Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation: New York Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports New York City nonprofits working in the fields of aging, arts, education and social services. It was established from the estate of music publisher Louis Dreyfus and his wife Jean.

FUNDING AREAS: Aging, arts, education, and social services

IP TAKE: This funder is into healthy aging causes in a big way, through all of New York City's five boroughs. Pitch a program that gets seniors engaged in the community and provides direct support for their care.

PROFILE: The Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation was established from the estate of music publisher Louis Dreyfus and his wife in 1979. This foundation is committed to New Yorkers, especially ones who are aging and disadvantaged. Louis was the head of Chappell & Co., Ltd. of London, one of the oldest music publishers in the world.

Grantmaking is mostly limited to the five boroughs of New York City and supports programs in aging, arts, education and social services. This is a direct service funder that likes to learn about programs that can be replicated and that are likely to find other funding sources in the future as they grow. However, on a more occasional basis the Dreyfus Foundation provides infrastructure grants and general operating support. Like many other funders, it also likes to encourage matching funds from other groups.

Aging grants have gone towards training for caregivers, senior companionship, and legal services for seniors. Arts grants mostly go to music and theater groups, and education/youth grants often have an art focus as well. Dreyfus’ social services grants support everything from neighborhood revitalization to child care training and the local Planned Parenthood chapter.

At the time this profile was written, the foundation had stopped accepted unsolicited letters of inquiry from previously unaffiliated organizations. Instead, it prefers to work with nonprofits that it has had a prior relationship with.

You can view a list of past grants dating back to 2011 on the foundation’s recent grants page. Many past grants have been between $10,000 and $25,000, and it typically awards grants in each of its four grant categories each year. In a recent year, the foundation awarded $742,5000 in total grants with the most dollars going towards grants for aging.

According to the foundation website, "Until further notice, the Foundation will be accepting letters of inquiry only from organizations that have a prior relationship with the Foundation. We ask that all other grant seekers refrain from sending letters at this time."

Grantseekers' best point of contact is executive director, Edmée de M. Firth. Letters of inquiry are due on January 15 for the spring grant cycle and July 15 for the fall cycle. General inquires can be directed to the staff at (212) 599-1931 or Questions about applying for a grant can be sent to Jessica Keuskamp, the funder’s program director at


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