Guidelines for applying to The Dodge Family Fund

The Fund has a two-step process to apply for a grant.

#1. Brief letter of inquiry answering the question,
is the fit right?

The Fund requires a one- to two-page letter to assist the Fund in determining whether the applicant’s mission and the initiative to be proposed fits with the Fund’s mission and goals. The letter should address the following:

  • The organization. What is the challenge or problem in the world that the applicant addresses?  Who benefits from the work of the organization? Although it is acceptable to include the organization’s mission statement, the Fund encourages the applicant to provide a more detailed narrative to describe the organization’s mission and goals.

  • The initiative. What is the project or program idea for which the applicant seeks the Fund’s support? Is it designed to
    be innovative or to explore new avenues, and if so, how? How will the world be different if project/program succeeds? How would the initiative and its outcomes advance the mission and goals of the Fund?

  • An estimate of the amount to be requested.  How much does the applicant expect to request? If the applicant is invited to submit a full proposal, it may adjust the amount provided in its letter.

   The fund will not review grant submissions until it has reviewed an initial letter and determined that a fit exists.  The Fund will review initial letters and full proposals on a rolling basis, as received.  

#2. Full proposal

After the Fund has reviewed the initial letter, it may invite
a full proposal describing of the initiative the organization proposes.

The Fund’s invitation will include its Guidelines for Full Proposals

General Funding Information

  • To date, the Fund’s grants have ranged from $4,000
    to $80,000.  

  • The Fund's current priority is supporting programs focusing on the needs of children from birth to age 6.

  • The Fund will continue to have reduced grantmaking capacity in 2021.  We are more strictly limiting grants to programs and projects that fall consistent with the funding priority noted above.

The Fund:

  • Does not makes grants to individuals, or organizations engaging in electoral politics, lobbying for legislation, or planning to use the grant funds for religious purposes.

  • At the present time, does not make grants to programs based outside the US, to constructing or renovating facilities, or to capital campaigns.

  • Prefers to support organizations with income under $1 million per year that exhibit flexibility in developing and
    carrying out innovative projects and programs, and with leadership willing to take the risk of learning through failures as well as success.

  • Generally makes grants for one-year periods. If an organization wishes to apply for continued support,
    the Fund permits applicants to combine a final report
    with a request for further funding.

  • Normally makes visits to the sites of projects it may fund
    or has funded.


Submit letters and proposals to, or