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Dyson Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-07-17

At A Glance

Dyson Foundation

25 Halcyon Rd.

Millbrook, NY United States 12545-6137

Telephone: (845) 677-0644


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $239,831,980

Total giving: $17,884,192






Established in 1956 in DE, US; The Dyson Foundation was started by Charles H. (1909-1997) and Margaret M. Dyson (1914-1990) to serve as a vehicle for family giving. The foundation was formed in 1956 and incorporated in 1957. In its earliest years, the foundation gave modestly to a wide variety of organizations and causes, with an emphasis on college scholarships to young people. In the late 1960s the foundation changed its focus to more general purpose funding. In 1979, Dr. Anne E. Dyson, the Dyson's only daughter, replaced her father as Pres. of the foundation, and brought her own interests as a pediatrician to the foundation's agenda, and it began making more grants in medicine and child health. After Anne's untimely death in 2000, Rob Dyson became Chairman and continues in that role. By the end of 2015, the foundation's assets stood at $214 million, and, since its inception, it has awarded more than $335 million in grants to support the missions of organizations large and small, national and local. The foundation's current grantmaking includes a significant grant program in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York state that seeks to improve the quality of life in the region, provide support for economically disadvantaged individuals and families, and strengthen the nonprofit sector. The foundation also supports a number of organizations and causes that are tied to Dyson family interests. In addition to its core work of grantmaking, the foundation also initiates major projects that benefit the region as a whole, and sponsors critical research that examines issues that impact the Hudson Valley.

Purpose and Activities

The foundation supports nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY in a variety of fields and makes grants that are linked to the interests of the family. To best support the most vulnerable people and communities in the foundation's region, the foundation will focus on organizations and activities that address basic needs such as food, housing, health care, and other human services. In addition, there will also be funds available through the capacity-building Mini-Grant Program and the Nonprofit Strategic Restructuring Initiative.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Directors' Discretionary

Each year, foundation directors and officers recommend grant funding to selected nonprofit organizations. While these grants may not reflect the foundation's overall funding priorities, they do reflect the diversity and interests of the foundation's directors. Recommendations for funding in this area are, in all cases, initiated by foundation directors and officers. The foundation will not consider unsolicited inquiries or proposals in this area.

Legacy and Family Interest

Grants made in this program area are tied to the historic or current interests of the Dyson family. Recommendations for funding in this program area are, in all cases, initiated by members of the Dyson family or the staff of the foundation. The foundation does not accept uninvited inquiries or proposals in this area.

Management Assistance Program (MAP)

The Management Assistance Program (MAP) funds Mid-Hudson Valley nonprofit organizations to strengthen infrastructure and find greater efficiencies in administration, operations, resource development, and programming. Mid-Hudson Valley based nonprofits can apply for these grants to improve operations, administration, and management. Following are three options for funding under this program: 1) Mini-Grant Program: funds Mid-Hudson Valley nonprofit organizations to improve their internal operations, programs, administration, and management. The grant will fund no more than 80 percent of a project's cost, with a maximum award of $10,000. Applicants may include overhead costs but not staff time on a proposed mini-grant budget. Organizations are generally limited to one mini-grant in a calendar year; 2) Strategic Restructuring Initiative: establishes an ongoing relationship between two or more independent organizations by merging, sharing, transferring, or combining services, resources, or programs to reduce duplicated services, improve effectiveness and efficiency, or to increase financial stability; 3) Cash Flow Loan Program: makes short-term (30 to 180 days) cash flow loans of up to $50,000 against fully approved government contracts and foundation or corporate grants. The loans are made on a first-come, first-served basis from a revolving fund of $300,000. For complete information on each program area and application process see foundation web site.

Mid-Hudson Valley Program

The foundation is strongly committed to the Mid-Hudson Valley, New York State counties of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster. It has a particular emphasis on its home community of Dutchess County. Organizations can apply for grants in the following three funding areas: 1) Project Support Grants to nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Hudson Valley for programs or projects that impact the lives of the region's residents, most importantly those who are economically disadvantaged; 2) General Operating Support Grants are unrestricted grant support available to nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Hudson Valley who are recent past recipients of Dyson Foundation funding; 3) Management Assistance Program Grants support is available in the Mid-Hudson Valley to help build the management infrastructure of the region's charitable institutions. Through the Management Assistance Program funds are available through the Nonprofit Strategic Restructuring Initiative, the Mini-Grant Program and the Cash Flow Loan Program. Each funding area can be viewed in detail on the foundation's web site.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation makes PRIs through the Cash Flow Loan Program. The program makes short-term (30-180 days) cash flow loans of up to $50,000 against fully approved government contracts and foundation or corporate grants. The loans are made on a first-come, first-served basis from a revolving fund of $300,000. Loans are interest-free but carry a two percent (2%) service charge that is deducted when the loan is made. If the loan is repaid in full within 90 days, half the service charge is refunded. For loans repaid within 30 days, three-quarters of the service charge is refunded. Loan recipients who have honored the terms of the loan agreement may return to the loan fund for additional loans. However, nonprofits are limited to one cash flow loan in a calendar year. .

Fields of Interest

  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Education
  • Health
  • Housing development
  • Human services
  • Human services management
  • Philanthropy
  • Youth development
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $239,831,980 (market value)

Expenditures: $24,951,197

Total giving: $17,884,192

Qualifying distributions: $20,176,464

Estimated financial data for year ending 2014-12-31:

Grants: $17,889,000