The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation supports organizations where its grants “can make a big difference.” Funding priorities 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 have a mission statement, and it does not 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 is open to all 501(c)(3) organizations who can make that case and has an open application with no geographic restrictions.

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.”

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 grant seekers’ “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 grant seekers’ ability to execute.

The foundation is also open-minded about how its funds can be used, and it will provide general operating support and contribute to capital campaigns in addition to giving program support—to organizations anywhere in the U.S., as long as they are a 501(c)(3).

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation’s past film grantees include $20,000 to the Chatham Orpheum Theater (Chatham, MA) for its final construction costs; $5,000 to the American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center (Silver Spring, MD) for general operating support; and $5,000 to the Amherst Cinema Arts Center (Amherst, MA) for its See-Hear-Feel-Film Literacy Program.

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation has an open application process with two deadlines, May and November.

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