Grant Application Instructions

The Class of 1978 Foundation provides financial support to Princeton University students who wish to benefit communities or constituencies in need by participating in direct, hands-on community service activities. Only summer projects are eligible for consideration. Stipends will be awarded to qualified persons without regard to sex, age, nationality, race, creed, color, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

At the present time, the Foundation seeks proposals from Princeton University undergraduate students for the awarding of the stipend, not exceeding $5,000 per recipient, for use during Summer 2023. The Foundation reserves the right to limit the number of awards or to decline to make any award if no proposal is deemed appropriate for support.

Community Service

A proposed project should be one of direct service to a well-defined constituency, preferably under the auspices of a sponsoring organization that represents that constituency. Projects without a sponsoring organization may be considered if the candidate submits evidence of support from a collaborating organization or relevant community leader.

“Service” is defined as activity to (1) improve a local, regional, national or global population’s well-being in terms of mental or physical health (including issues of hunger, housing, or health care); (2) improve an underserved community’s quality of life (including education, art, music, or transportation); (3) encourage economic development, social justice, or human rights; or (4) encourage adaptation and resilience relating to climate-change impacts on human and/or environmental health. Principles of equity and justice are foundational to our values, and we will be especially delighted to support work that furthers them.

Additional information and examples of past grants are provided on the Foundation’s website.

COVID-19 Concerns

We are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present unique challenges. The safety of our grantees is a top priority. Accordingly, we will be following Princeton’s guidance on health and safety precautions, including restrictions on University-sponsored travel. We will provide updates as warranted. This might include modifications to our application requirements to ensure that projects reflect appropriate “social distancing” protocols.

Application Requirements

  • This year, applications are due by no later than March 20, 2023.  To be considered for funding, candidates must submit a project proposal essay that specifically addresses the five topics identified in the subparagraphs below. Great weight is given to the essay in the grant selection process. Your essay should not be longer than two single-spaced or four double-spaced pages, utilizing a 12-point font and margins of at least 1 inch on all sides of the page. It should address each of the following questions:

    1. What community service work do you propose to undertake this summer? Please describe the community to be served, the project’s goals, the relevant needs of the community to be served, the specific activities for which you will be personally responsible, and the project’s continuing value to the community once you leave.
    2. What motivates you to engage in community service this summer? What do you believe you will contribute to the project, and what do you hope to gain from the experience? What do you hope to bring back with you, for your Princeton community and beyond?
    3. Have you worked previously on community service projects? If so, how does your proposed service work for this summer differ from your past experiences and provide opportunities for further personal growth or benefit?
    4. What role, if any, have you played in creating or influencing the design of the community service project for which you seek a Class of 1978 grant award?
    5. What else would you like the Foundation to know about your background, circumstances, and aspirations, or about your proposed community service project?
  • In addition to the project proposal essay, candidates must provide a current resume and a detailed budget.
  • Candidates must provide confirmation that their proposed project will be accepted by the sponsoring organization. Applications for projects that are not confirmed by March 20, 2023, will not be considered for funding. Candidates proposing projects that are not under the auspices of a sponsoring organization must submit by March 20,2023, at least one letter of support from a collaborating organization or community leader related to the proposed project.
  • The Foundation Board may follow-up by telephone or email if materials are missing or we have other questions about an application.


Grants will not be given to support academic research projects, including research for a junior paper or senior thesis. Grants will not be given to support “inherently religious” activities.

Required Post-Project Report

In accepting the Award, successful candidates agree to submit a summary report at the conclusion of the project. The report should be formatted as a Word document (in .docx format) and should include 5-10 photos and 1-2 short smartphone videos. Please include a close-up of the candidate on site, photos of the candidate working with others on the project, photos and videos that illustrate the nature of the project, and perhaps a group photo. These materials may be published freely (in whole or in part) on the Foundation’s website and/or in other marketing materials. They must be submitted no later than 30 days after completion of the funded project.