The Trust welcomes our new Grants Director | Information on the Trust's COVID-19 Response.

Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust

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Below, you will be guided through the Trust’s application process for grantseekers.

Please review these steps in the order provided.

The Trust welcomes Letters of Inquiry (LOI) from eligible organizations seeking funding for projects that meet its Funding Interests in research and education in ornamental horticulture. If you’ve not already reviewed the Trust’s Funding Interests, please do so before proceeding.

You may also wish to review Common Grantseeker Questions.

  • Is your organization eligible?

    Charity status

    The Trust makes grants to organizations that are recognized as 501(c)(3) public charities by the United States Internal Revenue Service, tax-exempt government entities, and to non-U.S. organizations that can demonstrate that they would meet the requirements for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.

    Geographic Area

    The Trust supports projects that directly further research or education in ornamental horticulture in North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand. Grantee organizations must also be based in one of these locations.

    Returning Grantees

    Organizations may receive a grant from the Trust no more than every other year. For example, an organization that received a grant in November 2022 cannot reapply for funding until 2024, assuming its grant report has been received and accepted according to the Trust’s Reporting Policy.

    In order to be eligible to submit a new funding request in 2023, an organization must have:

    • Not received a grant award in 2022, and
    • Submitted a grant report for any previous grant(s) by April 28, 2023. (No report was required for a 2020 COVID-19 Response Grant)

    One Proposal per Organization or Program

    (Receipt of a COVID-19 Response Grant in 2020 does not affect the eligibility of an organization that is otherwise eligible to apply to the Trust’s regular grantmaking program. No reports were required for those grants.)

    Because the Trust’s application process is very competitive, and to ensure it is open to as many qualified applicants as possible, only one Proposal per organization will be considered in a given year, assuming the Trust’s eligibility and reporting requirements have also been met (and keeping in mind that organizations may receive a grant from the Trust no more than every other year). “Organization” is defined by the unique Tax ID/EIN associated with the Proposal and by the project or program that would receive the award.

    For example, the Trust will not consider two Proposals from two different EINs to support the same organization or program. Additionally, the Trust can only consider one Proposal from a fiscal sponsor with multiple sponsored projects that share the Tax ID/EIN of the sponsor.

    Different campuses of a university system are excluded from this restriction, but this exemption applies only to geographically separate campuses (not separate units, offices, departments, programs, etc. of a single campus).

    Likewise, a particular program or department of a university (e.g., an arboretum or botanical garden) may not submit a new Proposal using a different EIN (e.g., using the University Foundation’s EIN instead of the University’s EIN) if the program or department has not yet met its reporting obligations to the Trust for a prior grant, or if it received a grant in the prior year.

    If you are applying on behalf of a college and university, please see Guidelines for College and University Applicants.

  • Is your request aligned with the Trust's Funding Interests?

    The Trust seeks to fund projects that will further ornamental horticulture at organizations pursuing the following activities:

    • The advancement of research in ornamental horticulture and the publication of the results of such research
    • Assisting in the creation, development, preservation, and maintenance of gardens accessible to the public for educational purposes
    • Promotion of the environmentally responsible introduction, cultivation, and distribution of plants which have ornamental horticultural value
    • Assisting in the publication of books or other works relating to ornamental horticulture
    • Informal and/or formal educational activities that further ornamental horticulture

    Examples of such projects include:

    • Development of programs and projects
    • Physical improvements
    • Signage
    • Access
    • Equipment
    • Publications
    • and, under some circumstances, general operations and/or salaries

    The Trust does not fund endowments. The Trust also does not fund projects concerned primarily with agriculture, environmental issues, science education, or horticultural therapy.

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, the Trust considered requests for general operating support in amounts up to $10,000 from organizations whose activities normally are well-aligned with the Trust’s interests. This policy has been extended through the 2023 application cycle. An application for general operating support may comprise the entire amount requested, or it may supplement a request for project-based funding. Additional instructions will be provided in the Trust's online grants portal if a proposal is invited.

    The Trust recognizes the hardships gardens and other horticultural organizations experience due to damages caused by natural disasters (storms, fires, earthquakes, flooding, etc.), and welcomes requests from qualified organizations to support damage remediation.

    If you meet the Eligibility requirements described in the previous section, but still have questions about whether your project is aligned with the Trust's Funding Interests, please contact Nancy Kartes, Grants Director, at

  • Deadlines and what to expect

    Letters of Inquiry (LOI) are only accepted through the Trust’s online grants portal and are reviewed in the order received. Staff will respond to LOIs via email.

    An organization is expected to fully justify its proposed project’s relevance to the Trust’s funding interests where prompted in the Alignment section of the LOI. LOIs that do not describe a strong alignment will be declined.

    An organization may only submit one LOI per year. For example, if an LOI is declined, another LOI may not be submitted, even if for a different project.

    Eligible organizations whose LOIs are found to be strongly-aligned with the Trust’s funding interests will be invited to submit a full proposal, also through the Trust’s online grants portal.

    Please note, LOIs are no longer accepted for the current application cycle. The deadline to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) was June 15, 2023. The deadline to submit a full proposal, if invited, was July 14, 2023.

    Proposals are no longer accepted for the 2023 application cycle. Please check this page in January 2024 for information and deadlines for the 2024 application cycle.

    Trustee decisions are made once a year, typically in November. Decision notifications and grant payments, if approved, are mailed in late November.

    The grant period (the period during which funds should be used) for grants paid in December 2023 will be January 1 to December 31, 2024, and reports for these grants will be due by April 30, 2025.

  • How to apply for funding

    Once you have determined that your organization is eligible and that your request is aligned with the Trust's Funding Interests, the next step is to complete the Grantseeker Quiz. You will be asked a series of questions to confirm that your organization and project meet the Trust’s guidelines, and if so, will be directed to the online grants portal. Applications must be submitted in English and request funds in US dollars.

    Note: If you are a previous applicant or grantee to the Trust, you likely already have an account. Do not complete this quiz. Instead, click here to log in to the portal to create an LOI or click here to reset your password.

    Grantseeker Quiz