Organizational and Project Eligibility

Organizational Eligibility Requirements

Organizational expenses of $5 million and under (except for Duke University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts)

501(c)(3) must be located in NC or NY. Activities must be for the benefit of people in North Carolina or New York City. If the organization’s 501 (c) (3) is in another state with operations in NC or NY, the organization is not eligible to apply.

Projects must be for the benefit of NC or NY residents.

Organizations may have only one active grant at a time and only one in a 12-month period. A final narrative and financial report on a previous grant must have been received before a new LOI can be submitted. We ask that organizations wait at least one year after the conclusion of a grant before applying again.

Support for churches is focused on the three institutions named by Mrs. Biddle in the foundation’s charter.

Eligibility guidelines are subject to change by the Trustees.

Documentary Film

The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation supports documentary films made in or about North Carolina through our partnership with the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF). All requests for funding for North Carolina film projects should go directly to SDF’s website: (

Characteristics of Successful Proposals

  • Programs that engage the same group of participants over multiple sessions.
  • Programs/projects that are new or have been operating for fewer than 4 years.
  • Projects with program costs under $100,000.
  • Arts programs or projects that benefit artists.
  • Projects that combine our funding interests in the arts and youth education, particularly programs that serve less advantaged populations.

Ineligible requests

  • General operating support.
  • Support for ongoing programs or projects. Projects that have been operating for 4 or more years are considered ongoing.
  • Capital requests: construction, renovation, or purchase of a building; endowments. Grants for equipment are rarely made.
  • Projects that will be substantially completed when funding decisions are made.
  • Grants to individuals.
  • Season support for performing arts organizations.
  • Health/human services projects, even if for less advantaged groups.