OVERVIEW: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation awards grants to organizations where its grants “can make a big difference.” Giving emphases are education, the arts, the environment, 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 pre-eminent 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 K-12 education. But the foundation shares no marketing language or rhetoric as to the “why”—they don't declare a mission statement, nor any giving focus. In fact, they leave the door wide open, stating that the foundation “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” is to firmly 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 K-12 education endeavor.
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 United States (so long as you’re an IRS-qualified non-profit organization).
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation’s recent K-12 education grantees include public school districts, private schools, parochial schools, as well as other nonprofit organizations that provide K-12 education programming. Arts education is a definitive interest for the foundation, as is extended learning time (afterschool and summer bridge programs), but there are also many other interests/activities supported. Recent grantees include:
- $15,000 to the Lynchburg Education Foundation (Lynchburg, VA) for purchase of musical instruments
- $10,000 to the Aseltine School (San Diego, CA) for its conflict resolution program
- $10,000 to Community Works of Louisianna (New Orleans, LA) for general operating support
- $10,000 to the Council for Court Excellence (Washington, DC) for its School Jury Education Project
- $10,000 to the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center (North Chatham, MA) for its Summer Science Program
- $5,000 to The Bronxville School (Bronxville, NY) for general operating support
- $5,000 to Saint Dominic School (Northfield, MN) for its iPad Integration Program
- $5,000 to Jacob's Ladder (Urbanna, VA) for its Residential Summer Enrichment Program
- $3,200 to Wiggins School District (Wiggins, CO) for Children’s Theatre presentations
- $3,000 to Education Through Music (New York, NY) for its NYC Partner School Program
- $1,000 to the Chelsea School (Hyattsville, MD) for its Student Emergency Fund.
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation has an open application process with two deadlines, May and November.
Mary P. Surrey, President