May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

OVERVIEW: The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust supports foster youth, the elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities in the Bay Area.

FOCUS AREAS: Foster youth, the elderly, veterans, people with disabilities

IP TAKE: This funder looks for proven success, that is programs that are well-established and already financially supported by others.

PROFILE: Established in 1989, the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust carries on the giving legacy of May and Stanley Smith, who made their fortune primarily in the world of iron ore mining in Malaysia. The trust aims to support “organizations that offer opportunities to children and youth; adults and families; elders; and people with disabilities that enrich the quality of life, promote self-sufficiency, and assist individuals in achieving their highest potential.” Therefore, the trust’s support flows through four focus areas: Foster Youth, Elders, Veterans and  People with Disabilities.

Past Bay Area grantees working with Foster Youth include California Youth Connection and Child Advocates of Silicon Valley In a previous year, across all states, the trust distributed $4,434,000 to 40 different organizations working with foster youth. Past Bay Area grantees working with the Elderly include Bread & Roses and LIFE ElderCare. In a previous year, the trust distributed $3,555,000 to 41 different organizations working with the elderly. Past Bay Area grantees working with veterans include the Center of Investigative Reporting and Homeward Bound of Marin. In total across all states in a past year, the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust distributed $3,635,000 to 34 programs in this sector. In the trust’s people with disabilities focus area, past Bay Area grantees include Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program and the Community Living Campaign. Overall in a past year, the trust gave $5,075,000 in this focus area to 40 organizations.

Foundation grants are often between $25,000 and $200,000. View lists of past grants by funding category on the trust’s website. The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust explicitly directs its giving to the Western U.S., though its definition of the West is broad, defining it as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The trust also gives to British Columbia, Canada. However, much of its support stays in Northern California. It will often give multi-year gifts for both program and general operating costs.

This funder accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry submitted online. The May and Stanley Smith’s Charitable Trust’s LOI process is rolling, so nonprofits can apply at any time. Direct general question to the staff at or 415-332-0166.


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