We will be pleased to update your 2017 projects on our website as the year progresses. Email us at puffinoh@gmail.com and include a jpg or two. 


General Information

No. Your application must be a mailed ‘hard copy’ and signed.
You can always include a 3-5 minute disk if you feel that it will help portray your project and the Grant Committee will watch it if it opens on a MAC. Please limit hard copy attachments to six images of your work. We recognize the costs associated with certain prints and accept photocopies. If you want your material back, send a SASE along with your application and your materials will be returned.
We’re interested in art projects that educate the public on topical issues that seek to enrich and inform the public on important subjects such as the environment, social justice, civil rights and other contemporary issues facing the country (and the planet), that other organizations might hesitate to fund. You may call this Activist Art. The Foundation also gives special consideration to communities and school districts underserved by the arts, and this is NOT limited or directed to Title One Schools which received funding. We wish to ensure that ALL children have ART IN THEIR LIVES to better help them meet the challenges of today’s world. Our website will give you the best understanding of the types of projects we fund and you are encouraged to explore all the grants given in past years. That is one of the reasons why we archive all grants on our website.
We use many criteria to judge proposals including the dollar amount of the request, whether the applicant is well established in her/his/their field, who will see/be exposed to the end product, i.e. cost per capita, if you/your organization received a PFW grant previously, and the overall topic addressed.
References are not required, but if you decide to include them, two is sufficient. Often, applicants will also include letters of support from collaborating organizations/partners with their application. This is very helpful in our deliberations. If any references or letters of support are provided, they should be included with your application.
NO. We ask that all information be provided in one submission. The obvious exception(s) would be if there was a major change in your project.  Sometimes PFW upon reviewing a Grant proposal may contact you for additional information or clarification or even make suggestions to strengthen your proposal if we are “intrigued” by it.
Yes, if you’re applying as an individual. We encourage you to call the IRS Information Line should you have any questions about receiving a PFW Grant and how you need to report it and what your obligations are at 1-866-455 -7438. If you’re applying as an individual please be advised that the Foundation has a special tax status that allows us to grant money to individuals. Anyone applying for a grant as an individual is asked to provide a SS#. If an award is given, please be advised that we generate 1099’s to every grant recipient. A letter will be sent to you, should you be awarded a grant, that sets out specifics – including our need for a Final Report. These specific items are needed and necessary – as the IRS can ask us to provide them with this information at anytime. We have many obligations to the IRS/Treasury Department, which has granted us our Not For Profit status as a Private Foundation. We would never share your SS# with anyone. All grantees are required to send an end of year Final Report on how your PFW funds were spent. This is addressed further down in this communication. We expect that funds given in the year requested be used in that annum. There are certain exceptions addressed further down. We reserve the right to recall (and we have) any Grant funds awarded that have not been used for the project requested.
These numbers are only requested for applicants who are applying as an entity recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization or are using a fiscal sponsor that has been granted 501(c)(3) status. Such applicants do not have to supply their personal Social Security number.
We are looking for projects that use art to discuss social and civil justice issues including food insecurity, peace, prisons, discrimination, race, culture, sexual orientation, censorship, children’s rights, trafficking, global warming, environmental protection, nuclear proliferation, poverty, gender issues, racial profiling, immigration, bullying, violence in schools, homelessness, gun control, animal rights, and etc. Grants from the PFW can only be awarded to permanent residents and citizens of the United States. We do not grant for work being done outside the borders of the United States. Average grants range from $550 – $2,500. We like to grant to new applicants, though we do have a number of tried and true individuals and NFPs that we grant to on back-to-back years.

Who Can Apply

You will receive a 1099 and the grant award will be reported to the IRS. The Foundation enjoys a tax status which allows us to fund individual artists directly. But please be aware that grants made to individuals count as gifted income and we provide grantees with a 1099 form for tax purposes. Grantees can also be organizations or utilize a fiscal sponsor. It is up to the applicant to decide how they wish to proceed. Our tax status only allows us to grant money to citizens and permanent residents of the United States. Puffin West DOES NOT by its own choice fund citizens/permanent residents for projects that might occur outside of the United States.
The Foundation does not have the resources to offer financial assistance for scholarships or educational funding.
No. The Foundation does not fund travel expenses or conference fees. While many are undoubtedly worthwhile endeavors, they remain outside of our purview.
The Foundation typically will not consider grants from organizations whose annual budget is $250,000 or more.  The overall size and annual budget of each applicant is taken into consideration. Foundation grants are relatively modest in size and, therefore, the larger the annual budget, the less likely we may deem the funds necessary. This enables us to prioritize our grants to applicants with fewer organizational resources.
We are more inclined to work with groups after the large documentary project has been completed to help them make their educational reel/DVD, as the cost per capita is more within our grassroots framework of granting.
Current grantees can apply in the year following their grant award for a continuing grant for any on-going community outreach project; however, new grant applicants/those who never received a PFW grant will be considered first. Demand is very high and we find that these guidelines help us reach more potential grantees. If you were not awarded a grant, please feel free to apply in successive years.
This type of Grant application is not accepted at this time.

The Review Process

We’ll start notifying applicants in mid-January. All applicants should hear about the status of their proposal by the end of May. Please read about Early Determination found in our Grant Application and Information document. We judge each project on the merits so being reviewed earlier in the process does not increase or decrease your chances of being awarded a grant unless the performance/exhibition date for your project has already passed.

For Grantees

OUR LOGOS CAN BE FOUND ON OUR HOME PAGE.  If your project is using a screen for projections of any kind, we will also ask you to use a slide if this is feasible and reasonable to do so. We have many images and formats available. Our PFW logo as a brand is well known and is broadly recognized. As we are a private foundation we currently do not solicit funds and never have. As that is a fact, there is no quid quo pro. Once you have received a Grant, you are now part of the Puffin Foundation West Family OR AS WE LIKE TO REFER TO YOU AS PUFFLINGS.
Did you know that a group of PUFFINS is called a GATHERING?
We realize that the Foundation’s rolling awards schedule does not always match an applicant’s need for a non-calendar year budget and/or timeline and that many projects may not be finished by the end of the calendar year. In these cases, we’ll ask for both a ‘year-end’ report on your Grant for our records, but also request you send a final report when the Puffin funds are used/project is complete/etc. If a project is not completed/finished a year from the date the Grant Award is issued, please take note. This is from the Website/Application Packet/Artists Grant Information:

“All successful Grant Recipients will have responsibilities and obligations to fulfill to the Puffin Foundation West, Ltd. These obligations include (1) the completion and prompt return of a 1099, and (2) a final report that includes an accounting of how Grant Funds requested were used by year’s end. By submitting a Grant Proposal you are also acknowledging our authority to withhold and/or recover Grant Funds in case such funds are, or appear to be misused.”

First, we ask that you return your W-9 that is included with the grant check to us when received.

Second, Please mail your final report to PFW by December in the year you have received your grant award. We will send a reminder email request to all successful applicants in the fall. A narrative of the project you applied for is expected. This should include details of the project, how many people worked on the project, how many people attended the project, where it was held and any other details you would like to share. This information is held on file in the event that the IRS wishes to review our files to see if the Grant award was used for its stated purpose.

One or two graphic images included with our final e-mailed report as attachments and in a jpg format that shows a highlight of your grant could be included in your annual report. Sometimes we post final reports on our website under Announcements. You may also include copies of fliers and news clipping about the event.

The Puffin Foundation is an independent Foundation that shares some past and present board members with Puffin Foundation West. There is no legal affiliation. We do have, however, have a continuous dialogue and discuss grant proposals that were sent to each respective Foundation.