Apply for a Grant

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The Mental Research Institute provides small grants to fund breakthrough projects that use an interactional approach to mental wellness. Before applying, please familiarize yourself with the Mental Research Institute’s pioneering concepts as they apply to your program, project, or practice.

Step 1: Submit a letter of intent (LOI).

Please review our Grantmaking Guidelines below and address each key item in your LOI. We accept LOI applications from August 1st to September 15th. Upon submission, you will receive an email from the Foundation confirming receipt. If your LOI passes our initial review, you will be invited to submit a full proposal application.*

Required documents for submitting a full proposal application:

  1. Provisional budget

  2. Audited financial statements (most recently completed fiscal year) OR unaudited financial statements (most recently completed fiscal year) for applicant organization

  3. IRS Form 990

  4. Completed application form

Step 2: If your LOI meets our criteria

If your LOI meets our criteria (you will usually hear from us within six weeks of your LOI application) you will be invited to submit a more detailed Grant Request.

* If your LOI is declined, your organization will be eligible to re-apply 12 months from the declination date. Due to the high volume of LOIs we receive, staff may not be able to provide tailored feedback on declined LOIs.


Grantmaking Guidelines

The Mental Research Foundation - MRI gives priority to nonprofit organizations in the United States. In addition, we evaluate whether an organization has established best practices as it relates to diversity, financial sustainability, infrastructure, board governance, staff development, programs, services, collaboration, and networks with peers.

We receive many more requests for funding than we can support. Only those that effectively address our grantmaking guidelines and the priorities of our Board of Directors will be considered.


You are eligible to apply for a grant if:

  • You’re a 501(c)(3) organization or have a fiscal sponsor.

  • Your organization has not submitted an LOI which has been declined or have received a grant from the Mental Research Foundation- MRI in the last 12 months.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How can we increase our chances of earning a grant?

A. Demonstrate clearly how your project furthers the research, education, and practice of MRI’s founders.

Q. Will the MRI grant be enough to fund our entire project?

A. An MRI grant will likely not cover the full scope of your project. An additional funding source will be required.

Q. When is the cut-off date for grant applications?

A. December 31. No application will be considered after the cutoff date.

Q. Will you let me know if something is missing in my application?

A. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have gathered all the documents requested here.

Q. When will we know if our applications has been accepted for review?

A. If your application is complete you will receive a confirmation email by January 31.

Q. My application will not upload. Are there other ways to submit it?

A. You can scan your application and attachments and email to

Q. How do you make sure a grant is being spent as proposed?

A. Once the project is approved, we will ask you to sign an agreement describing how we will monitor and follow up your progress.

Q. What MRI resources are available to help us design our study or focus our training?

A. Our archives are stored at the Stanford library. Articles and books from our founders are available online.

If you have a question that is not answered, please email



Our Priorities


We support innovative research, and educational projects that advance interactional approaches to improving relationships in the areas of :

  • Couples and Families

  • Work environments

  • Communities


We prioritize work that has both a powerful local effect and inspires others on a broader scale.

We seek out and support projects of different sizes and scope. We do not provide general operating support but do provide project support grants. Grant decisions are guided by our mission and rooted in relationships of trust.

Awards are made to organizations and projects with the following characteristics:

• Are US-based
• Have leadership that is both visionary and grounded
• Foster leadership in others, especially among younger generations and across generations
• Are well-managed, with clear results
• Use communications to connect and inspire beyond a single community

Current and returning grantees:

Grants are generally awarded for a one-year grant period. Returning grantees are eligible to reapply for funding after the current grant period ends and the final report is submitted and approved by the Foundation.

Nonprofits that have received two consecutive grants must wait twelve months from the end of their second grant period before applying for a new grant.

Fiscally sponsored organizations:

Please fill out the LOI based on information for the applicant organization. Further information may be requested at a later date on the fiscal sponsor.

National or international organizations:

Please fill out the LOI with information pertinent to the local or regional office carrying out the work. Further information may be requested at a later date on the national organization.