May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust


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Below is a step by step outline of the Trust’s application process for grantseekers.

Please review these steps in the order provided.

This process is designed to help you determine whether your request is well-suited to the Trust’s interests and guidelines, and whether you should invest time and resources in submitting an Letter of Inquiry (LOI). If you’ve not already reviewed the Trust’s Funding Priorities, please do so before proceeding.

You may also wish to review Common Grantseeker Questions.

  • Is your organization eligible?

    The Trust will consider applications that meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

    • Organizations must be: 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; or non-U.S. organizations that can demonstrate that they would meet the requirements for such status.
    • Organizations must serve individuals living in the Western United States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming; or in British Columbia, Canada.
    • Requests for funding must be directly aligned with one or more of the strategies outlined for one of the Trust's Program Areas.



    Funding is not provided for the following:

    • Work that is not aligned with the goals identified for one or more of the Trust’s Funding Priorities
    • Organizations that are not, or would not qualify as, a 501(c)(3) public charity
    • Individuals
    • Programs that do not serve individuals living within the Trust’s geographic focus area
    • General fundraising appeals
    • Start-up or emerging organizations
    • New programs, unless from an organization that is able to demonstrate the expertise to support a new program and past success in implementing similar programs
    • Scientific or medical research
    • Building funds, capital projects, or capital equipment, unless specifically invited by staff
    • 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, unless specifically invited by staff
    • 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
  • Is your request aligned with the Trust's grantmaking priorities?

    Organizations strongly aligned with the Trust’s grantmaking priorities exhibit these characteristics:

    • Meet a demonstrated need or address a gap in services/programs
    • Directly address one or more of the strategies identified in one of the Trust's Program Areas.
    • Provide services that have long-term, sustainable impact
    • Have a proven track record of success, with at least two years of measurable outcomes
    • Have clearly-articulated and measurable goals and proposed outcomes and reasonable, practical plans to achieve these
    • Have demonstrated the ability to manage an annual expense budget of more than $250,000
    • Receive significant support from the community and grants from a variety of other foundation and corporate funders
    • Receive less than 70% of their revenues from government sources
    • 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 in their field of service
    • 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
    • Use volunteers effectively and manage them well
    • 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
  • What to expect

    Staff will review your LOI and contact you regarding the outcome. Typically, applicants will receive a response within six weeks of the LOI submission.

    If your LOI is found to be eligible and strongly aligned with the Trust’s grantmaking priorities, you may be invited to submit a full Proposal through the online grants portal. Details and instructions about the proposal requirements will be provided with the invitation. An invitation to submit a proposal does not assure funding.

    The review and evaluation process for proposals takes approximately three to five months. During this period, you may be asked to submit additional information.

    Four times a year, the Trustees review proposals recommended for funding. If, after careful consideration, your proposal is not approved, you will be notified by mail. If your request is approved, you will receive an award letter and grant check by mail.

    Organizations that receive a grant will be required to submit a report that confirms that the funds granted were used for the intended purpose and describes the work of the organization and programs that the grant supported.

    For additional information, please see Common Grantseeker Questions.

  • How to apply for funding

    Once you have determined that your request is consistent with the Trust’s guidelines by reviewing the Funding Priorities, and the Eligibility and Alignment criteria above, the next step is to complete the Eligibility Quiz, below. You will be asked a series of questions to confirm that your organization and project meet the Trust’s guidelines, and if so, will be directed to the online grants portal.


    Eligibility Quiz