Frequently Asked Questions

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

Foundation grants support a range of arts, educational, and charitable initiatives in North Carolina and New York City. Our charter mandates that Duke University receives at least half of the total dollar amount.

Please review our Mission and Current Focus statement here.

To see a PDF of the 2012 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 the Office of Foundation Relations in University Development.

Please contact them at 919-681-0468 for information.

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.

These limitations do not apply to organizations with which the Foundation has an historical relationship.

How do we start the application process?

Eligible organizations should submit to info@mdbf.org  a brief written inquiry of no more than one page that provides an overview of the project, states the project’s purpose and its potential impact, identifies if it is a new, expanded, or ongoing project, and states the project’s overall cost. The foundation will let you know within 5 working days if a full application will be considered. Accepting a full proposal for consideration does not imply that a grant will be made.

Organizations that have not submitted an inquiry and had a response from the foundation will not be able to submit an online application.

How do we submit our request?

Our application process is now online. We will 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. If your IRS letter does not include your organization's employer identification number (EIN), please write it on the copy submitted.  
  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 the end of March or September.

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 to see the foundation's 2012 financial report.

What is your 2013 holiday schedule?

New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Day
Easter Holiday – Good Friday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving and the following Friday
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

CONTACT US 919.493.5591

Application processes are changing significantly. Click here for details.