May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust Grant Program

May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

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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 Show all

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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About this funder:

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Overview:

Vision

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.

Mission

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.

Type, Size, and Duration of Grants

The Trust accepts applications for either program support or general operating support (i.e., support for an organization’s operations as a whole rather than a particular project, inclusive of expenses such as administrative staff’s salaries, overhead expenses, non-capital equipment, and capacity building activities). The Trust occasionally makes grants for capital support, typically to organizations that have received a grant in the past; such requests may only be submitted upon invitation from the Trust.

The size of the Trust’s grants are matched to the organization’s need, capabilities, opportunities, scale of impact, and the program’s fit with the Trust’s priorities, as well as the organization’s historic pattern of support from other institutional donors, its developmental stage, and the Trust’s overall availability of funds. Typically, the Trust’s grant will be average or above average among an organization’s other funders, but not the largest grant received by an organization. Consistent with its core value of interdependence and a desire to encourage organizations to develop a broad base of support, the Trust prefers to invest alongside other funders and rarely makes grants that represent 100% of a project’s budget. Please see Recent Grants for examples of typical Trust grants.

Initial grants are typically one year in duration. The Trust will consider multiple-year grant requests from organizations that have already successfully completed at least one grant cycle with the Trust. Multiple-year grants are generally two years in duration, and acknowledge the grantee organization’s well-articulated, compelling vision and long-term plan for its programs, and its strong alignment with the Trust’s Funding Priorities.

Funding Priorities

The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust’s funding priorities are guided by its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan and built on the person-centered approach of its historical grantmaking.

The majority of the Trust’s funding supports organizations that provide direct services to individuals. In addition, the Trust supports organizations intervening at various levels to effect positive change – the individual, the family, and the community – as well as organizations striving to bring about changes in systems, policies, and/or behaviors that contribute to improved well-being and opportunity for its focus populations.The Trust supports organizations serving people in the Western United States, defined as: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming; and in British Columbia, Canada.

The Trust’s current funding priorities are reflected in its four program areas: Adults and Transitioning Youth with Disabilities, Elders, Foster Youth, and Veterans and Military Families. Though individuals within each of these populations have specific needs, strengths, and challenges, certain cross-cutting themes underlie the Trust’s decision to prioritize them in its grantmaking, including:

  • A recognition of the often-overlooked issues and challenges faced by individuals in these populations
  • Growth, or projected growth, in the four focus populations
  • The inability of current systems to meet the needs of these populations
  • The opportunity to support life-changing services for individuals facing challenging life transitions
  • Acknowledgement of the significant contributions that individuals in all four populations can make, given the opportunity and supportive resources
  • The importance of caregiving, both formal and informal, at the family, friend, or community level, to both individual and community well-being
  • The opportunity to support existing movements to shift societal perceptions, expectations, and relationships regarding these populations
  • The desire to support cultural change so that society focuses not simply on the needs of these individuals, but on each individual’s abilities, dignity, potential, and inclusion in a community that is strengthened by the optimum contribution and mutual exchange of talents and resources among its diverse members.

In all of its grantmaking, the Trust is interested in supporting organizations that promote the dignity, agency, and self-sufficiency of individuals within its focus populations, and that strive to achieve a lasting difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Foster Youth

The Trust envisions a society where foster youth have the personal support, resources, skills, and knowledge they need to become healthy, self-sufficient, resilient, and successful adults. 

Overview

The Trust aims to provide children and youth who have experienced disruption or instability in their homes with the support, resources, skills, and knowledge they need to become healthy, self-sufficient, resilient, and successful adults.

The Trust’s Foster Youth grantmaking addresses four strategies – stable homes, physical and mental health, education, and preparation for independence – which collectively support the healthy development and success of children and youth who are currently or formerly in foster care or whose parents can no longer care for them.

Families and communities are included in the Trust’s grantmaking to support foster youth, as part of a holistic approach to enrich the quality of life, promote self-sufficiency, and assist individuals in achieving their highest potential.

Much of the Trust’s Foster Youth grantmaking will be devoted to direct services for individuals, families, and communities, but the Trust’s grantmaking will also advance the work of organizations engaged in research and communication initiatives that raise awareness about the issues facing foster youth, and organizations that develop and advocate for policies and practices that effectively address these issues.

Focus Population

The focus population for this program area includes children and youth who are currently, or have been, in the foster care system; 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; homeless youth; and unaccompanied immigrant youth.

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 Foster Youth program area.

Young woman of color speaking at a public forumCredit: California Youth Connection

Acknowledging that there are particularly vulnerable subpopulations of foster youth/homeless youth (e.g., LGBTQ youth, youth of color, pregnant and parenting youth, victims of sex trafficking) and that some of these subpopulations are overrepresented in the child welfare system (e.g., LGBTQ youth, Native youth, African-American youth), the Trust’s grantmaking may include organizations that provide tailored support to these subpopulations, or that are working to address these disproportionalities.

Strategies

The Trust’s grantmaking in the Foster Youth Program Area addresses four broad goals, which collectively support the healthy development and success of children and youth who are currently or formerly in foster care or whose parents can no longer care for them:

Stable Homes

  • Children and youth have access to safe and stable homes where they can develop and thrive.

Strategies include:

  • Increase the number of foster families and improve the support they receive
  • Facilitate the adoption and/or legal guardianship of foster youth
  • Strengthen the skills of birth parents so that they are able to provide a healthy, supportive home environment and are well-positioned to be reunified with their children
  • Increase permanent housing for former foster youth, as well as transitional supportive housing leading to permanent housing

Physical & Mental Health

  • The physical and mental health needs of children and youth are met.

Strategies include:

  • Ensure continuous access to health care
  • Provide access to individualized mental health care services
  • Support adults to recognize symptoms of trauma, grief, and loss, and educating them about how to create a safe, nurturing environment

Education

  • Children and youth receive the support they need to succeed academically.

Strategies include:

  • Reduce the number of school transfers for foster youth
  • Ensure schools and districts share data and information so that when school transfers are necessary, transitions can be as seamless as possible
  • Train educators to identify and mitigate the effects of trauma, and support resiliency in their classrooms
  • Provide foster youth with the academic support and enrichment they need to graduate high school, and facilitate their enrollment in post-secondary education and achievement of post-secondary degrees

Independence & Self-Sufficiency

  • Children and youth are prepared to be successful in work and life.

Strategies include:

  • Support foster youth in transitioning from high school or college to employment
  • Support foster youth to gain financial management and independent living skills

Read More

Elders

Overview

The Trust aims to foster a society where older adults are visible, valued, and receive the support they need to lead a dignified and engaged life. Communities, families, and caregivers are essential components in a holistic approach to aging that enriches the quality of life, encourages self-sufficiency, and values self-determination.

The Trust's strategies for Elders grantmaking support programs that encourage community engagement, allow elders to age in place whenever possible, provide support for caregivers, and offer long-term care that promotes a good quality of life.

Focus Population

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 grantmaking in the Elder's Program Area 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.

Strategies

Community Engagement

  • Foster community engagement among adults age 60+.

Grantmaking strategies include supporting programs that:

  • Ensure adults age 60+ have access to high quality lifelong learning programs
  • Offer paid and unpaid opportunities for older adults to contribute to the community
  • Foster intergenerational connections so that younger and older people can learn from and benefit one another
  • Promote the perception of older adults as valuable contributors to the community, rather than societal burdens

Aging in Place

  • Assist older adults to age in place.

Grantmaking strategies include awarding grants to programs that:

  • Meet basic needs such as food, housing, transportation, legal services, and care management
  • Help older adults remain physically and mentally active
  • Create community and increase social connections
  • Empower older adults and ensure they are visible and valued in society, and enjoy reciprocal relationships with peers, neighbors, and community members of all ages

Caregiver Support

  • Support family and professional caregivers to provide quality care for elders.

Grantmaking strategies include supporting programs that:

  • Assist family and professional caregivers through education and training
  • Provide accessible and affordable respite opportunities for family caregivers
  • Address the practical and emotional needs of elders, families, and caregivers at the end of life
  • Advocate for programs and policies that support all caregivers

Quality Long-term Care

  • Improve the quality of life and care for elders in residential long-term care (LTC) settings.

Grantmaking strategies include supporting programs that:

  • Engage residents, family members, and staff in creating a sense of community
  • Help LTC communities change culture away from a medical model and toward principles of person-centered care
  • Give professional caregivers opportunities to enhance skills and leadership, promoting job retention and advancement
  • Offer diverse social and cultural activities to meet the needs of residents
  • Connect LTC communities with broader local communities
  • Advocate for improvements in the long-term care system

Please Note

Due to the large number of applicants seeking grants to support older adults to maximize independence and safely age-in-place (meal programs and senior centers, in particular), the review process in the Aging-in-Place strategy is particularly competitive. In addition to the characteristics listed above, the most competitive applicants under the Aging-in-Place strategy will clearly demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Innovation in program design/delivery
  • Location in a geographically rural or isolated area
  • Potential for scale

Read More

Veterans & Military Families

The Trust envisions a society where veterans and military families achieve economic self-sufficiency, community integration, and wellbeing. 

Overview

The Trust aims to strengthen programs and services that support veterans, service members, and their families in the transition to successful new lives and careers after leaving the military. Community organizations are essential components in a collaborative, holistic approach designed to achieve veteran and family well-being, self-sufficiency, and community integration.

Grantmaking in the Veterans and Military Families Program Area addresses four strategies which collectively support veterans and their families to realize economic self-sufficiency and a good quality of life: Mental and Behavioral Health and Wellness; Education, Training, and Employment; Housing Stability; and Community Integration.

Focus Population

The focus population for this program area includes personnel from the active and reserve military 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:

  • People with traumatic brain injury, PTSD, or major depression
  • African American, Latino/a, Native American, Asian, and mixed-race people
  • LGBT people
  • Women
  • Survivors of military sexual trauma (MST)
  • Homeless people
  • Veterans with General or Other than Honorable Discharges

The Trust recognizes veterans living with physical disabilities incurred in military action (“wounded warriors”) as a subpopulation 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.

Strategies

Mental Health & Wellness

  • Improve the mental and behavioral health and wellness of service members, veterans, and their family members by promoting timely, affordable access to evidence-based, person-centered, culturally-appropriate care that supports individual wellness, healthy relationships, and thriving families.

Grantmaking will support programs and organizations that work to:

  • Reduce stigma and other obstacles to mental and behavioral health treatment
  • Increase the number of culturally-competent providers offering evidence-based care
  • Support access to recreational and therapeutic programs that improve well-being
  • Help family members, caregivers, children, and others who support veterans
  • Provide access to non-VA/DoD programs for service members, veterans, and their families

Education & Employment

  • Promote self-sufficiency by providing access to education, training, information, guidance, and other assistance to facilitate the employment of veterans and military/veteran spouses in fulfilling living wage jobs.

Grantmaking will support programs and organizations that work to:

  • Meet uncovered expenses from education, training, or credentialing that enhance employment possibilities, particularly for junior enlisted veterans and military/veteran spouses
  • Assist active service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and veterans to translate military skills and certifications to civilian jobs
  • Educate and motivate hiring managers and human resource personnel about the benefits of employing recent veterans and their spouses
  • Assist transitioning service members and spouses with navigating the complexities of military transition and provide career advice, skills training, and job placement services to help establish them in their new career and community

Homelessness & Housing Stability

  • End homelessness and promote housing stability among individual veterans and veterans with families, with an emphasis on populations experiencing disproportionate rates of homelessness.

Grantmaking will support programs and organizations that work to:

  • Prevent homelessness
  • Provide rapid rehousing to reduce the duration of homelessness
  • Provide transitional housing programs for homeless and vulnerably-housed veterans
  • Provide permanent supportive housing with services for those who require long-term support to remain housed

Community & Family Reintegration

  • Promote veteran and family well-being and community integration by supporting healthy family relationships, (re)igniting service members’ sense of purpose, and cultivating welcoming, inclusive communities.

Grantmaking will support programs and organizations that work to:

  • Facilitate access to interventions that encourage family integration and healthy relationships
  • Recognize and help military children in school and the community
  • Increase access to benefits and services and reduce barriers to integration by providing navigation services and encouraging community collaboratives
  • Increase awareness of and access to legal services
  • Encourage veterans and family members to become engaged and familiar with their communities

Read more

Adults and Transitioning Youth with Disabilities

The Trust envisions a society where adults and transitioning youth with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities maximize their ability to live independently; secure employment; and engage in an inclusive community. 

Overview

The Trust aims to strengthen supportive services for adults and youth transitioning to adulthood with intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities, enabling them to maximize their ability to live independently, gain economic security through a rewarding job, and engage in an inclusive community through social and recreational opportunities.

Grantmaking in the Adults and Transitioning Youth with Disabilities program area addresses four strategies – independent living, employment, community inclusion, and support for caregivers, who help make all this possible. The Trust prioritizes organizations that use a person-centered approach, involving the individual in decision-making, to support each person to reach their full potential.

The Trust primarily makes grants for direct services that support these four strategies, as further defined below. It also makes a small number of grants to advance the work of national organizations that are evaluating, documenting, and/or sharing research-based best practices related to effective disability advocacy and systems change.

Focus Population

The focus population for this program area includes adults and youth transitioning to adulthood (ages 15 and up) who have either an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) or a physical disability - including mobility, visual, or hearing impairment. The Trust is also interested in supporting caregivers, particularly aging caregivers who are engaging in transition planning for the future care of their adult children with disabilities.

Strategies

Independent Living

  • Empower adults and youth transitioning to adulthood to bridge successfully into active lives in the community.

Strategies include:

  • Provide supportive services and training to maximize an adult’s ability to live interdependently in the community
  • Offer interventions enabling individuals to live safely in the least restrictive residential setting and make their own informed decisions

Employment

  • Enable adults and youth transitioning to adulthood who seek work and economic stability to experience opportunities for employment and career growth – meeting both the personal needs of individuals with disabilities and the business needs of their employers.

Strategies include:

  • Promote integrated, competitive employment in the community for all as an achievable, expected outcome, not the exception
  • Address the needs of both adults with disabilities and prospective employers
  • Support employers to improve their capacity to hire, retain, and promote employees with disabilities

Community Inclusion

  • Promote inclusive participation of adults and youth transitioning to adulthood in recreational programs, the arts, social events, and civic activities with the acceptance and support of an informed and embracing community that recognizes every individual’s abilities and contributions.

Strategies include:

  • Enhance overall quality of life, sense of purpose, and self-satisfaction through social support networks and inclusive community activities
  • Reduce social stigmatization through community training and supports to enable full participation by all in community activities

Caregiver Support

  • Support family caregivers so that they can continue in their caregiving role without being overburdened emotionally, physically, and financially. Also, support aging caregivers in developing comprehensive plans for eventual transition of caregiving and financial/benefits responsibilities. 

Strategies include:

  • Provide education and assistance, including public awareness, legal services, and financial planning advice, for caregivers and family members to develop comprehensive future caregiving plans for eventual transition of caregiving responsibilities for their adult children.
  • Offer respite opportunities for families/caregivers while incorporating formal caregiver support activities such as training, counseling, and information.

Read More

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:The Trust does not fund
      • 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 four strategies outlined above
    • Veterans Program:The Trust does not fund:
      • 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 toward at least one of the four strategies outlined above
    • Elders Program:The Trust does not fund
      • 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
      • Organizations lacking a track record of achieving results toward at least one of the four strategies outlined above
  • 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