The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

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 Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation's past grantmaking clearly shows it supports health-related causes, including mental health (with a particular interest in animal-engagment supportive therapies). But the foundation shares no marketing language or rhetoric as to the “why”—it does not declare a mission statement, nor any statements of focus for its giving. Instead, it states 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.”

When making their compelling case, grant seekers should be sure 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 grant seekers’ ability to execute their mental health program.

The foundation is also open about how grant seekers use its funds: it will provide general operating support and contribute to capital campaigns in addition to giving program support to organizations anywhere in the United States—as long as they are a 501(c)(3).

Past grantees include: $10,000 to Transitions-Mental Health Association (San Luis Obispo, CA) for its vocational training program; $10,000 to Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Inc. (Williston, FL) for its Service Dogs for Veterans program; $10,000 to the University of Louisville/Kent School of Social Work (Louisville, KY) for its Survivors of Torture Recovery Center; $5,000 to San Francisco Suicide Prevention (San Francisco, CA) for Youth Risk Reduction and Outreach; $5,000 to Latham Centers (Orleans, MA) for its Asinotherapy Program; $4,950 to Gabriels' Angels (Phoenix, AZ) for Pet Therapy Teams support; $3,000 to the 3 "A" Bereavement Foundation (Houston, TX) for program support; $2,500 to the Goddard House (Brookline, MA) for its Memory Care Therapeutic Aquarium Project; $2,000 to Equine-Assisted Therapies (Boca Raton, FL) for scholarship support.

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

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