Here are quick answers to frequently asked questions.  If you have one not answered here or in the body of this website,  Contact Us to ask another.


What does GKV stand for?

Gary Knisely (the Founder of GKV Foundation) and Varian, his wife who died in 2011

How long has the GKV Foundation been in existence?

GKV Foundation was created in 2017 and awarded its first grants in March 2018.

How did the Foundation get started?

The founder decided that he wanted to become more knowledgeable about how one could improve society through using the arts as educational tools.

What does the GKV Foundation do?

Go To: Mission

Who can I call if I have any questions?

Go To: Contact Us

Who has GKV Funded in the past?

2018: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “WeBop” in Spanish;
2018: Skidmore College’s “Dance to Success”
2019: Education Through Music’s “Music TECH”;
2019: Harmony Program’s “Choral Programs”
2019: Match for expansion of: Skidmore College’s “Dance to Success”

How many grants do you award each year?

Fewer than a half-dozen new ones. Final number will be effected by the amount that GKV allocates to support programs where the initial GKV grant showed great promise.

Can I contribute to GKV?



How innovative?

Something untried but with exciting possibilities grabs our interest. But a program that is  an extension of a current program into a new area or will include a creative but impactful new wrinkle will be seriously considered.

How broadly do you define “arts”?

Very broadly. Someone once asked if GKV would consider a Culinary Arts program. We debated that for a bit, and then decided “why not.” All depends on the specifics of the proposed program.

What’s your ideal grant size?

Somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000.

Can I request multi-year funding?

Extensions of grants into subsequent years are part of our plan, but the extension will be a fraction of the first year grant and then only if other grantors can be convinced that the program is worth their “investment” given first year results.

What are my odds of having a proposal accepted?

Our limited experience is that the likelihood that your LOI will result in an invitation to submit a full proposal is 1 in 5; and that a full proposal will result in a grant is, by design, 50%.

Does GKV limit itself by geography?

We want to be able to visit the site of the program beneficiary within a 4-5 hour non-airline trip from NYC, our HQ.

How will GKV judge the success of my program?

Go to: “Designing the Evaluation.”

Can I submit the same LOI in subsequent years? Yes.


Do I have to be a not-for-profit to submit an LOI?  Yes.
If we have been denied a grant, can we re-apply? Yes.
Can we apply if we are fiscally sponsored by another organization? Yes.
Is it possible to get more than one grant? Doubtful, but not impossible.
Is there a preferred age demographic?

GKV Charitable Foundation has funded projects that support artistic growth for all age groups.

Will GKV consider funding projects outside their preferred target area?

While our funding priorities are focused in the Mid-Atlantic and New England area, GKV will read and consider all LOIs that are submitted.

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