Three Things to Know about the Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation

There are so many funders in New York City that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all of them. One funder that just recently emerged on our radar here at IP is the Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, but it's a great one for nonprofits in New York to know.

This place-based funder maintains a fairly low profile, but it does typically award new grants to nonprofits twice per year, in spring and fall grant cycles. Here are three things to know if you want to approach the Dreyfus Foundation.

All Five Boroughs Are Priorities

This is a funder that rarely looks outside the five boroughs of New York City for funding opportunities. In 2015, Dreyfus gave $742,500 to local groups. This was slightly higher than in previous years ($733,550 in 2014 and $692,550 in 2013), so it seems that funding is steadily increasing.

Unsolicited Letters of Inquiry Aren’t Accepted

At this time, the foundation has stopped accepting unsolicited letters of inquiry from new groups that haven’t worked with the foundation in the past. Now it’s only looking to work with groups it’s familiar with from this point forward, but new programs and ideas from familiar faces are fair game.

Aging is This Funder’s Champion Cause

Aging continues to be this funder’s biggest cause, as it typically funds the most grants to benefit the health and wellbeing of senior citizens in New York. In 2015, aging grants have gone towards training for caregivers, senior companionship, and legal services for seniors. Approximately $215,000 was given to aging causes in the last year for which we have complete data, making it the top-funded category once again.

The next big area of giving is children and youth. Many of the funder’s art grants, education grants and social services grants play into this priority. Last year, arts grants went to music and theater groups, and several education/youth grants had an art focus as well. Dreyfus’ social services grants have supported everything from neighborhood revitalization to child care training and the local Planned Parenthood chapter.

The grant application deadline for the foundation's fall grant cycle is June 15. But remember, only local nonprofits that have a prior relationship with the staff and board should apply. Two-page letters of inquiry should be addressed to Executive Director Edmée de M. Firth and sent by mail.

To learn more about this funder, check out our full profile, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation: New York Grants, or reach out to Program Officer Jessica Keuskamp directly at