Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my institution is eligible to apply for a grant?

The Foundations award grants to eligible 501(c)(3) institutions whose work aligns with the Foundations' Trustees' philanthropic priorities. We do not provide grants to individuals. Grantee organizations must be based in and operate within the United States.

Where do I find information to apply for a grant?

Please review the information under the Grantseeking Organizations tab.  

My organization has received a grant from the Foundations in the past. Do I still need to register on the grantee portal?

Yes.  Please visit the grantee portal to create your profile. The grants management platform was adopted in 2016 to provide ease and efficiency for grant applicants.  

What criteria do the Foundations use to review grants?

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations’ staff carefully review each letter of inquiry and full proposal. While the details of a successful grant proposal vary by program area, the Foundations place value on certain criteria. Please review the specific philanthropic program areas and information in our Grantseeking Organizations tab for more information on the types of projects that we seek to fund.


How do I become a designated partner eligible to apply for a grant in either environmental engagement, stewardship and solutions or palliative care?

Thank you for your interest in partnering with the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in these program areas.  The Foundations' Environmental Engagement, Stewardship & Solutions and Palliative Care & End of Life partners have been identified through 2020. Our website will be updated periodically when we seek new partnerships after 2020. 

May an institution submit multiple grant proposals or letters of inquiry at one time?

Only one grant proposal per institution should be submitted per calendar year, unless approved for an exception by an Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' program staff member.

What projects do the Foundations not support?

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will not support scholarships, endowments and indirect costs greater than 5% associated with projects. We do not support grants to individuals and generally do not fund capital projects.  In addition, direct service programs, such as housing services and food pantries, will not be considered.  

How do I submit my grant proposal materials?

Please refer to the Grantseeking Organizations section on the website.  Note:  All materials must be submitted through the grantee portal. Proposals submitted through email or the US mail will not be considered.


When will I receive a response to my letter of inquiry or grant proposal?

The Foundations' program staff strive to complete a timely review of all letters of inquiry and grant proposals that are submitted.  AVDF program staff will be in contact with the organization once a thorough review has been completed. 

See our Grant Calendar for more information about our proposal deadlines and the time periods in which the AVDF staff reviews letters of inquiry and grant proposals.

I've received a grant from AVDF in the past. When may I apply for another grant?

Organizations may apply for another grant from AVDF once the active grant has been closed.  In order to close a grant, AVDF requires a final report and financial statement.  

What are the AVDF guidelines for program budgets?

AVDF recognizes the need for personnel to implement many of the proposed projects.  However, proposal budgets directly linked to salary without a programmatic impact will not be accepted.  In addition, budgets should limit fringe benefits for personnel, consulting fees, or facilitator travel.  Indirect costs may not exceed 5% of the proposed grant budget.

Will the Foundations support projects in original science and research?

AVDF may support original science or research in some limited situations, in particular with our Designated Partner organizations in the environment or palliative care.  In all cases, AVDF supports the dissemination of scientific research to the public, and any grant proposal should identify ways in which the research will be distributed and what difference the research will make in the lexicon of education or public awareness.

When is the deadline for submitting materials?

Please refer to the grant calendar for specific deadline dates for letters of inquiry and proposal materials.  Note, all materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm (ET) on the due date listed on the grant calendar.

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