OVERVIEW: The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation awards grants to organizations where its grants “can make a big difference.” Giving emphases are the environment, the arts, education, 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 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 preeminent publisher of American music. If you don’t know his name, you likely 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 support for the environment, including marine, river, and other water causes. But the foundation shares no marketing language or rhetoric as to the “why”—it doesn't declare a mission statement, nor any statements of focus for its giving. Rather, it 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.”
A major thrust of that “compelling case” is to establish firmly 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 program.
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 program support to organizations anywhere in the United States--so long as you’re a 501(c)(3).
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation’s recent environmental grantees focused on marines, rivers, and water protection include:
- $15,000 to Clean Ocean Action (Highlands, NJ) for its watershed protection programs
- $10,000 to Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (Beacon, NY) for its education programs
- $10,000 to the Surfrider Foundation (San Clemente, CA) for its Clean Water Initiative
- $8,500 to the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (Provincetown, MA) for its Marine Animal Entanglement Program
- $5,000 to the National Marine Life Center (Buzzards Bay, MA) for equipment purchases
- $5,000 to the Alexandria Seaport Foundation (Alexandria, VA) for its apprenticeship program
- $5,000 to the Alley Pond Environmental Center (Douglaston, NY) for its education programs.
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation has an open application process with two deadlines: May and November.
Mary P. Surrey, President