Grant Details

Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation (Washington DC - District of Columbia)

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    Funder Type

    Private Foundation

    IT Classification

    C - Funds little to no technology


    The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation


    Generally, the Foundation looks to support work that improves the lives of DC-area residents, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable and underserved individuals. It encourages organizations that provide comprehensive services and work towards systemic change, which addresses all levels of, and all who are affected by, the issue. The goal is that all in the region become self-sufficient and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

    The foundation searchs for nonprofits that also employ effective partnering and show cultural competence in engaging effectively with communities and people of various cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. On occasion, the Foundation invests directly in strengthening the nonprofit sector by helping current grantees to build organizational capacity and by supporting advocacy and other efforts.

    The Foundation's program areas include Arts and Humanities, Community Services, Education, Environment, and Health.


    The Foundations giving in the Arts and Humanities includes theater, dance, music, visual arts, film and other multidisciplinary art forms, as well as organizations that promote the humanities. They focus on nonprofits that have deep, meaningful impact and can demonstrate the depth and breadth of their local initiatives. The Foundation examines how access to the Arts and Humanities for diverse populations is created and how unique opportunities are provided for all ages to engage. In addition to more traditional approaches, we believe in the power of the Arts and Humanities to be innovative and create social change.


    The Foundations Education docket invests in learning from cradle to career. It includes schools that provide early childhood education, kindergarten through twelfth-grade instruction and undergraduate and graduate institutions. The Foundation also looks for models that provide comprehensive services to help students improve academic success and future employment outcomes. This may include charter and private schools, college access programs, groups focusing on teacher and school leader training, as well as certain supportive scholarship programs. In addition, the Foundation invests in adult basic education, literacy programs and preparation and testing for the General Equivalency Diploma. The Foundations grants related to workforce development largely reflect two types of organizations: those that focus on a specific field and help individuals on a career pathway or those that concentrate on broader job- and career-readiness.


    Community Development

    The Foundations Community Development grant-making includes affordable housing production and preservation, homeless services, transitional and permanent supportive housing, foreclosure and eviction prevention, community economic development and wealth building, and civic engagement. Their giving in those areas is focused on increasing the availability of housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income residents, helping homeless individuals and families attain self-sufficiency and housing stability, improving the economic status and viability of low- and moderate-income residents and communities, and preventing the adverse impact on neighborhoods that commonly results from foreclosures and vacancies.

    Children, Youth and Families

    The Foundations Children, Youth and Families portfolio includes out-of-school time programs, youth development and academic enrichment in schools, as well as programs for homeless youth or those in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Their giving focuses on nonprofits that help young people improve their academic performance, develop relationships with trusted adults and make connections to the larger community. They support programs that also provide safe spaces for children, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. They look for collaboration between nonprofits and schools, so that services are coordinated and the best outcomes for youth are ensured. They expect that programs operating within schools will also align with academic standards. For older youth, the Foundation invests in programs that enable them to learn new skills, access employment opportunities, make healthy choices and advocate for change within their schools and communities. In addition, they support programs that create more permanent placements for older youth in foster care and offer training and support for foster and adoptive families.

    Justice: Access, Violence Prevention, Reentry

    The Foundation invests in organizations and programs that help increase access to justice for low-income individuals. Such nonprofits may provide direct legal representation, education about legal rights and responsibilities, and advocacy. They also support nonprofits that provide assistance to victims of violence, to help them achieve safety and self-sufficiency. This may include direct services, as well as advocacy. Their grant-making also aims to reduce the recidivism rate of incarcerated youth and adults. Support includes direct services to help facilitate returning citizens reentry into the community and related advocacy.


    Their giving in Health and Wellness supports integrated healthcare and prevention efforts and broad collaborations, to ensure that all DC metropolitan residents live longer, healthier lives. They strive to bridge the worlds of health and healthcare through a broad range of investments. These may include support for community-based nonprofit health centers and coalitions of healthcare providers, in order to increase access to coordinated, high-quality medical, dental and mental health services for our regions low-income and most vulnerable residents. They also look for models that keep people healthy in the first place. Support may go towards increasing access to nutritious, affordable food; creating opportunities for better health in our neighborhoods, homes, schools and workplaces; and decreasing the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the DC metropolitan region. To address disparities among the regions most vulnerable populations, the Foundation also funds nonprofits that provide community-based, culturally competent, comprehensive services to children, older adults and disabled individuals. Their hope is that every metropolitan Washington resident can actively participate in a robust community life and maintain independent living for as long as possible.


    The Foundation strives to preserve the regions resources and raise awareness so that individuals can enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives in a clean environment. Through their grant-making, they support groups that are concerned with our natural environments past, present and future. To help restore and protect the regions natural resources, they have focused on local parks, the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They have also funded programs that create future stewards. Through such education and outreach efforts, the public becomes more aware of the dangers of an unhealthy environment ” including pesticides and toxins ” and better understands the need to protect open natural spaces.


    History of Funding

    Past funded projects can be found in the annual reports or in their list of recent grantees. That informaiton is available here:  and here:

    Additional Information

    The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation does not generally fund the following projects:

    • Capital campaigns
    • Endowments
    • Multi-year grants
    • Special events or tables for special events

    Please also note, the Foundation does not fund:

    • Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS
    • Private Foundations
    • Public charities with a non-private foundation status of 509(a)(3)
    • Individuals
    • Organizations whose missions fall outside our Funding Priorities
    • Organizations serving residents outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area (see Eligibility Quiz)


    Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Staff

    Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Staff
    1825 K Street, NW, Suite 1400
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 223-3100
    (202) 296-7567

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are IRS-registered, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations with a public charity status of 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) only. These organizations must serve residents in the District of Columbia, Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.

    All applicants are required to take an eligibility quiz through the foundation's website prior to submission of application. Please see the "Before you apply" section of the website for more information:

    Deadline Details

    Requests are reviewed three times per year; in November, March, and July. The present deadlines are:

    • Tuesday, November 1, 2019
    • Wednesday, March 1, 2019
    • Monday, July 1, 2019

    Please note that the application portal closes promptly at 5pm ET on these deadline days. Similar deadlines are anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    There is no steadfast rule as to how much an applicant should request, however, the funder suggests reviewing a breakdown of their past grants (found in their annual reports) to determine the average size of award appropriate for your project. Annual Reports are available on the foundation's website.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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