Abelard Foundation West Grant

Abelard Foundation West

Suggest an update

Grant amount: US $6,000 - US $12,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jun 15, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Jan 15, 2021 (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense

Location of project: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado Show all

Location of residency: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado Show all

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?


Abelard is a family foundation with a 50-year history of progressive grant-making. 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.

Common Counsel Foundation manages Abelard Foundation’s western grant program.

Over its more than 20-year history, Common Counsel Foundation has developed a reputation for progressive community-oriented philanthropy highlighted by grant-making that is defined not only by who we fund, but also by the principles and practices that guide our work. Common Counsel donors and member funds share a special interest in supporting organizations committed to grassroots community organizing for racial, economic, and environmental justice, policy reform, and social change.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • You may submit a Letter of Inquiry if you meet the following guidelines:
    • Your organization is based in and working in a low- and moderate-income community. 
    • The focus of your work is taking place within the United States, and you are based West of the Mississippi River. 
    • Your organization is engaged in community, neighborhood, and/or workplace organizing.
      • We define 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.
    • Your organization engages in regular community and/or workplace outreach to build your low- and moderate-income membership.
      •  You have a concrete plan to grow and to build more power by getting more people involved.
    • Your organization has a strong group of leaders and board members that represent the community they serve and who are accountable to the community. Your organization has a strong leadership development program so that new people can become leaders and the group can continue to grow. 
    • Your organization has clear policy change objectives and a strategy for reaching them. 
    • Your organization uses the collective action of your members to bring your concerns to public officials and other decision-makers. 
    • The work of your organization impacts the daily lives of your members.  
    • Your organization actively collaborates with other community-based organizations through coalitions or alliances. 
    • Your organization have an annual budget under $800,00. 
    • You have limited access to corporate, government, or mainstream funding sources. 
    • Your organization gas a strong fundraising plan that includes a healthy amount of grassroots fundraising.
      • (This means that your group is not supported solely by foundations.  We consider grassroots fundraising to include such sources as: membership dues, fundraising events, individual major donors, workplace giving, canvass, raffles, and benefits.)
    • You have IRS 501 (c) 3 tax exempt status or a fiscal sponsor who does. 


  • Common Counsel Foundation receives far more LOI’s that its member funds can.  We are UNABLE to support the following:
    • 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.