Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW:  The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation works to support organizations in Massachusetts and New York that assist with a range of mental health issues facing children and young adults, such as mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and substance abuse. The main goal of this charity is to support organizations that work toward diagnosis and education, as opposed to research and treatment.

IP TAKE:  While the Tower Foundation's funding area is very limited, both with regard to the geographic regions and activities it supports, it does provide generous funding for organizations which might not attract the attention of larger national funders.

PROFILE: Created in 1990, the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation offers a diverse set of mental health-related grants. The foundation seeks to support “community programming that results in children, adolescents, and young adults affected by intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders achieving their full potential.” It supports a variety of mental health grants within its geographic funding areas.

Although Tower covers a range of mental health issues, its grants are also somewhat restrictive; the foundation only supports organizations that work with children and young adults—defined as anyone under the age of 26. And only organizations which operate in a handful of counties in New York (Erie and Niagara counties) and Massachusetts (Essex, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties) are eligible.

The foundation's preferred strategies for addressing mental health issue involve screening and assessment, community-based support, and transition services and navigation.

For organizations that meet these criteria, Tower is generous. Given the relatively small area of the country it supports, it has funded a surprisingly large number of grants over the past few years. While there are no set program lengths or dollar amounts for grants, they are typically multi-year grants worth between $25,000 and $75,000 a year. However, it is not unusual for Tower to fund grants above that $75,000 mark to large mental health organizations.

To learn more about the types of groups receiving Tower support, look at its Grant Recipients page.

Organizations seeking funding from Tower follow a fairly simple process. The foundation openly accepts letters of inquiry for a period which varies from program to program. If the Tower decides that organization's goals meet its guidelines, it will request a full proposal. The entire process takes approximately six months from letter of inquiry to distribution of funds. Grant seekers can apply here.

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