What are the elements of a strong proposal?
We receive many proposals. Those that are successful generally meet the following criteria in addition to those previously described.
- documents a track record of success in acquiring power and achieving social change; campaign victories are described.
- establishes that the role of the group’s constituents in shaping and leading the organization is fundamental and explicit, both as members and leaders.
- presents a strategy for the continuous development of constituent leadership.
- demonstrates a growing membership base.
- is explicit about the outcomes it seeks to achieve in the next year, that is, what it seeks to change, and what it seeks to gain, especially from policymakers and policy making institutions.
- describes how it works with other groups and constituencies.
- has a strong fund raising plan, particularly for the next 3-5 years; we specifically look for involvement in grassroots fundraising.
About Abelard East
What is your annual grantmaking budget?
Approximately $140,000 in 2004.
What percentage of proposals receive funding?
Generally one out of six.
Who are the staff?
Susan Collins in Lincoln, MA and Jim Metzinger in New York, NY.
Do you publish any materials?
An annual grants list and occasionally a Request for Proposals.
How can I get in touch with the staff?
It is strongly preferred and recommended that initial contact be by mail. Please read the information on this website fully. If you have specific questions that are not covered here, they can be addressed through e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff are not able to respond to phone inquiries until a proposal has been received.
About Our Grantmaking Program
Do you make grants outside the United States?
What are your geographical limitations?
East of the Mississippi River.
What types of organizations do you NOT fund?
International organizations and organizations located outside of the US; direct social services; government agencies and programs undertaken by tax-supported institutions or government initiative; programs which are solely educational, training or technical assistance in nature; capital expenditure, endowments, construction or renovation programs; emergency funding; scholarship funds or other aid to individuals; schools and educational institutions; cultural institutions; medical institutions; film, video, publications or other media projects; grantmaking institutions; large national or regional networks; research or fellowships; organizations with access to traditional or mainstream funding.
What types of strategies do you NOT fund?
Direct service, technical assistance, training, media, legal assistance, and public policy advocacy or research as stand alone strategies.
What types of grants do you make?
Most are general support.
Do you make multi-year grants?
About Our Grant Application Procedure
Abelard East operates with only two part time staff. Consequently, many of its procedures represent this streamlined staffing pattern.
I am interested in applying for a grant. Can I set up a meeting with staff?
No. Staff members are only able to schedule meetings with organizations that have submitted a proposal to the Foundation and that are currently being considered for funding. Limited staff travel often precludes the opportunity to have a personal meeting.
Can we send in a letter of inquiry?
We prefer that the initial contact be made with a proposal, but encourage you to be brief and use proposals and applications that you have prepared for others where appropriate.
Can I submit an application by fax or e-mail?
What are your proposal deadlines? May we submit an application after the deadline?
Applications will be accepted at any time. Those that are mailed by March 15 will be on time for review for the spring Board meeting. Those that are mailed by September 15 will be on time for review for the fall Board meeting.
What format should be used for a proposal?
We do not have a prescribed format, but encourage you to be brief but specific. Common application formats are acceptable, such as that provided by the National Network of Grantmakers (which can be downloaded from their website at www.nng.org).
What size of grant should we ask for?
There is no need to ask for a specific grant amount.
Does Abelard East make site visits?
Should we contact Abelard East to follow up on our application?
No. Receipt of your proposal will be acknowledged by mail. If staff require further information, they will get in touch with you.
When can we expect to hear about the status of our proposal?
Groups that submit proposals by either of the two deadlines will receive a decision in three to four months.
Why was our proposal declined? Can I contact Abelard East for feedback?
Some proposals are declined because they are determined to be out of the guidelines. We do not provide additional information for these declines. Proposals that are declined for other reasons will receive a letter that explains how feedback can be obtained.
If our request is declined, can we re-apply?
If the request was declined because it was out of guidelines, we do not encourage a re-application. Otherwise, a re-application will be reviewed, but we encourage you to re-read our criteria for support before doing so.
What are the Foundation’s reporting requirements?
The Foundation requires a program progress report and a financial report approximately nine months after a grant is approved. Further support will not be considered if required reports are not properly filed.
Can a grantee receive continued support after getting grants for three years?
In certain cases, continued support may be approved, but this is rare. Generally, it happens when the effort is unique, the match with the Foundation’s guidelines is very strong, the need is great, and the performance has been exemplary.
After getting a final grant, when can a group reapply for funding?
After a final grant has been made, it is highly unusual for another grant to be considered, even after some time has elapsed. Abelard East seeks to target its funds to organizations and efforts in their early stages of development. By the time it would come back for support, a group will have been expected to have moved beyond this stage. A case for renewed support would have to meet all funding criteria at a very high level.