The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation: Grants for Creative Writing

OVERVIEW: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation awards grants to organizations where its grants “can make a big difference.” Funding areas include 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 does not declare its areas of interest; instead, it would rather keep its coffers open to 501(c)(3) organizations that make the most compelling cases for support. It has an open application and no geographic restrictions for US based grantseekers.

PROFILE: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation was established in 1965 upon the death of Max Dreyfus, a pre-eminent publisher of American music for composers like Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hammerstein, and Lerner and Loewe. Dreyfus was also a founding member of ASCAP. The foundation seeks to award “grants to organizations for whom a small amount of money can make a big difference.” That rich history in American music provides an intuitive explanation why this foundation supports the arts, including creative writing.

The foundation does not declare a mission statement or a particular funding focus. In fact, it is intentionally vague in this respect, 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 grantseekers “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 grantseekers’ 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 they are a 501(c)(3).

Past creative writing grantees include: $10,000 to A Studio in the Woods (New Orleans, LA) for program support, $10,000 to the DC Creative Writing Workshop (Washington, DC) for general operating support, $10,000 to The Massachusetts Review (Amherst, MA) for its New Voices, New Media Initiative, $7,500 to the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum (Palm Beach, FL) for its Whitehall Lecture Series, $3,000 to the Community Word Project (New York, NY) for its Arts Residency Program.

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation has an open application process with two deadlines, May and November. New grantseekers should check out the foundation’s application guidelines and FAQs before applying.

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