Henry Luce Foundation

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    Funder Type

    Private Foundation

    IT Classification

    C - Funds little to no technology


    The Henry Luce Foundation


    The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China. The Foundation builds upon the vision and values of four generations of the Luce family: broadening knowledge and encouraging the highest standards of service and leadership.

    The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities. 

    The Luce Foundation pursues its mission today through the following grant-making programs:

    • American Art: The American Art Program focuses on American fine and decorative art, and is committed to scholarship and the overall enhancement of American art history. The program supports exhibitions, publications and research that emphasize an aesthetic approach to American art, specifically scholarly study of painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, decorative arts, photography, and architecture.
    • Asia: The Luce Foundation's Asia Program pursues two interrelated goals. One is fostering cultural and intellectual exchange between the United States and the countries of East and Southeast Asia. The second is creating scholarly and public resources for improved understanding of Asia in the United States. The Asia Program includes two categories of grantmaking: Asia Responsive Grants and Special Initiatives. 
    • Democracy, Ethics, and Public Trust: This program supports efforts to re-imagine and re-invigorate democratic culture and practices. The initiative focuses on strengthening the fabric of democracy rather than its mechanisms. It does so by encouraging new research, seeding experimental approaches, and engendering new relationships and networks.
    • Indigenous Knowledge: This program supports knowledge keepers who seek to preserve and perpetuate their nations' cultures. To amplify their work, we also invest in the cultural, intellectual, and policy systems that are critical to the resilience and vitality of Indian Country. Through these efforts, the Luce Foundation helps to ensure that Native America has the human and cultural resources it needs to thrive.
    • Luce Scholars: The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program. It was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia. 
    • Public Policy: The Luce Foundation currently provides limited funding for Public Policy projects. Grants in this area often reflect the interests of our founder, Henry R. Luce, who actively encouraged the development of public leadership.
    • Religion and Theology: This program seeks to deepen understanding of religion as a source of division and a site of common ground, an agent of inequality and a force for social transformation. Our work strengthens knowledge of religion's complex and contested place in public life; diversifies intellectual inquiry in this area; and promotes more curious and civil public conversations. We build initiatives that creatively engage religion in pursuit of a more just and compassionate future.
    • Women in STEM: The Foundation seeks to contribute to the systemic transformation needed to broaden the participation of women from diverse backgrounds, close the gender gap in STEM, and advance women-led STEM innovation for positive social change. The Luce Foundation furthers these goals through two program arms: the Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in STEM and STEM Convergence.

    History of Funding

    Recent awards can be viewed here: https://www.hluce.org/grants/2023-grants-by-the-numbers/

    Additional Information

    The foundation makes no grants directly to individuals, with the sole exception of the Luce Scholars Program. Grants to institutions sometimes support individuals through special initiatives such as the Clare Boothe Luce Program, the Henry Luce III Theology Fellows, and the Dissertation Fellowships in American Art. The foundation considers only eligible educational and charitable organizations and specific programs approved by the Internal Revenue Service. 

    The foundation does not support health care, medical projects, disaster relief or international development projects, or the performing arts. 


    The Henry Luce Foundation Staff

    The Henry Luce Foundation Staff
    51 Madison Avenue, 30th Floor
    New York, NY 10010
    (212) 489-7700
    (212) 581-9541

  • Eligibility Details

    Varies based on foundation program to which you are applying. Visit the website for additional information.

    Deadline Details

    To apply:

    • Review the relevant program's goals and particular guidelines.
    • Create an account on the online portal and complete the concept note form.
    • You will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt after submitting a concept note. Concept notes will be acted upon within eight weeks of submission. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to the relevant Program Director by email with any specific questions or concerns during the application process.
    • Following review by Foundation program staff, selected applicants will be invited to submit detailed proposals through our online portal.
    • Recommended proposals will be presented to the Foundation's board of directors for consideration three times each year—in March, June, and November. The concept note review and proposal development process generally take 3 to 4 months, and can take longer, so institutions should plan accordingly.

    Award Details

    Award amounts vary based on scope of size of project. Number of awards vary.

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