OVERVIEW: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation awards grants to organizations where its grants “can make a big difference.” Giving emphases are the arts, the environment, health, housing and education.
IP TAKE: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation is an interesting blend of elusive and accessible. It doesn’t have a mission statement, and it doesn’t declare its areas of interest, instead stating it would rather keep its coffers open to organizations that make the most compelling cases for its support. But it’s open to all 501(c)(3) outfits who can make that case, with an open application and no geographic restrictions, so long as you’re based in the U.S.
PROFILE: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation was established in 1965 upon the death of Max Dreyfus, a pre-eminent publisher of American music. Since you’re here for music support you’ve likely already heard of Max Dreyfus, or at least some of the composers he partnered with: Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hammerstein, and Lerner and Loewe. Dreyfus was also a founding member of ASCAP.
So it makes intuitive sense why Dreyfus supports music-related organizations and programs. And that's about all the “why” you're going to get, because the foundation doesn't declare a mission statement, nor any particular focus of its giving. In fact, it purposefully leaves the door wide open, stating that it “does not establish funding priorities on an annual basis, but rather supports worthwhile activities for which an organization has made a compelling case to receive funding.”
A key element of your “compelling case” should be to establish why support from The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation will make a big difference. The foundation views its grants as small ones (the typical range is $1,000 - $10,000) but it still wants to have a big impact on your ability to execute.
The foundation is also open-minded about how its funds could be used, and will provide general operating support and contribute to capital campaigns in addition to giving program support—to organizations anywhere in the U.S., so long as you’re a 501(c)(3).
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation’s recent music grantees include:
- $15,000 to the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation (New Orleans, LA) for general operating support
- $10,000 to the Napa Valley Festival (Yountville, CA) for its Festival del Sole
- $9,200 to the Pilgrim Area Collaborative (Pembroke, MA) for its Music Therapy program
- $7,500 to Opera Lafayette (Washington, DC) for audience development
- $6,000 to Augustana Arts (Denver, CO) for its City Strings program
- $5,000 to Tribeca New Music (New York, NY) for its Young Composer Competition
- $5,000 to Wolf Trap (Vienna, VA) for program support
- $3,500 to the Manassas Symphony Orchestra (Manassas, VA) for program support
- $3,000 to the Early Music Foundation (New York, NY) for Subscription Concert Series support
- $3,000 to the Cantate Chamber Singers (Bethesda, MD) for program support
- $2,500 to the Conductors Guild (Richmond, VA) for its Conductor Training Workshop Series
- $2,500 to the Northport Community Band (East Northport, NY) for its Free Summer Concerts
- $2,000 to the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra (Cheyenne, WY) for its Giving the Gift of Music program.
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation has an open application process with two deadlines, May and November.
Mary P. Surrey, President