The Frances R. Dewing Foundation accepts applications from United States based 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. A letter of determination of 501(c)(3) status from the IRS is required to submit an application.

The foundation does not give grants to individuals.

Consideration is only given to projects concerned with early childhood education, specifically for children up to sixth grade.

The Frances R. Dewing Foundation historically accepted applications primarily from New England but now accepts applications from anywhere in the United States. The foundation does not accept applications from outside the United States.

Applications are not accepted for projects or programs that do not directly benefit children such as parent education, staff recruitment, and endowments.

The foundation does not give grants for general funds, operating expenses, capital campaigns or scholarships.

Day care projects must be specific and innovative.

The foundation does not generally fund faith-based or religious organizations or organizations that make grants to others.

Because the foundation places an emphasis on providing seed money for new projects and programs, trustees rarely fund something for more than three years.