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Abelard Foundation West Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits in Western States for Grassroots
Social Change, Policy Reform, and Community Organizing

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Common Counsel Foundation - Abelard Foundation West

Deadline Date:

01/15/18 Receipt


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Grants ranging from $6,000 to $12,000 to USA nonprofits in western states for general support for grassroots efforts to promote community organizing, policy reform, and social change. Funding is intended to support efforts to empower low-income individuals, youth, women, minorities, and others and promote equity, justice, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

States eligible for funding are those west of the Mississippi River: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Foundation is committed to supporting grassroots social change organizations that engage in community organizing which:

- Utilizes membership or grassroots participation to represent the interests of communities in which they are based.
- Expands community control over economic, social and environmental decisions affecting the community’s well-being.
- Builds a strong informed voice on public policy issues.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181081

Estimated Size of Grant:

Abelard Foundation West offers general support grants in the range of $6,000 to $12,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Funding is intended to support organizations in Western USA, defined as being located to the west of the Mississippi River.

Before applying to Common Counsel Foundation, please review the following questions to determine whether you meet our funding guidelines:

- Is your organization based in and working in a low- and moderate-income community?
- Is the focus of your work taking place within the United States?
- Is your organization engaged in community, neighborhood, and/or workplace organizing? Organizing is defined 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.
- Does your organization engage in regular community and/or workplace outreach to build your low- and moderate-income membership? Do you have a concrete plan to grow and to build more power by getting more people involved?
- Does your organization have a strong group of leaders and board members that represent the community they serve and who are accountable to the community? Does your organization have a strong leadership development program so that new people can become leaders and the group can continue to grow?
- Does your organization have clear policy change objectives and a strategy for reaching them?
- Does your organization use the collective action of your members to bring your concerns to public officials and other decision-makers?
- Does the work of your organization impact the daily lives of your members? Can you say how your members’ lives are improved by the work of your organization?
- Does your organization actively collaborate with other community-based organizations through coalitions or alliances?
- Does your organization have an annual budget under $800,000?
- Do you have limited access to corporate, government, or mainstream funding sources?
- Does your organization have a strong fundraising plan that includes a healthy amount of grassroots fundraising? (This means that your group is not supported solely by foundations. The Foundation considers grassroots fundraising to include such sources as: membership dues, fundraising events, individual major donors, workplace giving, canvass, raffles, and benefits.)
- Do you have IRS 501 (c) 3 tax exempt status or a fiscal sponsor who does?

Not supported:

- Organizations with total annual budgets over $800,000 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 enviro-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; or
- Emergency funding.

Pre-Application Information:

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

There are two LOI deadlines each year – on January 15 and June 15. If the deadline falls on a weekend date or holiday, the deadline will be moved to the next business day after the weekend day or holiday.

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.

Contact Information:

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

Email your LOI to

Common Counsel Foundation
1624 Franklin St, #1022
Oakland, CA 94612

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

Laura Livoti, CEO

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Louisiana;   Minnesota;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Mexico;   North Dakota;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   South Dakota;   Texas;   Utah;   Washington;   Wyoming