Grant Request Guidelines

We welcome applications from organizations seeking to improve the quality of life and future of the state of Delaware and/or the Kennett Square area (within a four-mile radius of Longwood Gardens). Our vision is that nonprofits are better able to serve their communities, thereby improving quality of life. We meet our vision when nonprofits in our region meet their respective missions. Therefore, our grantmaking is geared towards helping a nonprofit get closer to their mission and goals. Our dollars should drive impact. We are looking for catalytic proposals – those that help a nonprofit grow, strengthen, or improve their efforts and impact.

In general, we choose to practice “responsive” philanthropy, which means that we assume we don’t know the best way to improve our region and therefore we welcome nonprofits to submit requests most important to them and the communities they serve. From these distinct views of the future, we choose the most compelling in which to invest. The deadlines for our Spring and Fall cycles are March 1 and September 1, respectively. 

Grantmaking Overview

Longwood Foundation Grantmaking: Prospective applicants interested in learning about the Longwood Foundation’s grantmaking and approach should review (and/or download) the information on the page linked below.

The Application Process

Eligibility: The Longwood Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst to strengthen nonprofit organizations in Delaware and the Kennett Square area. Our vision is that these same organizations are better able to serve their communities, thereby improving quality of life. The Foundation accepts grant requests from nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations located in and/or benefiting the state of Delaware and within a four-mile radius of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. 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 Fall 2023 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.

Information Sessions: The Longwood Foundation offers Grant Information Sessions ahead of each application deadline. These will be offered in person and via Zoom. 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. 

The Information Session has been refreshed for Fall 2023, so even if you have attended in the past, you will find value in participating.

Forthcoming Cash Flow Projection Training: The Foundation will be offering an optional cash flow projections training seminar that will be hosted virtually in early August. This training will discuss key themes such as how a cash flow projection is analyzed by Longwood as part of the grantmaking process, what constitutes a well-constructed cash flow projection that demonstrates a financially healthy future, why a cash flow projection is a critically important tool for nonprofits and what resources are available to nonprofits to help support their development of a cash flow projection. Additional information including recommended pre-work will be communicated in the coming weeks for those interested in participating.

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. This meeting will take place with one of the Foundation’s grant evaluators: either Thère du Pont, Maria Stecker, or Sierra Harris.

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. Organizations planning to request $500,000 and above must have a pre-meeting prior to submitting an application. Proposals will not be accepted for $500,000 and above without a pre-meeting. In order to schedule a pre-meeting, please complete Google Form linked below. The Foundation will then connect you with a staff member for this meeting. Note that participation in a pre-meeting does not obligate an organization to submit a request in the next grant cycle.  Given the volume of pre-meetings requested and a relatively small number of Foundation staff, all meeting requests may not be able to be honored ahead of the application deadline. Requests for projects that may be greater than $500,000 will be prioritized, followed by requests from organizations who have attended an Information Session, with the remaining requests handled in the order in which they are received.

Please note that the last day of Pre-Meetings for the Spring 2023 grant cycle is Friday, August 18th in order to allow prospective applicants sufficient time to incorporate any guidance provided in the meeting. The last day to sign up for a Pre-Meeting for Fall 2023 will be Wednesday, August 9th. However, organizations are encouraged to submit a request well in advance of this date as historically all time slots have filled in advance of this date.

If your total project or campaign is for $3 million or more, we encourage to also learn more about the Philanthropy Delaware Large Campaign Panel process: 

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, grantmaking overview, FAQs, and information on the grant life cycle. 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.

In-Person or Zoom Meetings: As part of the proposal evaluation, organizations submitting a request will have a meeting scheduled to discuss their proposal with the Longwood Foundation staff. These meetings assist Longwood 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. During the 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 linked below.


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, and financial information. 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.

The application for the Fall 2023 grant cycle will launch by July 7, 2023. The blank application linked below is indicative of Spring 2023 grant requirements. Fall 2023 will be largely similar, so organizations may use the link below to begin planning ahead of the Fall launch.

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 (