Grant Inquiries‎ > ‎

Step 1: Determine if your project is a suitable candidate for funding.

We are thankful for the many grant applications we received by our August 17, 2020 deadline and are not currently accepting further applications. What a gift it is to see all the work you do on behalf of others! We now have a very difficult job to determine which projects to fund. We truly wish we had the wherewithal to fund them all. The Board will meet on Monday, September 14, to make their final decisions and will alert all those receiving a grant. At this meeting, the Board will also determine the time frame for the next grant cycle. If you are seeking to apply for a grant, please check back here after September 14 for information regarding the next grant cycle

The information below and on the following pages is given to help you determine if your project is a suitable candidate for future funding from the Ralph and Eileen Swett Foundation in the next grant cycle. It also details the process for submitting an application and the information you will need to provide. 

As we can only fully determine whether a project is a good candidate for funding after reviewing the information requested in our application, we cannot evaluate a project either by phone, in person, or by email prior to receiving the full application. Therefore, we do not respond to these "pre-application evaluation" requests (so numerous that they are overwhelming to our small organization). To assist you in determining whether your project might be a good candidate for funding, our guidelines for funding are detailed extensively below. Please read them carefully to determine if it would be worth your time to apply.

Funding priorities:
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 ability to expand, create new services or otherwise support people in need.

As a small family foundation, the Swett Foundation regrettably cannot fund all worthy projects. 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. 

Organizations are expected to 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.

The Swett Foundation does not have geographical restrictions for eligible applicants other than it 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. This designation must be held by the applying organization itself.

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! You may now want to check the "Timeline of Grant Application Review, Approval, and Fund Dispersal" page of this web site to see if our timeline for reviewing your grant will meet your needs. If so, go on to Step 2 to learn what information you will need to gather in order to submit a grant application.