Dyson foundation: Description of general operating support grants program

General operating support grants are awarded by the Dyson Foundation to 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organizations as core support or unrestricted grants. Organizations may use these grants to cover day-to-day activities or ongoing expenses such as administrative salaries, utilities, office supplies, technology maintenance, etc., as well as for project costs, capital, technology purchases, and professional development. Recent general operating support grants can be seen here.

While the use of these funds is at the discretion of the organization, the Dyson Foundation expects all organizational expenditures to be part of a board-approved annual budget.

To be eligible to apply for a general operating support grant, an organization must:

  • review these principles of best practice relative to nonprofit governance, finance, public disclosure, and programming;
  • have been a recipient of a Dyson Foundation project grant within the past three years of their general operating support request;
  • have a mission and programs that are consistent with core funding interests of the Dyson Foundation, which generally focus on basic needs services such as food, housing, health care, and other human services.
  • have demonstrated at least three years of stable executive leadership.

Colleges and universities, hospitals, faith-based institutions, and organizations with annual budgets in excess of $15 million dollars are not eligible to apply for general operating support grants.

The first step in applying for a general operating support grant is to submit a letter of inquiry.  If after the submission of a letter of inquiry you are asked to submit a full application, be sure to use the General Operating Support Grant Application.

Note: Generally, it can take at least six months from the receipt of your letter of inquiry to the awarding of any grant. General operating support grants are for a 12-month period based on an organization’s fiscal year. Organizations applying for general operating support must make every effort to submit an initial letter of inquiry no later than six months prior to the start of that year.

For example, organizations using a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year should submit the letter of intent the January prior. Similarly, organizations with a January 1 – December 31 fiscal year should submit a letter of inquiry by the preceding June.

How to Apply