Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of projects does The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation fund?

Foundation grants support a range of arts and educational initiatives in North Carolina and New York City. We typically make grants for specific projects rather than for general operating support. Our charter mandates that Duke University receives at least half of total grants.

Please review our Mission and Current Focus statement here.

To see a PDF of the Annual Report, please click here.

I am a faculty or staff member from Duke University. May I apply for a grant?

At the Foundation’s request, Duke’s proposal is managed by staff in the Office of Foundation Relations in University Development. For more information, please contact them at 919-681-0468. We do not accept proposals outside of this process.

We received a grant from the MDBF in the past. May we apply for another grant?

Beginning in 2013, organizations may have only one active grant at a time. We ask that organizations wait one year after the conclusion of a grant before applying again. A final narrative and financial report on the organization’s previous grant must be received by the foundation before a new proposal is submitted. It is unlikely that the foundation will fund an organization for more than two consecutive years, and successive grant requests may be less competitive even if the requested support is for different projects within an organization.

How do we start the application process?

Please see the Application Procedures page for details about the Letter of Intent submission process.  

The foundation will let you know if a full proposal will be considered. Accepting a full proposal for consideration does not imply that a grant will be made.

How do we submit a full proposal?

Our application process is now online. We do not accept hard-copy proposals.

Do we need to include our 990 or audited financial statements with our proposal?

No. The online process will not accept these documents. We do require:
  1. A 1-page cover letter on the organization’s letterhead.
  2. A copy of the organization’s federal tax-exempt certification under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  
  3. A project budget using this form: project budget form.
  4. A list of the Board of Directors.

When do we find out if our proposal was funded?

Applicants will be notified of the Board of Trustees’ decisions by March 15 or September 15.

What are the grant stipulations?

All organizations are required to submit a narrative and financial report regarding the outcome and use of their grant 90 days after the end of the grant period. If a final report cannot be submitted at that time, then a progress report must be sent annually until the project is completed. Please click here for reporting guidelines.

Where can we find your audited financial statements?

Please click here.