Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation: D.C. Metro Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation supports the arts and humanities, community services, education, health, and the environment in the D.C. metro area.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and humanities, community services, education, health, the environment

IP TAKE: This is a highly collaborative funder that is involved in numerous local partnerships and likes to support nonprofits that are collaborative as well.

PROFILE: Established in 1948, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is a private foundation based in Washington, D.C. This is the largest private, independent foundation focused exclusively on the D.C. region. Morris Cafritz was a residential and commercial builder between the 1920s and 1960s. Gwendolyn Cafritz was a Washington hostess and long-time president of the foundation. The foundation is “committed to improving the quality of life for residents of the Washington, D.C. area.” The Cafritz Foundation funds local efforts for arts and humanities, community services, education, health, and the environment.

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation typically gives the most to community service efforts, followed by arts and humanities as a second priority. Community service grants support affordable housing, homeless services, support housing, civic engagement, and foreclosure/eviction prevention. Arts and humanities grants support dance, theater, music, film, visual arts, and multidisciplinary art forms. Education grants fund early childhood causes, K-12 education, and higher education. The funder’s environmental grants support efforts to preserve resources and raise environmental awareness. Finally, health grants fund integrated healthcare, prevention efforts, and collaborations.

Grants range between about $10,000 and $50,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving on the recent grantees page of the funder’s website. Grantmaking focuses on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to D.C., the Cafritz Foundation also supports Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, as well as Arlington and Fairfax Counties and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia. Past local grantees include the Textile Museum, Highway Theatre, Mercy Health Clinic, and Mi Casa.

This foundation accepts grant applications from nonprofits following an eligibility quiz. It does not require a letter of inquiry. The application process is online, and deadlines typically fall around the first of March, July, and November. Direct general questions to the staff at or 202-223-3100.


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