Step 1: Determine if the Swett Foundation is currently accepting applications and if your project is a suitable candidate for funding.

A. First, check our Current Grant Timeline page to see if this timeline will work for your organization and specific project. Applications are only accepted at specific times during each grant cycle. The information here remains posted at all times throughout the grant cycle so that interested organizations can either apply (if applications are currently being accepted) or preview the application criteria and process for future submission.

B. To help you determine if your project would be a suitable candidate for funding, please carefully review the funding priorities and exclusions listed below. Our application process is completely online and we do not respond to requests to determine if a project is suitable or to discuss a project prior to submission, since, beyond the guidelines available to you below, we simply cannot determine a project's suitability further without evaluating a full application.

Funding priorities:
  • Priority for funding is based on the degree of difference the project will make in the lives of people in need and the cost per individual helped. This is a useful yardstick to use in evaluating the likelihood that your project will receive funding. In its mission to make a difference in the lives of people in need, the Swett Foundation is seeking to provide the funding to non-profit organizations that will be pivotal to the organization's mission. 
  • Organizations successful at obtaining grants from the Swett Foundation tend to those that provide evidence that their project will be successful, that the budget for the project has been accurately prepared and researched fully, and that the project could not be funded out of their existing resources.
  • Grants are limited to non-profit organizations based in the United States and granted a tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This designation must be held by the applying organization itself. Other than this requirement the Swett Foundation does not have geographical restrictions for eligibility.  

As a small family foundation, we recognize we can not be all things to all people so, with great reluctance, we have had to exclude certain types of projects as listed below which do not fully fit our mission, our capability, or our priorities.

Types of projects that are not funded by the Swett Foundation:
  • projects submitted by individuals. [The Swett Foundation is required by law to limit its funding to non-profit organizations based in the United States and granted a tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code]. If you are looking for assistance with an individual adoption, we suggest you apply for a cash grant from the Gift of Adoption Fund at
  • projects submitted by organizations based outside the US (see above).
  • projects which benefit animals. [Our trustees' hearts are greatly attached to animals but more so to the people they love].
  • projects which involve the building or renovation of facilities.
  • projects involving medical research.
  • projects involving environmental causes. [We recognize that environmental causes impact the quality of human life, but we are hoping to find projects with a more immediate and direct impact].
  • projects involving discriminatory practices in the selection of individuals to be helped.
  • projects to organizations which support practices that may harm human life.
  • projects involving organizations with large endowments or large amounts of available funding.
  • projects involving organizations which have a high percentage of expenditures involved with fundraising or administrative costs in relation to program services.
  • projects involving organizations that have not demonstrated fiscal responsibility.
  • projects benefiting the arts.
  • while not excluded from consideration outright, projects benefiting people in need through the arts have historically not been funded primarily because other competing organizations at the time were determined to have a more direct beneficial impact. If this describes your project, please consider this information in determining if it is worth your while to apply.
Special interests:
The Swett Foundation is always eager to explore new ways to make a difference so is anxious to hear of new possibilities. If your project represents a new venture for us, please do not be discouraged from applying. 

Although funding is NOT limited to these areas, by exploring new projects in the past, the Foundation has developed a particular interest in:
  • finding new ways to truly make a difference in the lives of people in need,
  • matching or challenge grants whereby a grant from the Swett Foundation can be used to obtain further funds,
  • supporting adoption of orphans or foster children,
  • supporting the homeless,
  • supporting disadvantaged youth,
  • finding ways to make a pivotal impact on the non-profit organization itself and thus increase its current and/or future services to people in need. [This does not include bailing the organization out from previous fiscal irresponsibility].
What now?
We hope that by reading this information you have determined that your project IS a suitable candidate for funding from the Swett Foundation!  If our grant timeline fits your project's needs, go on to Step 2 to learn what information you will need to gather in order to submit a grant application.