May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust: Grants for Public Health

OVERVIEW: The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust supports the “dignity, agency, and self-sufficiency” of foster youth, the elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities.

IP TAKE: The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust’s support of public health primarily filters through its strong commitments to the elderly and people with disabilities. This funder looks for rigor—programs that are well-established and already financially supported by others. It also looks for geography; supported work is very focused on the Western United States.

PROFILE: The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust was established in 1989 to carry on the giving legacy of May and Stanley Smith, who made their fortune primarily in the world of iron ore mining in Malaysia. The mission of the trust is to support “organizations that offer opportunities to children and youth; adults and families; elders; and people with disabilities that enrich the quality of life, promote self-sufficiency, and assist individuals in achieving their highest potential.”

The trust’s support of health and wellness flows through two focus areas: Elders and People with Disabilities. This means, of course, that your program must address the needs of at least one of these specific populations.

The other specificity is geography. The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust explicitly directs its giving to the Western U.S., though its definition of the West is broad, defining it as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. (For the record, the trust also gives to British Columbia, Canada.) While the executed work must be done in these states, the trust’s giving history shows that the organization itself can potentially be based elsewhere (with work that is then targeted in the trust’s focused states).

The trust’s Elderly giving (definted as age 60 and up) focuses on community engagement, safe independent living, and community connectivity for those in institutional, long-term care.

The trust’s People with Disabilities giving is particularly focused on independent living, employment, and social integration.

The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust provides a rigorous assessment of the needs of both of these populations, and therefore the trust’s goals in each area—as well as discussions of what a successful program would therefore look like. Be sure to read these rubrics comprehensively before attacking the trust’s application.

And attack it you must, because while it begins with an LOI open to all, it is a rigorous one, requiring specific outcomes past and future, as well as comprehensive financial reporting. The trust explicitly states that start-ups, emerging organizations, and new programs are not eligible for its support, and this makes perfect sense once you delve into the LOI—there is no way a new organization or program therein could discuss financials and recent outcomes with the rigor this funder requires. If you have been around long enough, still be aware that the trust ideally looks for organizations with yearly operating budgets of at least $250,000 and those with less than 70% of costs supported by government funding. (The application provides a notably thoughtful section in which to discuss your organization’s relationship with government funding, and why private support is important to your program/organization.)

The good news if you check these boxes: the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust makes healthy-sized grants, typically ranging from $30,000 - $100,000 per year, and will give multi-year gifts for both program and general operating costs.

Recent grantees working with the elderly include:

  • $80,000 to Saint Barnabas Senior Services (Los Angeles, CA) "to provide health and wellness programs for elders living with chronic diseases;"

  • $75,000 to Pioneer Network In Culture Change (Rochester, NY) "to promote culture change and individualized, person-centered care in long-term care settings;"

  • $120,000 over two years to Senior Concerns (Thousand Oaks, CA) "to offer diverse programs that support the health and well-being of elders and family caregivers;"

  • $100,000 over two years to Family Eldercare Inc (Austin, TX) "to help elders age-in-place through coordination of and linkages to needed services;"

  • $50,000 over two years to Pike Market Senior Center (Seattle, WA) "to offer food, housing placement and retention support, and social programs for older adults."

In total for 2015, the trust distributed $3,555,000 to 41 different organizations working with the elderly.

In the trust’s People with Disabilities sector, recent grantees include:

  • $600,000 to EngAGE (Burbank, CA) to replicate and implement a successful and implement a "successful educational and wellness program model in Portland;"

  • $200,000 over two years to Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona (Tucson, AZ) "to provide services and support for people who are deaf, deaf-blind, or deaf-disabled;"

  • $100,000 over two years to Lanakila Pacific (Honolulu, HI) "to provide services and activities for adults with disabilities to enhance independent living skills, community inclusion, and overall quality of life;"

  • $50,000 over two years to Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center (Redmond, WA) "to provide therapeutic adaptive riding for transitioning youth and adults with disabilities;"

  • $40,000 to Bakersfield Arc Inc. (Bakersfield, CA) "to provide comprehensive services and support for adults with developmental disabilities;"

  • $35,000 to Store To Door (Portland, OR) "to enhance food security and maximize independence among seniors who are aging-in-place."

Overall in 2015 the trust gave $5,075,000 in this focus area to 40 organizations.

The May and Stanley Smith’s Charitable Trust’s LOI is rolling; if you’re ready for its rigor, you can apply at any time.


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