J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation: D.C. Metro Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation supports education, hospitality, opportunity, community, and health in the Washington D.C. metro area and elsewhere in the U.S.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, hospitality, opportunity, community, health

IP TAKE: This foundation with a famous name in the hotel industry is particularly partial to the Washington, D.C. area; however, it is not open to unsolicited funding requests.

PROFILE: Established in 1965, the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation is a private foundation based in Bethesda, Maryland. The Marriott couple and their two sons transformed a small root beer stand business into what is now one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. Marriott International has over 4,100 properties in 79 countries and territories around the world. J. Willard Marriott passed away in 1985, and Alice Marriott has led much of the family’s philanthropy. The funder is “committed to sustaining vibrant, healthy communities where all people have the opportunities and means to achieve their dreams and make a positive difference in the world.” The Marriott Foundation funds local efforts for education, hospitality, opportunity, community, and health.

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation’s education program focuses on early childhood development quality teachers and leaders, quality K-12 academics, and college and career readiness. Hospitality grants target secondary school hospitality programs, college and university programs, and global hospitality programs. Opportunity grants are for workforce development, youth development, and people with disabilities. The foundation focuses community grants on the Washington, D.C. region to address food security, safety net services, arts and culture, and programs that promote vibrant communities. Finally, health grants fund medical research, clinics and facilities in the D.C. area, mental health, and support for specific diseases. Overall, the funder provides single-year and multi-year grants for programs, general operating support, scholarships, endowments, and capital campaigns.

Grants range between about $5,000 and $500,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving by examining its recent tax records. Grantmaking focuses on the Washington, D.C. metro area. However, the foundation also makes more limited grants in other parts of the U.S. as well. Past local grantees include the Fishing School, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, So Others Might Eat, and Prevention of Blindness Society of the Metropolitan Area.

This foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. The trustees meet at biannual board meetings to discuss grantmaking after inviting proposals on March 1 and September 1. The application process is all online, and organizations that have been denied funding must wait one year before submitting a new request. Direct general questions to the staff at foundation.inquiry@marriott.com or 301-380-2246.

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