Areas of Interest

The Trust makes grants to organizations which work in developing countries in the Middle East—Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Palestine (Occupied Territories), Yemen, Egypt and North Africa. Countries further afield (such as the Gulf countries, Sudan, or Afghanistan) may be considered, but will not be given priority. Given the precarious political state of many of these countries, and U.S. Government guidelines in regard to global grantmaking, it may not always be possible to work with or in all of these countries.

Within this geographic focus, the Trust welcomes innovative ideas in the fields of international economic development (including, but not limited to, health, environmental issues, peace initiatives, microfinance, social entrepreneurship, education), as well as all aspects of reproductive health and women’s welfare.

The Trust also makes grants to American organizations which promote deeper understanding of Middle East issues and culture (particularly related to those countries listed above) in the United States. Organizations which promote or produce, for example, films, film series, art exhibitions, blogs or popular books are encouraged to apply. Academic research may also be funded. Applicants must present a strong case that their projects will have a broad, positive and lasting impact on American attitudes towards the people or culture of the Middle East.

The Trust looks for non-traditional approaches to the challenge of sustainable development on the one hand, and cultural education on the other, but it leaves it to the grant-seeker to come up with and present those approaches. New and emerging methodologies that can use modest amounts of funding to “jump start” larger efforts will be given priority. The Trust will not be risk-averse in its approach.

To advance its mission, the Trust makes grants and/or Mission Related Investments that are aligned with funding and programmatic priorities. As such, the Trust gives donations to non-profit groups, both in the US and abroad. Preference will be given to smaller, local organizations over large, global ones. Donations can be made for general operating purposes as well as for specific projects (i.e., both “unrestricted” and “restricted” donations) depending on the nature of the request and the capacity of the organization.