FAQs - Stavros Niarchos Foundation



1. Is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) a nonprofit organization?
Yes. SNF has no shareholders and engages in no business or commercial activities. SNF’s financial resources are devoted to the public benefit through its four core program areas: Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Sports, and Social Welfare.

2. Does SNF fundraise?
SNF is a grantmaking organization only and does not solicit or accept donations from individuals, corporations, or other organizations.

3. How much grant support does the SNF award each year?
The amount of grant support and the number of grants awarded by SNF vary from year to year.
The grants SNF makes, as well as the grant initiatives it undertakes, respond to evolving challenges, needs, and opportunities worldwide with the aim of achieving a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large. SNF aims to complement, not replace, public sector efforts.
Since 1996, SNF has committed more than $3.4 billion through more than 5,100 grants to nonprofit organizations in more than 135 countries around the world. These include SNF’s major ongoing Health Initiative in Greece. SNF does not make grants to individuals.


4. How did SNF select the four core program areas of its grantmaking?
The program areas—Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Sports, and Social Welfare—reflect the wide interests of the late Stavros Niarchos, SNF’s founder. Within these areas, SNF works to ensure that its grantmaking is aligned with societal needs and that its priorities are guided by those needs.

5. Are grants distributed equally among the four core program areas?
SNF employs a holistic philosophy in making grants and does not have a set allocation for each core area. All program areas are given equal consideration by the SNF Board of Directors and staff. The distribution of funding among the four areas will depend on the particular challenges and opportunities presenting themselves at a given point in time.

6. What portion of SNF’s grants focus on Greece and its people?
Excluding support for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), SNF funding is roughly equally divided between grants in and outside of Greece.
The SNFCC was created through SNF’s largest single grant to date. The project's total budget of $861 million included two grants of $6 million each to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, supporting the organizations’ transition to their new facilities at the SNFCC. This support represents a significant investment in Greece’s future at a critical historical juncture.
In addition to its ongoing grantmaking, SNF has continued to respond to the urgent needs of a Greek society faced with the severe effects of the socioeconomic crisis through three major grant initiatives totaling $380 million, which have almost been completed.
In September 2017, the SNF announced a new grant initiative to further enhance and support Greece’s health sector  and abroad through infrastructure, education, and equipment projects with a current budget of about $750 million.

7. Does SNF support projects that combine private philanthropy with public initiatives?
Given the complexity of global issues in SNF’s core program areas, SNF believes that collaborations between philanthropic organizations and the public sector can be an effective means of promoting the public welfare. These public-private partnerships can leverage available funding from both sectors, ensure that philanthropic funding is aligned with the public interest, and build upon diverse practical experiences to test and implement innovative measures that meet community needs. Private philanthropy can never be a substitute for the public sector, but support from philanthropic organizations can complement what the public sector is doing, in order to bring about results that will create a better society for all.

8. What is the relationship between SNF and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)?
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is an environmentally sustainable public space for expression, culture, and recreation, envisioned and made a reality by the Foundation. Also designed by Renzo Piano and RPBW, following completion, it was delivered to the Greek state and the public in February 2017 through our largest grant initiative to date, totaling $750 million. This international destination and cultural hub includes the new homes of the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, as well as Stavros Niarchos Park. Through ongoing operating and programming support from SNF, the SNFCC continues to fulfill its role as a truly public space, open and accessible to all.