OVERVIEW: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation awards grants to organizations where its grants “can make a big difference.” Giving emphases are the environment, the arts, education, health and housing.
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 to organizations to 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 preeminent publisher of American music. If you don’t know his name, it’s likely you know some of the composers he partnered with: Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hammerstein, and Lerner and Loewe, for starters.
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation's giving history clearly shows it supports the environment, including animals and wildlife. But the foundation shares no marketing language or rhetoric as to the “why”—notably, this foundation does not declare a mission statement, nor any statements of focus for its giving. Rather, 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 major thrust of that “compelling case” is 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 your animals and wildlife program.
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 program support—to organizations anywhere in the United States, so long as you’re a 501(c)(3).
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation’s recent environmental grantees focused on animals and wildlife include:
- $15,000 to California Wildlife Center (Malibu, CA) for program support
- $15,000 to Cheetah Conservation Fund (Alexandria, VA) for its Livestock Guarding Dog Program
- $10,000 to University of California, Davis, California Raptor Center (Davis, CA) for general operating support
- $10,000 to Walden's Puddle (Joelton, TN) for its Baby Season Animal Care program
- $10,000 to the New Hampshire Audubon Society (Concord, NH) for its Bat Survey
- $10,000 to Elephant Aid International (Hohenwald, TN) for its Chair-Free Corrals Project
- $7,500 to Wild Bird Fund (New York, NY) for general operating support
- $5,000 to Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary (Kohler, WI) for equipment purchase
- $4,000 to Savannah Science Museum (Savannah, GA) for its Caretta Research Project
- $2,500 to New England Primate Conservancy (Merrimac, MA) for its Humane Education programs.
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation has an open application process with two deadlines: May and November.
Mary P. Surrey, President