Altman Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Altman Foundation supports programs and organizations within New York City and provides moderately sized grants to local nonprofits.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Health, Community, Culture

IP TAKE: While Altaman priorities grantmaking initiated from within the foundation, they accept unsolicited proposals from organizations that align with their mission.

PROFILE: The Altman Foundation, established in 1913 by Benjamin Altman, supports “programs and institutions that enrich the  quality of life in New York City, with a particular focus on initiatives that help individuals, families, and communities benefit from the services and opportunities that will enable them to achieve their full potential.” Unlike many other philanthropic foundations, Altman takes bigger chances on promising ideas without being overly prescriptive. The foundation focuses on education, health, strengthening communities, and arts and culture.

Altman prioritizes education and youth initiatives. The foundation supports educational programs at top-performing, independent schools such as the Harlem Academy and youth development programs such as Rocking the Boat. In 2015, the foundation claimed over $241 million in assets. 

Altman looks for health grantseekers to adhere to their guidelines for health grant proposals. In 2017, the Foundation gave $145,000 in grants to CaringKind, the Heart of Alzheimer’s Caregiving and $100,000 each to Make the Road New York, Medicare Rights Center, Inc., and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

Altman also supports community and culture. For instance, past grantees include JobsFirstNYC, Single Stop USA, Inc., Bronx Children’s Museum, and The New York Public Library.

The foundation operates on a results-based approach and looks to the future for outcomes more than activities. Grantmaking efforts center on direct service, capacity building, or systems change. To learn about recent Altman grantees, explore the Search Grantees page and the Illustrative Grants page. Typically, grants range between $25,000 and $100,000.

Altman's approach, guidelines, and FAQs are explicitly stated on the application process page. Like many foundations in the area, this one will not award grants to individuals, fundraisers, capital equipment, or disease research. Altman also will not entertain proposals for artistic performances or exhibitions with which it is not already involved.

Altman asks for a letter of inquiry to begin the application process unless an applicant has already received funds from them. General questions can be directed to


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