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 libraries and literacy. But the foundation shares no marketing language or rhetoric as to the “why”: this foundation does not declare a mission statement, nor any statements of focus for its giving. In fact, it purposefully leaves the door wide open, 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.”
In order to capitalize on the possibility, hone in on the phrase “compelling case.” The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation wants to make a big difference in the work it supports. 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 library or literacy program, so present your need and scale accordingly.
The foundation is 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 libraries and literacy grantees include:
- $10,000 to the Eldredge Public Library (Chatham, MA) for technology updates
- $10,000 to First Book (Washington, DC) for general operating support
- $5,000 to the Westchester Library System (Tarrytown, NY) for its Learning Ambassador Program
- $2,500 to the Carbondale Public Library (Carbondale, IL) for its As You Like It program.
It's also worth noting that the foundation heartily supports arts education, so if your library or literacy program integrates the arts, that could make for an especially strong pitch.
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation has an open application process with two deadlines: May and November.