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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’ Program Areas. We do not provide grants to individuals. Grantee organizations must be based in and operate out of the United States.

Where do I find information to apply for a grant?

Please review the information here.

May I discuss my project with the Foundations' program staff before submitting a letter of intent?

Due to the small number of our program staff, the Foundations are unable to discuss your project before the submission of a letter of intent. We welcome your ideas and we invite you to submit a letter of intent (LOI) through our Grantee Portal. If you have questions regarding how to complete the LOI form, please send a message to

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.

What criteria do the Foundations use to review grants?

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations’ staff carefully review each letter of intent and full proposal. While the details of a successful application vary by program area, the Foundations do place value on certain general criteria. We ask that you review the specific program area pages and the information on the Apply for a Grant page for more information on the types of projects that we seek to fund.

How do I become a designated partner that is eligible to apply for a grant in Environmental Solutions, Palliative Care, or Public Educational Media?

Thank you for your interest in these program areas. At this time, we are not seeking concepts or proposals from new organizations in these three program areas. If we accept project ideas from new organizations in the future, we will post an announcement on our website.

What projects do the Foundations not support?

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will not support scholarships or endowments, or any proposal with indirect costs that exceed 5% of the budget for direct costs. Generally the Foundations do not fund capital projects. In addition, we do not award grants to individuals, or to direct service programs such as housing services and food pantries.

How do I submit my proposal materials?

Please refer to the Apply for a Grant page. Note that 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 intent or full proposal?

The Foundations’ program staff strive to complete a timely review of all letters of intent and full proposals. AVDF program staff will be in contact with applying organizations 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 intent and full proposals.

Is feedback available for a declined letter of intent or full proposal?

Unfortunately, due to the large number of letters of intent and full proposals received each year, the Foundations are not able to provide specific feedback on declined submissions.

What are the AVDF guidelines for proposal budgets?

Letters of intent require only a brief summary and explanation of the anticipated budget. Applicants invited to submit a full proposal must include a more detailed budget with numbered line items for each major expenditure category. Each line should include the amount requested from AVDF, any amounts anticipated from other sources, and the total. In addition, applicants must submit a separate budget narrative which provides a narrative explanation for each numbered line in their budget. Indirect costs may not exceed 5% of the total direct costs.

What is the typical duration of the Foundations' grants?

Projects supported by the Foundations are typically 1-2 years in duration, but they can be longer or shorter depending on the nature of the activities. We currently do not have a limit on the duration of the grants we award.

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 Environmental Solutions or Palliative Care. However, in all areas AVDF supports the dissemination of scientific research to the public. Proposals for this kind of dissemination should identify the ways in which the research will be distributed, as well as the difference the research will make in the lexicon of education or public awareness.

Are public colleges and universities eligible to apply for a grant within the Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy area?

Yes. Public institutions are eligible to apply for grants in this area.

When is the deadline for submitting materials?

Please refer to the Grant Calendar for information on application deadlines and our grantmaking timeline.

Do you fund organizations outside the United States?

No. The Foundations do not support organizations outside the United States.

Do you support graduate programs in Private Higher Education?

No. Our Private Higher Education funding is limited to grants that support undergraduate education at four-year, residential colleges and universities.