O’Neill Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: The O’Neill foundation makes grants in support of general mental health projects rather than specific mental illnesses. On occasion, the foundation awards grants to support programs focused on developmental disorders.

IP TAKE: Grantseekers should highlight how their work directly benefits families if they want a chance at getting grant from O’Neill.

PROFILE: The William and Dorothy O’Neill Foundation was established in 1987 by Dorothy O’Neill and her son William. William and his brothers built the family’s fortune in the transportation industry. During his lifetime, William was a noted philanthropist. The O’Neill family carries on this tradition of philanthropy through the family foundation.

According to the O’Neill Foundation, all funding requests must be family focused and “address how families will participate and benefit” from foundation support. More specifically, O’Neill focuses its grantmaking on organizations whose work benefits low-income families, intergenerational families, and families dealing with mental health needs, at-risk youth, and specific disabilities.

The O’Neill Foundation has multiple giving priorities, including mental health and wellness. In keeping with its goals, the foundation primarily funds organizations that support communities and families, rather than medical research per se. This includes support programs for specific developmental disorders, such as autism.

Most grants out of O’Neill range from around $15,000 to $50,000. The foundation awards project-specific, capacity building and operating support grants. To learn more about the types of organizations the O’Neill foundation backs, explore its Grants Made webpage.    

The foundation focuses its grantmaking on regions of the U.S. where members of the O’Neill family work and live. This includes Washington, D.C., Florida, Hawaii, New York City, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Texas and Vermont. Grants are further restricted to specific cities and counties within those states.

The O’Neill Foundation accepts letters of inquiry for its Responsive Grantmaking program twice a year, with deadlines toward the end of February and August each year. Those dates are subject to change, so grantseekers should keep a close watch on the foundation’s website to stay abreast of any changes.


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