In 2000, Merrill Lynch adopted children and youth as its global cause for 2000 to 2005. The foundation supports programs that meet the educational needs and interests of underserved children and youth, and it gives priority to specific programs and projects that are innovative, sustainable, easily expanded from a local to a global perspective, and have a measurable impact. Technology skills in particular were cited by the foundation as one of several elements a project can address. The Merrill Lynch Foundation gives priority to grant requests from New York City and national organizations that reflect its focus, but the foundation does consider a small number of unsolicited requests from nonprofit organizations, including school districts. All requests outside of New York City should be submitted to the branch managers of local offices. When making a grant decision, the foundation considers other type of support an organization already might be receiving (e.g., matching gifts, United Way funds, etc.).

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