May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust: Southwest Grants

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.

FOCUS AREAS: Foster youth, elders, veterans, people with disabilities

IP TAKE: The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust is focused on the Western U.S., including substantial support spanning the Southwest region. This funder also looks for proven entities—programs that are well-established and already financially supported by others.

PROFILE: Established 1989, the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust carries on the giving legacy of May and Stanley Smith, who made their fortune primarily in the world of iron ore mining in Malaysia. The foundation aims 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 foundation’s grantmaking areas of interest are foster youth, elders, veterans, and people with disabilities.

The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust provides a rigorous assessment of the needs of all of the populations it supports, and therefore the trust’s goals in each area—as well as discussions of what a successful program would therefore look like. Past Southwest grantees working with Foster Youth include Friends of Wednesday’s Child (Dallas, TX) “to transform the lives of children in foster care through education” with $200,000 over two years. It also granted $75,000 to New Mexico Child Advocacy Networks (Albuquerque, NM) "to support local CASA programs and provide services to youth transitioning out of foster care." Past Southwest grantees working with the Elderly include Family Eldercare Inc, (Austin, TX) "to help elders age-in-place through coordination of and linkages to needed services" with $100,000 over two years. It also granted $50,000 to Duet Partners in Health & Aging (Phoenix, AZ) "to provide volunteer-assisted transportation and support to home-bound elders." Past Southwest grantees working with Veterans include Operation Homefront (San Antonio, TX) "to provide stable transitional housing and support for wounded, ill, and injured veterans and their families" with $100,000. It also provided $50,000 to Assistance Dogs of the West (Santa Fe, NM) "to support the service dog training program for Veteran Treatment Court participants." In the trust’s people with disabilities focus area, recent Southwest grantees include the Houston Community College Foundation (Houston, TX) "to support independent living and workplace opportunities for college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities" with $100,000 over two years. The trust also granted $200,000 over two years to the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center "to provide vocational and life skills training and support for transitioning young adults and adults with autism spectrum disorder."

Foundation grants typically range from $30,000 to $100,000. View a list of recent grants on the funder’s website. 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. The trust also gives to British Columbia, Canada. The foundation gives multi-year gifts for both program and general operating costs.

The foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry from nonprofits. It typically takes between four and six months between LOI receipt and funding notification. Grantseekers should direct questions to the staff at 415-332-0166 or


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