Grant Request Guidelines

As we begin our 2021 grant making, we mourn the loss of over 1,000 Delawareans and those living in southern Chester County to COVID-19 over the last year. Simultaneously, we are grateful for the continuing selfless efforts of our community’s front line and health care workers. 2020 was a hard year for all of us, but more so for these dedicated individuals. We are humbled by their compassion and commitment. Finally, we are appreciative of all of our nonprofit partners for their dedication and continuing ingenuity in tackling a COVID informed world.

The Longwood Foundation remains committed to being responsive to the needs of our community and nonprofit organizations. As we look ahead to 2021, we are hopeful that there are brighter days ahead as more people are able to access the COVID-19 vaccine. The grants Longwood will make in 2021 will span two years. We’re optimistic that within that window we will see a community on the rebound and one that reflects a new normal. We ask that applicants do their best to incorporate both the uncertainty and this new reality into their plans.

We welcome applications from organizations seeking to improve the quality of life and future of the state of Delaware and/or southern Chester County, Pennsylvania (within a four-mile radius of Longwood Gardens). In general, we choose to practice “passive” or “responsive” philanthropy, which means that we assume we don’t know the best way to improve our region and therefore we let each applicant define success in their own way. From these distinct views of the future, we choose the most compelling in which to invest. As the pandemic endures, we recognize that nonprofits continue to play a critical role in responding to the human needs and vaccination efforts underway and remain interested in those initiatives. We also continue to seek to incorporate the values of our founder, Pierre S. du Pont, into our grantmaking by taking the long-term view. To craft the brighter days we believe lie ahead, we are also interested in making philanthropic investments that will enable our region and its nonprofit organizations to emerge stronger. We welcome thoughtful proposals from organizations in all nonprofit sectors that address the short-, medium-, and long-term challenges that will benefit the residents, environment, and culture of our region. 

In 2021 the Longwood Foundation will return to its usual funding guidelines. We will run our typical two grant cycles in spring and fall, with deadlines of March 1st and September 1st, respectively. Please review all information on this page before submitting a proposal.

The deadline for the fall 2021 grant cycle is September 1st, 2021 at 11:59 pm. Information and the application for the fall cycle will be published by the end of June. Guidelines will largely remain the same as past cycles. Information on the spring 2021 cycle is available under the “Grants” menu, and includes the grant guidelines, information session details, and other guidance for prospective applicants. Note that this information is subject to change, and applicants should review updated information when available in July.

The Application Process

Eligibility: The Longwood Foundation accepts grant requests from nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations located in and/or benefiting the residents, environment, or culture of the state of Delaware and/or southern Chester County, Pennsylvania (within a four-mile radius of Longwood Gardens). Organizations that have previously applied are asked not to re-approach the Longwood Foundation with a funding request within two years of a previous request, regardless of whether the proposal was approved or declined. Therefore, if you are not eligible for the spring of 2021 because of a past grant request, please reference your past grant agreement or declination letter to determine when you can return to Longwood for another request.

Zoom Information Sessions: The Longwood Foundation offers Grant Information Sessions ahead of each application deadline. These will be offered via Zoom until it is safe to reconvene in person. The session provides an overview of the application and evaluation processes used by the Foundation. Please note that participation neither improves nor harms an organization’s likelihood of receiving funding. If a representative from an organization has participated in the past, it is not necessary to repeat attendance at a session unless there has been a change in the organization’s leader and/or Board Chair role.

Pre-Meetings:  Prospective applicants may request a pre-meeting ahead of the submission of a proposal. During this meeting, organizations may update the Foundation on their planned request and ask questions pertinent to drafting their application. Note that this meeting is optional for requests less than $500,000 and requesting one neither improves nor harms an organization’s likelihood of receiving funding. *New for 2021* Organizations planning to request $500,000 and above must have a pre-meeting prior to submitting an application. In order to schedule a pre-meeting, reach out to Lauren Petrusky (Grants Administrator) (, who will connect you to either Maria Stecker (Grants Manager) or Thère du Pont (President) for this meeting.

Application Process: The Longwood Foundation operates two grant cycles per year, with proposal deadlines of March 1st and September 1st. The Foundation utilizes an electronic Grants Management System for application submissions. When preparing for a proposal, please review the other pages on the website to view the Foundation’s values, FAQs for the spring cycle, information on the grant life cycle, and a list of questions frequently asked by the Foundation when evaluating a grant proposal (applicant guidance). Prior to beginning an application, it is recommended that organizations visit Guidestar to either create a profile or review/update their current profile. Applications to Longwood must be submitted through the online system and late submissions will not be considered. Please note that the Longwood Foundation generally does not fund more than half of a project or program.

Zoom Meetings: As part of the proposal evaluation, organizations submitting a request will have a Zoom meeting scheduled to discuss their proposal with either Maria Stecker or There du Pont. These meetings assist Longwood Foundation staff in better understanding the organization, its leadership, and the proposal in order to support the Trustees’ decision making. During these meetings, Longwood Foundation staff will ask many questions about the request, the requesting organization, and the proposed impact of the application. Staff may email questions in advance, with nonprofits asked to respond either during or within two weeks of the meeting. Note that there will be no in-person meetings or site visits until it is safe to do so (hopefully by Fall 2021). During the Zoom meeting to discuss the application, the Longwood Foundation is likely to have questions about the financials. If the Executive Director is not familiar with the organization’s financials, please ensure that the financial expert joins the meeting.

For additional information on the grant cycle, including information on grant decisions and distribution of funds, please see the Grant Life Cycle At-A-Glance document.




How To Apply

 Application Contents: The application contains separate sections asking for an executive summary, information on the current request (including proposed outcomes/impact), organization information, financial information, and information on the coronavirus’ impact. A blank copy of the application can be viewed in the link below, with mandatory questions starred in red. This document is only provided for the convenience of prospective applicants to help plan their submissions. Please note that the application must be completed electronically using the online grants management system.  Late applications or those outside of the electronic grants management system will not be accepted. This application is subject to change and is only indicative of the Spring 2021 requirements.

How To Apply: Applications are only accepted electronically through the Longwood Foundation online grants management system. Please note that this is a shared application portal with the Welfare and Crestlea Foundations. While this is a shared portal, the foundations are separate entities with individual requirements and deadlines. Please ensure that you are using the Longwood Foundation application. The application deadlines are March 1 and September 1

Apply Now: Use the link below to apply now using the Longwood Foundation grants management system.

Links & Documents

Questions? Email Lauren Petrusky, Grants Administrator (

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reporting requirements and outcome timelines for grants made before 2020 are currently suspended. The Longwood Foundation will communicate directly with grantees over the next several months with additional instructions.