Frequently Asked Questions by Grantseekers

How can I contact a MacArthur Fellows’ nominator or attract the attention of a nominator?

The Foundation does not disclose the identity of MacArthur Fellows nominators. Anonymity prevents nominators from being inundated with suggestions and allows them the freedom to seek out qualified nominees. The Foundation does not relay names of suggested candidates to nominators.

Are there page requirements or page limitations for a letter of inquiry?

There is no defined number of pages required for a letter of inquiry although we suggest keeping the length to about 2 to 3 pages. Learn more about the letter of inquiry process..

May I include an attachment with my letter of inquiry? A DVD or CD?

Yes, if it aids in our understanding of the purpose of your project. The MacArthur Foundation does not guarantee return of such items submitted with a letter of inquiry or proposal.

How long does the application process take and/or how soon can I expect a response from the Foundation?

The length of the review period for a proposal or letter of inquiry can vary depending on the nature of the project. You may expect some form of response to most letters of inquiry within 6 to 8 weeks.

Can a for-profit organization apply for a grant?

Most of our grants are awarded to non-profit organizations. On rare occasions, we will make grants to for-profit groups but the project must have a charitable purpose.

Is a 501(c)(3) designation required when applying for a grant?

Most of our grants are awarded to non-profit organizations. A 501(c)(3) designation is not required to submit a letter of inquiry.

To whom should I address my letter of inquiry?

All letters of inquiry should be addressed to Richard J. Kaplan, Associate Vice President for Institutional Research and Grants Management.

Do you make grants to individuals?

Although most of our funding goes to non-profit organizations in support of specific projects, the Foundation does make some grants to individuals. These grants, however, are closely aligned with the Foundation's topical interests and always result from a competitive and rigorous selection process involving panels of expert advisors.