The Brian A McCarthy Foundation

Brief History and Mission

The Brian A. McCarthy Foundation is a small, private foundation based in New York. The Foundation is a successor entity of the former Michael McCarthy W. Foundation, which was established in 1958 in Manhasset, New York by Michael W. McCarthy, a former chairman of the board of Merrill Lynch. We primarily support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender health, education, culture, and well-being with a special emphasis on HIV prevention and research, and programs for LGBT youth.

We make grants primarily to organizations based in the New York/metro area.


Foundation and grants information.


View past grants by calendar year.


See 990PFs in pdf form.

Information - Mission and Grants

General Information

The Brian A. McCarthy Foundation is a small private foundation that makes grants in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender health, education, culture, and well-being with an emphasis on HIV research and prevention and housing and anti-violence programs for LGBT youth. Grants are primarily made to charities based in the New York/Metro area and range in size from $5000 - $50,000.

Please note: The Brian A McCarthy Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications.

Grants and Grant Application Policy

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 in general we do 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 given calendar year.

The best way to get a feel for our interests and funding priorities is to take a look at our recent PF-990 (ID: 26-2804661) and see who we have funded in the past ( see the 990s page of this website here.)

Application Process

If we approach an organization for the possibility of a grant, we generally require 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)
  • 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:

  • Proof of IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
  • A recent budget or annual report
  • A possible site visit (if applicable)

    There is no formal deadline for an application. The board meets several times a 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 board. We will try our best to respond to your request as soon as possible (usually within a few weeks of receiving information.) We do not have a formal application form, but we encourage new organizations to use the New York / New Jersey Common Application Form.

    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 board every calendar year.

  • 990PFs

    Click on a year below to open a 990 in PDF form






    Contact Information

    For information and inquiries, please email: