About the trust

About the Trust

Governance & Financials



The Trustees and staff of the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust strive to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards. The Trustees have adopted various policies to set forth expected standards and established procedures to comply with those standards.

The Trust intends to avoid conflicts of interest as well as the appearance of impropriety to ensure that the Trust continues to operate in a manner which honors the generosity of its founders, and maintains the public trust inherent in its tax exempt status and private foundation classification. The Trust has adopted a policy of dealing with such conflicts through full disclosure of any such actual or potential conflicting interests, and abstention or recusal where a conflict is involved. The full Conflict of Interest Policy may be viewed here.


Acknowledging that it benefits from public trust, the Trust aims to be transparent in its processes, about its grantmaking, and about its finances; and responsive to those who wish to learn more about the Trust and its work.

2020 Grantee Perception Report

In August and September of 2020, the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust participated in the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s Grantee Perception Report—an anonymous survey designed to solicit candid feedback from grant recipients and applicants about how the Trust is doing as a funder and then report those responses in a comparative context with a cohort of peer funders. The survey included questions on:

  • Impact on grantees’ fields, communities, and organizations
  • Understanding of intended beneficiaries and challenges
  • Interactions and communications with grantees
  • Application, reporting, and evaluation processes
  • Assistance beyond the grant
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Participation in the survey was robust, with 230 grant recipients and 76 unsolicited applicants responding. The Trust is using the feedback to become a stronger partner to our grant recipients and to better accomplish our mission.

To learn about the findings of the survey, Click here

Foundation Status

The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust has been recognized by the IRS as a private foundation, exempt from income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and as a foreign organization.