Frequently Asked Questions

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"Small Stories," commissioned by the American Dance Festival, photo by @ghalverson

How do we start the application process?

Please see How to Apply for details about the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) submission process and our deadlines.

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?

We use an online application process. We do not accept hard-copy proposals.


Where can I find the budget form to submit with a full proposal?

You can access it here: MDBF_Project Budget Form


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

Please read the K-12 Education and Arts Program descriptions. We typically make grants for specific projects rather than for general operating support. Our charter mandates that Duke University receive half of total grants.


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 from Duke outside of this process.


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

Beginning in 2018, only organizations in the Triangle region of North Carolina are eligible to apply. We have defined the Triangle to include Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties.

Organizations may have only one grant at a time. A final narrative and financial report on the organization’s previous grant must be received by the foundation before a new LOI is submitted. If you have questions about your organization’s eligibility, please call the foundation before submitting an LOI.


Do we need to include our 990 or audited financial statements with our full 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 our form, available in the application system.
  4. A list of the organization’s Board of Directors.


When do we find out if our proposal was funded?

Applicants will be notified of the Board of Trustees’ decisions by June 15 or September 15 each year.


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.


Where can we find your annual report?

Please click here.