May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust Grant Program

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust


Grant amount: US $30,000 - US $600,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Canada, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado Expand all

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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Overview:

The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust (Trust) envisions a human community that recognizes each individual as vital to the strength, richness, and well-being of the whole, and that motivates, empowers, and invites each to contribute and participate according to his or her ability and potential.

The Trust supports 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.

Grant Program Areas

Foster Youth

The focus population for this program area includes children and youth who are currently, or have been, in the foster care system, as well as children and youth who may not have entered the formal foster care system, but who live with relatives or other caregivers because their parents are either absent or unable to care for them. Adults who care for or work with youth who experience disruption or instability in their homes (e.g., caregivers, caseworkers, advocates, etc.) are also a key population to be supported through the Children and Youth program area.

The majority of the Trust’s Foster Youth grantmaking will be devoted to direct services for individuals, families, and communities, but a small number of grants may advance the work of organizations engaged in research and communication initiatives that raise awareness about the issues facing foster youth and encourage the implementation of policies and practices that effectively address these issues.

Elders

The focus population for this program area includes adults 60 years of age and older. Caregivers are also a key population to be supported through the Elders program area, including family members, volunteers, and paid professionals. The Trust approaches its work with an appreciation for older adults as significant assets to society, whose experience, contributions, and community participation are resources with the potential to benefit people of all ages.

The majority of the Trust’s Elders grantmaking will be devoted to direct services for individuals, families, and communities, but a small number of grants may advance the work of organizations engaged in research and communication initiatives that raise awareness about the issues facing older adults and encourage the implementation of policies and practices that effectively address these issues.

Veterans

The Trust embraces a holistic definition of wellness proposed by Dr. Nancy Berglass and Dr. Margaret C. Harrell in their report Well After Service:

Physical Well-Being and Psychological Well-Being are the satisfactory and sufficient conditions permitting individuals to function as necessary. Physical and psychological well-being are each informed by four dimensions: social/personal relationships, health, fulfillment of material needs and purpose. These dimensions are interrelated and mutually supporting. When an individual achieves both physical and psychological well-being, that individual experiences basic wellness.

The Veteran Wellness Model depicts this definition.

The focus population for this program area includes enlisted personnel from the active and reserve U.S. Military force who have served or are currently serving and their families, regardless of discharge status and length of service, with particular focus on individuals affected by the engagements since September 2001. Acknowledging that some subpopulations experience particular challenges, the Trust’s grantmaking will include support for organizations with demonstrated competency serving veterans in one or more of the following groups:

  • Individuals with traumatic brain injury, PTSD, or major depression
  • Black, Latino/a, Native American, Asian, and Mixed Race individuals
  • LGBT individuals
  • Women
  • Survivors of military sexual trauma (MST)
  • Individuals facing homelessness or housing vulnerability

The Trust recognizes veterans living with physical disabilities incurred in military action (“wounded warriors”) as a sub-population whose needs have been rightly prioritized by federal agencies, numerous charitable institutions, and public awareness campaigns. Therefore, while the Trust supports organizations that serve all veterans, regardless of disability status, requests from organizations serving wounded warriors exclusively are a lower priority in the Trust’s grantmaking.

A small number of grants may support organizations that are conducting and sharing non-partisan, high-quality research on needs and opportunities to support veterans and military families.

People with Disabilities

The Trust’s grantmaking responds to data and research from the 2010 Kessler Foundation/NOD Survey indicating inequalities for persons with such disabilities in areas including:

  • Independent Living Support/Housing: More than 75% of families report they cannot find suitable non-institutional community services, trained and reliable home care providers, supported residential arrangements, respite care, and other services.
  • Employment: Nearly 85% of families report that adult family members with disabilities who want to work are unemployed, either part-time or full-time.
  • Community: People with disabilities are less likely than those without disabilities to socialize with friends, relatives, or neighbors, indicating ongoing and significant barriers to their participation in leisure activities and community life. Stigma and discrimination also hinder their full acceptance in society.

The focus population for this program area includes adults and youth transitioning to adulthood who have either an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) or a physical disability – including mobility, visual, or hearing impairments. The Trust’s grantmaking will also focus on programs providing respite support for caregivers of individuals living with I/DD or physical disabilities of all ages, as well as support for aging caregivers to engage in transition planning for the care of their adult children.

A small number of Trust grants may advance the work of national organizations that are vetting, documenting, and/or sharing research-based best practices.

Discretionary Grantmaking

Each year, the Trust allocates a portion of its grantmaking budget to support activities that fall outside its four main program areas but that represent relevant, timely, and valuable opportunities. Unsolicited applications are not accepted for the Discretionary Grantmaking program. The Trust’s discretionary grants typically fall into three broad categories, representing opportunities to:

  • address a compelling one-time need or take advantage of an important opportunity to contribute financial support
  • support activities that foster learning or collaboration that promote the Trust’s goals
  • honor particular interests of May and Stanley Smith.

Through its Discretionary Grantmaking, the Trust also supports organizations and initiatives that enhance Staff and Trustees’ understanding of key and emergent issues facing the Trust’s target beneficiary populations specifically or the field of philanthropy more generally. Staff participates in relevant funders’ affinity groups – such as Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families and Grantmakers in Aging – in order to monitor policy developments, identify funding gaps and potential areas for grantmaking support, and leverage the Trust’s grant investments through collaborative or complementary grantmaking. The Trust’s Staff also participates in philanthropic sector-wide associations – such as the Council on Foundations and Northern California Grantmakers – to exchange information and lessons learned, to track emerging funding interests and trends, and to otherwise gather and disseminate information intended to improve the Trust’s grantmaking practices and value to its grantees. Grantmaking through the Discretionary Grantmaking area supports Staff’s participation in these types of collaborative and learning activities and other initiatives intended to encourage and advance effective philanthropic practices.

In addition, to honor specific interests of its founding donors, the Trust makes a small number of discretionary grants in Australia, the Bahamas, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom, places significant to Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Type of Funding

  • General operating support
  • Program support
  • Capital support (by invitation only)

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Applications are accepted from organizations meeting the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust’s Program Area priorities and serving individuals living in British Columbia, Canada and the Western United States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
  • The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust makes grants to nonprofit organizations that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and not classified as a private foundation under Section 509(a) of the Code, and to non-U.S. organizations that can demonstrate that they would meet the requirements for such status.
    • Organizations can also submit applications through a sponsoring organization if the sponsor has 501(c)(3) status, is not a private foundation under 509(a), and provides written authorization confirming its willingness to act as the fiscal sponsor.

Preferences:

  • When making funding decisions, the Trust prioritizes organizations that exhibit these characteristics:
    • Meet a demonstrated need or address a gap in services/programs
    • Offer innovative programs and services
    • Directly address one or more of the goals identified for the Trust’s Grant Program Areas
    • Provide services that have long-term, sustainable impact
    • Have a proven track record of success, with at least two years of measurable results
    • Offer programs and services that reflect best practices or evidenced-based solutions, and/or that represent creative, effective approaches to addressing persistent needs or challenges
    • Have experienced and engaged staff and an active and committed board of directors who bring knowledge and experience in relevant fields of service
    • Are highly respected among peers and funders in their field of service (e.g., funders and/or peer organizations cite the program/organization as a model or leader in the field, the organization’s leaders are sought out for their expertise and counsel, organization’s approached has shaped the work of other leading organizations in the program sector, etc.)
    • Consistently gather feedback from stakeholders and program beneficiaries and incorporate findings in program design, service delivery, and overall administration and governance
    • Collaborate with other entities in order to meet client needs and avoid duplication of effort
    • Have a stable financial position and demonstrate strong financial management capacity
    • Receive broad support from the community and a variety of other foundation and corporate funders
    • Receive less than 70% of their revenues from government sources.
    • Have an annual budget of more than $250,000
    • Use volunteers well and manage them effectively
    • Have clearly-articulated and measurable goals and proposed outcomes and reasonable, practical plans to achieve these
    • Can answer the question: “How do you know your work is effective?” – have a sound system for tracking, analyzing, documenting, and communicating improvements in beneficiaries’ lives or other significant impact
    • Engage in learning and reflection and use data to improve services and/or organizational performance

Ineligibility:

  • The Trust does not consider requests from the following:
    • People with Disabilities Program
      • Organizations or programs that do not primarily serve adults and youth transitioning to adulthood with I/DD or physical disabilities
      • Funding requests to provide services and support for individuals with mental illness or critical illness – defined by the Trust as either a short-term or life threatening/terminal condition – will not be considered
      • Organizations lacking a track record of achieving results toward at least one of the Trust’s four goals
      • Organizations primarily conducting advocacy activities
    • Foster Youth Program:
      • Nonprofit social service providers whose work with adults may result in the prevention of children being placed in foster care, but whose work is not explicitly focused on preventing such placements. For example, an organization that helps adults with substance abuse issues, but not for the explicit purpose of preventing the placement of children in foster care, would not be eligible for funding, but an organization that provides comprehensive services to families, including treatment for substance abuse, with an explicit goal of creating healthy families and parents that have the skills and capacity to care for their children would be eligible.
      • Organizations primarily providing emergency material relief, such as food, clothing, or overnight shelter
      • Organizations lacking a track record of achieving results toward at least one of the Trust’s four goals
    • Veterans Program:
      • Nonprofit social service providers who serve veterans as part of their general client population but that have not specifically adapted or do not plan to adapt their outreach or services to ensure they are military-friendly and accessible to veterans and military families
      • Organizations primarily providing emergency material relief, such as food, clothing, or overnight shelter
      • Organizations lacking a track record of achieving results supportive of at least one of the Trust’s four goals
    • Elders Program:
      • Organizations lacking a track record of achieving results toward at least one of the Trust’s four goals
      • Nonprofit social service providers who serve older adults as part of their general client population, but have not specifically adapted or do not plan to adapt, their outreach or services to ensure they are senior-friendly and accessible to older adults and their caregivers.
  • Funding is Not Provided For:
    • Work that is not aligned with the goals identified for one or more of the Trust’s Grant Program Areas
    • Organizations that are not, or would not qualify as, a 501(c)(3) public charity
    • Individuals
    • Progams that do not serve individuals living within the Trust’s geographic focus (as defined above)
    • General fundraising appeals
    • Start-up or emerging organizations or new programs
    • Scientific or medical research
    • Building funds, capital projects, or capital equipment, unless specifically invited by a Trust staff member
    • Endowment funds
    • Organizations or programs operated by government agencies – with the exception of K-12 schools and post-secondary education institutions
    • Promotion of religion
    • Debt reduction
    • Conferences, benefit events, or other one-time events
    • Post-disaster or emergency relief
    • Projects that: carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation; participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; or conduct, directly or indirectly, voter registration
    • Organizations that pass through funding to an organization or project that would not be eligible for direct funding as describe above


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