May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

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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.

Map of United States with western states highlighted

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.

To learn more about the grantmaking priorities in each program area, follow the links below:

Adults & Transitioning Youth with Disabilities
Foster Youth
Veterans & Military Families