The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards grants to programs that provide direct service to help with the implementation or expansion of programs that promote:

  • literacy for children who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading
  • development of reading and writing skills at all age levels
  • languages, STEM and STEAM(science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) for preschool, primary and secondary school-aged students

When reviewing applications, we rely heavily on the following criteria:

  • Fit with our Mission
  • How significant our role will be to the project or program
  • The number of people impacted
  • Creativity
  • Need

While the Foundation may occasionally provide grants for equipment or books alone, strong preference will be given to applications that incorporate project or program elements.  The Foundation also prefers to award grants to organizations that do not have access to large fundraising budgets and are local in nature.  Preference is given to small, targeted, low-budget programs and organizations that have limited outside resources from which to draw.

We prefer to not give funds for events that last just one to two days.




Supporting programs in the community and in the classroom

Grants are made only to nonprofit organizations certified as tax exempt under Sections 501(c)(3) or 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code which include educational institutions, governmental institutions and publicly supported charitable organizations.