Areas of Interest

Pre-Collegiate Education

Over the past decade we have come to understand that almost any school-based initiative that exhibits effectiveness and sustainability depends to a great extent on the collaborative capacity of the faculty. Accordingly, the majority of our grants are now directed to professional development with an emphasis on facilitative, distributive leadership and to the intentional interruption of inequitable policies, practices, and cultural norms.

Many of our education grants are for National School Change and support a variety of efforts to empower students and teachers by promoting the practice of democracy in schools, encouraging student voice, advancing an ethic of environmental stewardship, and integrating academic course work with meaningful community service. In addition, we support math and science programs and projects that seek to strengthen the developmentally critical role of the arts.

In the category of Student Voice, we seek to honor authentic student expressions through programs that promote creative writing, playwriting and journalism, and initiatives that encourage meaningful student participation in the governance of their schools.

Ideally our Service Learning grantees assure student participation in the design and implementation of all phases of a project and provide rich, meaningful opportunities for reflection throughout, with the knowledge, skills and dispositions acquired by the students aligned with curricular goals and relevant state standards.

In Math and Science, our focus is on programs that emphasize engaging, hands-on learning opportunities. First time grants are geographically restricted to the greater New York City metropolitan area.

Our Arts-in-Education grants most often support projects that are integrated with other curriculum and that include a professional development component for classroom teachers. First time grants are geographically restricted to the greater New York City metropolitan area.

Conserving Biodiversity

Biodiversity Leadership Awards Program: To advance the careers of individuals with proven capacity to help stem the loss of biological diversity, and to promote the application of scientific rigor to the complex issues surrounding the on-going extinction crisis, the Foundation established the Biodiversity Leadership Awards program in 1995. The BLA Program proved instrumental in bringing the potential for sustainable practices to the forefront of public policy debate, and represented a modest but leveraged investment addressing local and regional aspects of this monumental challenge facing the global community. You may learn more about the history of the program at

In addition to the Biodiversity Leadership Awards program, which is currently in hiatus, we continue to make small grants for research and intervention efforts on behalf of endangered species both in the United States and internationally. We request projects outside of the United States to have as a sponsoring agency a fiscally responsible organization with tax-exempt certification from the U. S. Internal Revenue Service.

Collections Care and Conservation

This program provides modest support for conservation and preservation projects to archives, museums, libraries, botanical gardens and historic sites, and has helped to strengthen these efforts nationwide through support of not-for-profit regional conservation centers, manuals, publications and collections care training programs. Please note that requests for support in our Collections Care category are considered annually at our spring Board meeting. Pre-applications in this category will be accepted March 15 - April 1. We will not process pre-applications received outside of these dates and are not able to retain them.

Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples

Our intention in this funding category is to support projects “of” native peoples, with our principal commitment to the re-granting program of First Peoples Worldwide. Apart from the FPW support, grants in this funding category tend to be few in number and relatively modest.


Historically we have made grants to chamber ensembles and orchestras in support of professional development and, infrequently, performances. As of June 1, 2006, we no longer consider unsolicited requests for such support. Any grants to chamber ensembles are now subsumed under our arts-in-education grants which for first time grants are geographically restricted to the greater New York City metropolitan area.