Acorn Foundation Grant

Common Counsel Foundation

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $10,000

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

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

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Established in 1978, the Acorn Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to supporting community-based organizations working to advance environmental conservation, sustainability and environmental justice. The Foundation’s name was taken from the street where the family lived.

The Foundation is particularly interested in small and innovative community-based 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
  • Prevent or remedy toxic pollution.

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


  • Organization eligibility

    • Located in the United States
    • Based in and working in a low and moderate-income community
    • 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 themselves, their communities and environments, while altering the balance of power.
    • Engage in regular community and/or workplace outreach to build your membership, have a concrete plan to grow and to build more power by getting more people involved
    • Have strong group of leaders and board members that represent the community they serve and who are accountable to the community
    • Have clear policy and/or institutional change objectives and a strategy for reaching them
    • Use the collective action of your members to bring your concerns to public officials and other decision-makers
    • Work of the organization impacts the daily lives of your members 
    • Have a strong leadership development program so that new people can become leaders and the group can continue to grow
    • Annual budget under $600,000
    • Have limited access to corporate, government, or mainstream sources of funding
    • Have 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.
    • IRS 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status or a fiscal sponsor who does


  • We are 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
    • Emergency funding