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Private Higher Education Grant, Public Educational Media Grant, and Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Colleges to Promote Higher Education,
Educational Films and Television, and Religious Leadership

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVDF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

11/01/18 - Deadline for Private Higher Education and Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy Grants. Grants in Public Educational Media will be considered on an ongoing basis


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations and private colleges and universities for programs and projects that focus on promoting private higher education, educational television and media, and/or religious diversity and leadership. LOIs are due by October 15 for proposals focusing on Private Higher Education and for proposals focusing on Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy. Grants in Public Educational Media will be considered on an ongoing basis.

Specific criteria for each focus area are outlined below.

Private Higher Education Grants:

Grants are made to private, four-year residential colleges and universities with a primary academic mission in the liberal arts and sciences. These institutions should exemplify academic quality and financial stability. Proposals from associations and consortia that serve higher education are also welcome. A portion of funding is reserved each year to help support the vitally important work of historically Black colleges and universities, Native American tribal colleges, schools within the Appalachian College Association, and Work College Consortium members.

Grant Proposals will be considered in the following general areas:

- Leadership development for faculty, students, and senior leaders
- Interfaith literacy and leadership for curriculum, student, and faculty research
- Environmental stewardship and sustainability in research, curriculum, and experience
- Student and faculty intellectual inquiry, including faculty development and support for student – faculty undergraduate research
- Diversity, inclusion, and support for underserved education constituencies

Public Educational Media Grants:

Proposals will be considered in the following general areas:

- Programs in childhood literacy and character development
- Interfaith leadership and religious literacy
- Documentaries and films that promote intellectual inquiry and “big ideas”
- Historical documentaries
- Environmental and science films that raise awareness and teach the public about environmental stewardship and solutions
- Apolitical, timely, and innovative media programming

Further criteria for Public Educational Media Grants:

- Grants support capstone funding to complete production for major series that are assured of national airing by PBS or other national distribution platforms.
- Grant proposals should highlight innovative uses of technology that will enhance community outreach and contribute to teaching audiences of all ages.
- Preference is given equally to children’s series and programs of enduring value on subjects such as history, culture, and science.
- Consideration is given on occasion to stand-alone programs of exceptional merit with a confirmed national airing.
- Educational television programs whose primary purpose is advocacy fall outside the program guidelines and will not be accepted.

Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy Grants:

The Foundations welcome grant proposals from nonprofit organizations that seek to educate leaders in higher education, corporate leadership, journalism, and other professions in order to advance mutual respect for religious beliefs and faith traditions. The Foundations also encourage grants that contribute to a religiously well-informed public.

Proposals will be considered in the following general areas:

- Higher education programs in interfaith leadership and religious literacy
- Interfaith curriculum development in theological schools, private colleges and universities and programs with national impact
- Interfaith issues in palliative care and end of life
- Interfaith issues embedded in environmental engagement, stewardship and solutions

Sizes and Types of Grants for all three focus areas:

- Planning Grants: Planning grants are awarded in the formative stages of planning key strategic project and pilot activities or for support of new models and methodologies. The Foundations will consider planning grant requests up to $100,000 from eligible 501(c)(3) organizations whose work aligns with our strategic philanthropic priorities.
Note: Planning grants are not available in the field of Public Educational Media.

- Mid-size Grants: The Foundations will consider requests for support for grants with a range of $250,000 - $300,000 from eligible 501(c)(3) organizations whose work aligns with our strategic philanthropic priorities.
Note: Mid-size grants for Public Educational Media range from $250,000 - $400,000.

- Transformational Grants: The Foundations, may, at some point in the future, consider invited grant proposals for amounts larger and more transformational in size and scope.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158587

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant Amounts for each focus area:

- Private higher education institutions may request planning grants that range from $25,000 up to $100,000, or comprehensive grants up to $250,000 - $300,000.

- Public Educational Media grants may range $250,000 - $400,000.

- Eligible institutions for the Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy focus area may request planning grants that range from $25,000 up to $100,000, or comprehensive grants up to $250,000 - $300,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

General Eligibility Criteria:

- The Foundations award grants to eligible 501(c)(3) institutions whose work aligns with the Foundations' Trustees' philanthropic priorities.
- The Foundations do not provide grants to individuals.
- Grantee organizations must be based in and operate within the United States.
- The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will not support scholarships, endowments and indirect costs greater than 5% associated with projects. The Foundations do not support grants to individuals and generally do not fund capital projects. In addition, direct service programs, such as housing services and food pantries, will not be considered.

Additional Eligibility Criteria for Private Higher Education Grants: All private, four-year residential colleges and universities are eligible to apply. Those institutions undergoing a presidential transition must wait to submit a proposal until the new president has been in office for a year.

Pre-Application Information:

Please review the Foundations' guidelines for each area of interest at the following links:

Private Higher Education:

Public Educational Media:

Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy:

Application Process:

Letters of inquiry (LOI) may be submitted at any time throughout the year. The Foundations' program staff recommends LOI submission in Private Higher Education and Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy well in advance of the March 1 and November 1 full grant proposal deadlines to ensure time for revisions and the preparation of a full grant proposal. The below timetables may be helpful for your planning purposes.

For the November 1 Grant Proposal Deadline:

- August 15 - October 15:
Ongoing LOI review by the Foundations' program staff. LOIs will be evaluated and notified as accepted/invited for a full proposal, tabled for more information, or declined. Please note - August 15 is not a deadline for LOI submission. August 15 is the first day program staff will begin reviewing LOIs. LOIs may be submitted until October 15 for review.

- October 5 - November 15:
Foundation' program staff will not accept calls or inquiries related to LOIs or proposals that are not under active consideration in the current grant cycle.

- November 1:
Full proposal deadline for LOIs invited to submit a full grant proposal.

- November 2 - June 1:
AVDF staff and trustees consideration of all full grant proposals. Decisions regarding full grant proposals received November 1 will be made no later than June of the following year.

Note: LOIs and grant proposals in Public Educational Media will be considered on an ongoing basis regardless of the March 1 and November 1 deadlines.

Further Application Information:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Click here to apply online:

Staff Contact:

Jasmine Rhey Stamenic
Grants Manager and Senior Administrative Assistant
Phone: 904.834.1031

General Contact Information:

Phone: (904) 359-0670

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming