Grantmaking Guidelines

Since the inception of the Sills Family Foundation in 2003, we have invested in more than 90 organizations.

Funding Priorities

The Sills Family Foundation funds nonprofits that support early childhood education, environmental justice, arts and culture, and families in crisis, with a focus on families and communities impacted by the criminal justice justice system as well as refugees, migrants and asylees.

Funding Criteria

The organizations we invest in support families and communities to overcome obstacles created by poverty, racism and other forms of marginalization. The programs we support have passionate leaders, are community based and offer potential for systemic, sustained change, including the possibility of replication.

We seek to fund organizations for whom our grantmaking capacity will make an impact.

Where We Fund

With the exception of environmental justice organizations that may be national in scope, the foundation awards grants in metro New York City and California.

By Invitation

The Sills Family Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications and limits its grants to organizations that we invite to apply. However, we do not discourage you from sharing your ideas with us. If you would like the Sills Family Foundation to consider supporting a program that fits our goals and mission, please send a brief description of the project and contact information where we can learn more. Please limit your description to one page. Send to:

Grant Making Budget

Most of our grants range from $10,000 to $25,000. The Foundation accepts applications for one-year grants only, with the possibility of renewal grants for extended periods. Many of our grants support general operating needs.

Capacity Building Grants

The Foundation invites a small number of our grantees to apply for an additional capacity building grant to sustain and strengthen the organization. The grants are designed to help programs meet internal needs that range from bolstering their governing structure to updating technology. These investments are hard to fund yet vital to a successful non-profits survival. Capacity building can help good organizations become great organizations.

Rapid Response Grants

We recognize that our grantees may have unanticipated, time sensitive funding needs. We offer a small number of rapid response grants to current grantees. These requests do not require full proposals, and are processed quickly and outside of our typical grantmaking cycle.