Applying for a Grant
We focus our funding in the state of Connecticut and on national efforts that are relevant to our broader goals. In Connecticut, the Melville family’s home state, we invest in and test new ideas, both statewide and at the community level. We then use our experiences to inform our investments in national work. We do not fund local programs in other states unless by special initiative.
The majority of our funding is made to organizations independently identified by our staff. From time to time, we may invite proposals for grants or program-related investments (PRIs) to pursue specific program goals. If you are interested in contacting us about grant funding, please review the following information carefully.
For solicited requests, we will brief applicants on the materials to be submitted. For unsolicited requests, applicants should submit a one-paragraph overview of their project, including the amount of funds being requested. We do not use an application form or have specific deadlines for these requests. Please keep in mind that very few grants are awarded in response to unsolicited funding inquiries. A staff member will provide feedback in response to the submission, and may suggest alternate funding options to explore.
When evaluating requests for funding, the Trust considers these questions:
- Will this work have an impact on ending homelessness?
- Will it address one of more of our priority areas?
- Does the applicant organization have the capacity to deliver results?
- Are the anticipated results clearly described?
- Will our investment support important work in Connecticut or at the national level?
- Will our investment result in systems change – ie, will it change the way people and organizations do business?
- Will it fill an important gap in our knowledge of or approach to homelessness?
- Is the investment consistent with the values of autonomy, opportunity, and resilience? For example, will the grant enable the people it serves to make their own decisions, or strengthen their ability to bounce back from crisis?
- Is our funding critical or are there other reasonable options for the nonprofit to accomplish the same thing without our investment?
- What is the opportunity cost of making the investment? If we fund this, is it likely to result in the need for ongoing, sustained funding on an annual basis?
From time to time, we may offer competitive grant or PRI loan opportunities. Notices will be posted on our website and on Twitter @MelvilleTrust.
Questions and submissions of application materials should be directed to: