Guidelines for Funding

Grant applicants are requested to contact the foundation by telephone to discuss their ideas prior to submitting written material. If appropriate, we will ask that you send us a concept paper that describes your organization, the purpose for which you are seeking funds, a preliminary budget and evidence of tax-exempt status. After the concept paper is reviewed, a determination will be made regarding the need to submit a full proposal.

All full proposals must contain the following information:

  • What do you want to do?
  • Why is your proposed work important?
  • Why are you qualified to do the proposed work?
  • How does your proposed work relate to the foundation's mission and priorities.
  • What is the methodology? (how is the work done)
  • How will you determine success?
  • How long will you need the foundation's assistance?

Requested Attachments:

  • Grant application cover sheet
  • Current list of Board of Directors and their professional affiliations
  • Brief profile of staff involved in the proposed work
  • Completed budget forms
  • IRS determination letter
  • Most recent audit and completed Form 990
The Shaw Foundation accepts the Associated Grantmakers Common Proposal Format (, but be sure to include the information requested above.

Proposal Deadlines

Proposals should be mailed to the following address and are due no later than February 1st.

Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation

355 Boylston Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Attn: Executive Director

Types of Support

The following types of grants and support are provided by the foundation:

Start-up Funds

For new and innovative projects in the field of criminal and juvenile justice that are related to the foundation's stated purpose and current priorities. Grants in this area are generally limited to three successive years. Requests for support beyond three years will be reviewed on a case by case basis and must demonstrate a compelling need for continued involvement by the foundation.

Project Support

For projects that have demonstrated success in addressing important criminal and juvenile justice problems and offer the potential for local or national replication. Grants in this category will generally be reviewed on a year to year basis to determine the value and impact of on-going foundation support.

General Operating Support

Grants in this category will be limited to organizations that have a demonstrated record of accomplishment in promoting advances and improvements in our criminal and juvenile justice system.

Restrictions & Notes

Please note that as a rule, the foundation does not support capital requests, the arts, endowment, grants to individuals, or scholarships. Also, with rare exception, grants are limited to programs operating in Massachusetts. Brevity is preferred. Excluding the budget and requested attachments, proposals should be limited to 5-10 pages. If further information is required, we will contact you.