The Michael W. McCarthy Foundation, Inc.

General Information & Mission

The Michael McCarthy Foundation was established in 1958 in Manhasset, New York by Michael W. McCarthy, a former chairman of the board of Merrill Lynch, and his wife Margaret E. McCarthy.  Mr. McCarthy died in 1998 and the Foundation received the bulk of its current assets from his estate in 1999/2000.  Management of the Foundation has passed to his son and grandchildren, representing the next two generations of the McCarthy family.

The interests and values of the original donors were wide, encompassing education, the arts, health and medical research, and the assistance of the sick, needy, and disadvantaged.

Under the stewardship of the next generation of trustees the foundation continues in this broad spirit, honoring the donors’ varied range of interests, while constantly changing and striking out in new directions.

Funding Priorities and Restrictions

The funding goals of the Foundation have been evolving over the last few years, consistent with the priorities of the next generation of officers.  This has allowed us to remain as flexible as possible in these challenging and rapidly changing times, while still remaining true to the McCarthys’ intent.  We have recently concentrated on health, (including  research into chronic diseases, and assistance and prevention for sufferers of cancer, leukemia, and other debilitating diseases), education and literacy, access to educational and job opportunities for the mentally handicapped and economically disadvantaged.  We also occasionally make grants to art and cultural institutions.  The organizations we support tend to be concentrated in New York City/Metro area (where his grandchildren currently live.)  However, the only geographical limitation on a potential grantee is that it reside within the United States (the Foundation cannot make grants to foreign organizations.)

We only consider nonprofit organizations classified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) (public charities.)  We do not make grants to individuals, or to organizations that engage in lobbying activities as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. 

We are willing to make grants for general operating expenses, research, and project support, but will not make recurring grants or make any contribution commitment longer than a calendar year to any organization.  Only with rare exceptions will we make more than one grant to a particular organization during any calendar year.

On average, our grants tend to range in size from $2,000 – $25,000.  In extraordinary circumstances, a grant may be larger (up to $100,000.)  However, grants of this size tend to be very infrequent.

The best way to get a feel for our interests and funding priorities is to take a look at our recent PF-990 (ID: 13-6150919) and see who we have funded in the past.

Application Process

In general, we do not fund unsolicited proposals.  However, if you feel that your organization may fit our funding profile, you are invited to send a brief (two page maximum) letter describing the following:

  • Your organization, mission, services provided, and experience in the field
  • A brief description of your proposal (how you intend to use the grant money and how it fits into your organization’s priorities)
  • The amount and terms of your grant request
  • The contact information of your organization, and someone we can speak to about your proposal.

If we approve your letter of inquiry, the second stage of the process will request:

  • A full application for funding

There is no deadline for an application.  The officers meet all year (all throughout the year) to evaluate organizations and proposals.   Please bear in mind, however, that we will not consider more than one grant to any organization in a calendar year, and any future grants are always subject to a re-evalution process and approval of the officers.  We will try our best to respond to your request as soon as possible (usually within a few weeks of receiving information.) 

Grant Reporting and Renewals

Grantees are expected to submit a report within six to eight months after receipt of a grant from the Foundation.  At this time we have no formal grant reporting form, so an organization can use their own form, or send a brief one to two page letter if desired.  As stated above, grants are not automatically renewed.  Renewals are reconsidered by the officers every calendar year with each new grant.

Contact Information

The Michael W. McCarthy Foundation, Inc.
400 Townline Road
Hauppauge, NY   11788