organization or project after a 3-year hiatus.
In general, we provide less than 50% of support for a program, project, or organization. This way, the organization shows us that they and their undertakings are important enough to the community to garner significant support from others.
Projects that correspond to at least two of our strategic areas are more likely to receive support, e.g., bringing arts experiences to neighborhoods and children who may not otherwise have this opportunity.
While we have no geographic restrictions, we only fund international organizations with international activity and out-of-region organizations with national activity. Generally, these organizations and activities must be located in cities and countries where our Trustees regularly visit, so they can perform site visits. All organizations must provide the equivalent of 501(c)(3) status documentation. Please note, however, that we receive many, many more requests than we can fund and that local and regional projects receive the majority of our funding. We specifically do not fund projects that serve the local population and are located in states with many private foundations, such as New York, Texas, Massachusetts, California, and Florida.
We prefer to do site visits before voting on a proposal.
Our Spirituality grants go to programs that assist people in understanding and expressing their deepest, most compassionate selves in their spiritual growth and/or through service, and in appreciating what is fine and noble in all religions. We support programs that promote peace and justice and demonstrate respect and appreciation for human diversity in all its forms, such as race, culture, religion, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and social class.
We do not donate to programs that seek to convert individuals from one religion to another, or that make any particular religious observance a condition of receiving food, shelter, or other services.
Our Social Justice grants promote the welfare of groups of people who have been disadvantaged through no action or responsibility of their own.
Environmental grants go to organizations that seek to enrich our natural environment, lessen global warming, improve animal welfare, and/or educate human beings to work toward these purposes.
Most of our Education – Science, Engineering, and Early Childhood grants support projects and programs that expose the fascinating worlds of math, engineering, science, and technology to young people who might not otherwise have this opportunity. We also support projects and programs to improve early childhood education (birth to 3 years old).
Our Education – Arts grants primarily support arts education experiences for young people who might not otherwise have this opportunity.
What We Do Not Fund or Contribute To:
- Any organization that is not a 501(c)(3) organization, a qualified church, or a school
- Projects of any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation
- Projects of any organization that participates in activities harmful to the environment
- Projects of any organization that participates in activities that promote violence
- Generally, bricks and mortar projects
- Annual funds
- Special events