Literacy Reads as Youth Development for The Lawrence Foundation

The mission of The Lawrence Foundation is vague. The foundation simply declares a desire to “support organizations that are working to solve pressing environmental, educational, human services and other issues.”

The throughline for this giving is also vague. A family foundation established by Jeff Lawrence and his wife, Diane Troth, with cash accrued when Lawrence sold his Trillium Digital Systems to Intel, the website says the couple feels "it is important to give something back and support organizations that are trying to make the world a better place."

This vagueness can make it challenging to present the most incisive grant application -- but it also opens up the field of funding topics and opportunities.

Recent giving shows that environmental issues are foremost for Lawrence Foundation. With respect to its educational interests, the foundation seeming to be particularly mindful of how it synergizes with human services. The result is an emphasis on youth development, where recent support of two literacy-related programs is notable.

The foundation gave a grant of $5,000 to Just 1 Book in Orlando, FL, “to deliver books into the hands of kids in need and at risk." The foundation also gave $5,000 to Children in Crisis  in London, England, “to support children to read, write, and contribute to their communities."

These $5,000 amounts, while modest, are standard-size checks for The Lawrence Foundation. Grants typically range $2,000 to $10,000, with the vast majority distributed at the $5,000 mark. The foundation’s application, which is fairly basic (it uses the Common Grant Application, which leadership of The Lawrence Foundation helped create) includes a standard request for goals/objectives/outcomes. A good strategy would be to communicate how this modest grant would strongly support your literacy program. The foundation will give both general operating and program support, so there's flexibility here.

The Lawrence Foundation has no geographic restrictions on its giving, both domestically or internationally (so long as the international project is operated by a U.S. nonprofit). Its grant application is open to all, and has two grant cycles each year, with deadlines in April and November.

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