Private Higher Education Grant

Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

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Next anticipated deadline: Aug 27, 2020 8:59pm PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Nov 8, 2020 8:59pm PST (Full proposal)

Grant amount: Up to US $350,000

Fields of work: Diversity & Inclusion Sustainability Environment Education - Higher Education Interfaith Cooperation / Religious Freedom

Applicant type: Private College / University

Funding uses: Research, Education / Outreach, Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Support for private colleges and universities is grounded in Arthur Vining Davis’ conviction that “an educated society strengthens democracy through principled, thoughtful and compassionate leadership.”

The Foundations’ philanthropy to private higher education concentrates on private colleges and universities with a primary academic mission in the liberal arts and sciences, rather than career or vocational studies. These institutions should exemplify academic quality and financial stability. Proposals from associations and consortia that serve higher education are also welcome. A portion of funding is reserved each year to help support the vitally important work of historically Black colleges and universities, Native American tribal colleges, schools within the Appalachian College Association, and Work College Consortium members.

Private Higher Education grant proposals will be considered in the following general areas:

  • Leadership development for faculty, students, and senior leaders;
  • Interfaith literacy and leadership for curriculum, student, and faculty research;
  • Environmental stewardship and sustainability in research, curriculum, and experience;
  • Student and faculty intellectual inquiry, including faculty development and support for student – faculty undergraduate research;
  • Diversity, inclusion, and support for underserved education constituencies.

Grant Amounts 

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations typically award grants up to $350,000. In exceptional circumstances, the Foundations will consider and fund grant requests at a higher amount. 

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


  • All private, four-year residential colleges and universities are eligible to apply.
    • Those institutions undergoing a presidential transition must wait to submit a proposal until the new president has been in office for a year.  


  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will not support scholarships, endowments and indirect costs greater than 5% associated with projects.
  • We do not support grants to individuals and generally do not fund capital projects.
  • In addition, direct service programs, such as housing services and food pantries, will not be considered. 
  • The Foundations do not support organizations outside the United States. We do not support projects overseas.