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Acorn Foundation Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits for Conservation,
Sustainability, and Environmental Justice Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Common Counsel Foundation

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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to USA nonprofit organizations for programs and projects that promote environmental justice, sustainability, and environmental conservation. Funding will be provided for small and creative projects that utilize community organizing. The Foundation defines organizing as work to build a base of low-income leaders to come together, take leadership on local and regional issues and win concrete improvements for their communities, while altering the balance of power.

The Foundation is particularly interested in projects that engage in community organizing in order to:
- Advocate for environmental health and justice, particularly in low-income communities, communities of color, and indigenous communities;
- Preserve and restore habitats supporting biological diversity and wildlife; and
- Prevent or remedy toxic pollution.

Common Counsel Foundation member funds are committed to funding initiatives that build power among low income people, women, youth, people of color and others working for justice, equity, and a healthy, sustainable environment. The Foundation's member funds share a special interest in organizations that are committed to grassroots community organizing, policy reform and positive social change. The Foundation has a long-standing commitment to respond to constituencies, needs and strategies that have not been considered by other foundations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169882

Estimated Size of Grant:

Common Counsel grants generally range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Foundation makes grants to USA-based 501(c)(3) community-based organizations (or organizations with qualifying fiscal sponsorship) that work in low and moderate-income communities.

The Foundation is unable to support the following:
-Organizations with total annual budgets over $600,000 per year;
-Intermediary organizations that serve grassroots organizations or that are primarily training or technical assistance providers;
-Large national or regional networks;
-International organizations and organizations located outside of the United States;
-Direct social services such as counseling, mentoring, healthcare, housing shelters;
-Educational, cultural or medical institutions or programs (including environmental education);
-Capital campaigns, construction or renovation programs, endowments;
-Film, video, publications, or other media projects;
-Grantmaking institutions;
-Scholarship funds or other aid to individuals;
-Research or fellowships;
-Land trusts/land acquisitions;
-Government sponsored programs or programs undertaken by tax-supported institutions;
-Organizations with access to mainstream funding; and
-Emergency funding.

Pre-Application Information:

The Acorn Foundation has an open Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process, however, full proposals are accepted by invitation only.

Letter of Inquiry Process:
-If your organization meets the guidelines please submit a letter of inquiry (LOI) using the LOI Form included below. Letters of Inquiry should be no longer than two pages,including the cover form.

-Timeline: LOIs must be received in the office on or before the January 15th or June 15th deadline. You will receive a confirmation by email within one month of the deadline. You will receive a response within 4-6 months from the deadline.

-How to submit: Submit your LOI Application Form with attachments via email.

-And Remember…Even if your organization fits within the guidelines, due to limited funds, the Foundation is only able to invite full proposals from approximately 10% of the organizations that apply.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Email the LOI form to together with the name of your organization in the Subject line - for example: “LOI from Community Action Organization”).

Contact Information:
Common Counsel Foundation
1624 Franklin St. #1022
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: (510) 834-2995
Fax: (510) 834-2998

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming