Working To Enhance The Quality Of Life
In Baltimore And In Maryland.

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    The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

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    The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

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    The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

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Grants

Grants

The Foundation responds to unsolicited requests for funding and initiates programs that address community-wide needs and effect long-term systemic change.


Areas of Interest
Recent Grants
How Do I Apply For A Grant?

Publications

Publications

The Abell Foundation believes that a community faced with complicated and seemingly intractable challenges is well served by research-based information.


Reports
Newsletters

Direct Investments

Direct Investments

The Foundation’s portfolio makes direct investments in highly innovative companies that promote important social objectives, create jobs and are headquartered in Baltimore City.


Direct Investments
Current Investments

2016 Grant Deadlines

(Dates in parenthesis are board meetings.)

January 1 (February 16), March 1 (April 20), May 1 (June 21),
August 1 (September 20), October 15 (December 13)

Funding the Will to Find Solutions

Arts

Light City Baltimore, held in the spring of 2016, was an international festival of “light, music and innovation” – the first of its kind in the United States.  Light City showcased international and Baltimore artists through 28 nighttime light installations located around the Inner Harbor, 50...

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Environment

Maryland’s poultry industry produces more than 300 million chickens a year which generate roughly 650 million pounds (0.3 million tons) of poultry litter annually.  Most of the chicken waste is applied as fertilizer onto farm fields, but there is more of it than the fields can absorb.  Excess...

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Environment

In Maryland, a low-income household typically spends an average of 9 percent of its annual income on electricity, whereas the average-income household in Maryland spends 2.5 percent of its annual income on electricity.   In Baltimore City, where 25.2 percent of residents live below the poverty...

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Criminal Justice & Addiction

The Abell Foundation provided $73,100 to help establish the Pretrial Justice Clinic at the University of Baltimore.  The Pretrial Justice Clinic will focus on the “front end” of incarceration and seek to reform a broken bail system that wrongfully incarcerates thousands of people awaiting trial...

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Criminal Justice & Addiction

In recent years, problems confronting the police have become more complex and the demands from stakeholders have increased, but resources have diminished. While Baltimore experienced significant reductions in gun violence from 2007 to 2011, those reductions stalled from 2011 to 2014 and...

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Criminal Justice & Addiction

A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse in March 2011 found that of nearly 1,000 pregnant, opioid-abusing women, almost nine of every 10 pregnancies were unintended. In light of these findings and understanding the importance of reducing barriers to reproductive health...

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Criminal Justice & Addiction

Safe Streets Baltimore (SSB) is based on the successful CureViolence model developed at the University of Illinois School of Public Health in Chicago.  Cure Violence stops the spread of violence in communities by using the strategies associated with disease control: detecting and interrupting...

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Community Development

Betamore is a technology, entrepreneurship, and education-focused organization located in an 8,000 sq. foot campus in Federal Hill.  Its goal is to foster the growth of a technology community and a technology-savvy workforce in Baltimore City. Betamore’s focus on business incubation and ongoing...

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Community Development

Civic Works created the Retrofit Baltimore program to make it easier for homeowners in Baltimore City to make weatherization and energy efficiency improvements to their houses. Lowering the monthly costs of utilities is critically important to strengthening the financial well-being of low-income...

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Health & Human Services

In recent years, family homelessness has become an increasing concern, both in Baltimore and nationally.  In Baltimore, families with minor children comprise more than a quarter of the city’s homeless population.  Because of the unique needs of homeless families with children, homeless service...

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Health & Human Services

According to the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, “housing cost burden” (households paying a high percentage of monthly income for housing) is “by far the most common housing problem in Baltimore City,” and poor families are especially vulnerable.  The Department...

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Health & Human Services

Established in 1979 on the south bank of the Middle Branch Basin, the Baltimore Rowing Club is located between two of Baltimore’s highest poverty neighborhoods, Cherry Hill and Westport.  In 2011, the Rowing Club created a new after-school and summer program, called Reach High Baltimore, in an...

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Workforce Development

Maryland New Directions, Inc., (MND) is a private, nonprofit, career counseling and job placement agency dedicated to helping individuals become contributing members of their community. Founded in 1973 as Baltimore New Directions for Women, the 41-year-old organization has helped more than 130,...

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Workforce Development

The 2012 Brookings Institution report, Building from Strength:  Creating Opportunity in Greater Baltimore’s Next Economy, argues that the manufacturing industry in Baltimore has long been recognized for offering good-paying jobs to those without a postsecondary education.  Once known for steel...

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Health & Human Services

The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP) provides counseling and rental assistance to participants in the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program.  BRHP was created as a result of the settlement of the landmark civil rights case Thompson, et al. vs. HUD, et al., which was filed by...

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Health & Human Services

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national organization founded in 2005 to help low-income individuals access state and federal aid programs, such as food stamps (SNAP benefits), Medical Assistance, and energy assistance programs. BDT’s model relies on partnerships with federal, state, and local...

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Health & Human Services

The Tahirih Justice Center was founded in 1997 to represent women and girls seeking protection from gender-based human rights abuses.  Partnering with an extensive network of pro bono attorneys, Tahirih provides legal services to protect clients from immediate danger, and to assist them in...

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Health & Human Services

For more than 50 years, Catholic Charities has been meeting the needs of Baltimore’s Latino community in East Baltimore.  Originally known as the Hispanic Apostolate, the immigrant support program began by teaching English to new immigrants.  Over the past half-century, the program has grown...

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Health & Human Services

In 2012, with the support of the Abell Foundation and other funders, the Johns Hopkins Harriet Lane Clinic (HLC) launched the Preconception Women’s Health and Pediatrics Initiative to connect low-income new mothers with health care to address chronic health conditions, improve their health, and...

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Community Development

The Baltimore Community ToolBank provides tools to community-based nonprofit organizations, churches and other faith-based groups, schools, neighborhood associations, and other primarily volunteer-based efforts for community revitalization.  Projects can include, but are not limited to:...

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Community Development

For more than two decades, Community Law Center has provided legal representation to community groups to challenge new liquor licenses and license renewals in cases where the establishment has, or would have, a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Significant problems cited by...

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Community Development

For over 20 years, the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) has provided business development and lending services to the Latino and minority business community in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. LEDC is both a U.S. Department of the Treasury-certified Community Development...

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Community Development

Newborn Holistic Ministries, Inc. (NHM) was created in 1996 as an outreach ministry of the Newborn Community of Faith Church, located in the Sandtown-Winchester area. Its outreach ministry has focused on the Sandtown-Winchester and Upton communities. These predominately African-American...

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Criminal Justice & Addiction

The ACLU focuses on the “front end” of the criminal justice system—from policing to sentencing— seeking to end criminal justice policies that result in mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and racial injustice. Maryland’s prison population has nearly tripled in recent years, growing from 7,...

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Environment

Air quality in and around the Port of Baltimore is poor.  The Baltimore area is designated a “nonattainment” area for ozone and leads the nation in asthma mortality; the American Lung Association gave Baltimore mostly failing grades in its latest “State of the Air” report card. 

Mobile...

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Environment

As part of the effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore City is required -- by federal mandate -- to restore 20 percent of the city’s impervious surface area within its five watersheds.  Increasing adoption of green infrastructure practices (“greening”) in residential neighborhoods is...

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Education

The National Academic League (NAL) is a competitive scholastic extracurricular program designed to increase middle school achievement, and sponsored by the Abell Foundation since 1993. Nearly 600 sixth-through eighth grade students on 28 Baltimore City public school teams compete bi-weekly in an...

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Education

Reading Partners is a national nonprofit that recruits, trains, and supports community volunteers to increase the amount of time and personnel available during the school day to deliver data-driven, one-on-one tutoring to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.  With Abell Foundation start...

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Education

Less than 7 in 10 Baltimore City public school ninth-grade students receives a high school diploma and roughly 42 percent of high school students miss more than 20 days each school year.  Fewer than half of Baltimore City graduates will enroll in college, and only 10 percent of them will earn a...

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Education

Despite the growing number of afterschool options in Baltimore, there are very few scholastic after-school activities that offer the benefits of encouraging teamwork, leadership, and problem solving, while buttressing in-school academic performance.  The Abell Foundation has invested in building...

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Education

According to studies from the National Research Council, third-grade reading scores can be used to predict the likelihood of high school completion with reasonable accuracy; in fact, students reading below grade level in elementary school are four times less likely to graduate high school than...

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Education

The percentage of Baltimore City public high school graduates enrolling in college has been declining, and now hovers at 44 percent.  In addition, fewer students are choosing four-year colleges, and 75 percent of those who do enroll in college require remedial coursework. Generally, only 30...

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Health & Human Services

Many studies have demonstrated that children benefit – physically, socially and emotionally – from participating in team sports.  The benefits include improved health and fitness, increased confidence, and reduced likelihood of engaging in risk behaviors. Moreover, participation in youth sports...

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Workforce Development

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a powerful work incentive and poverty-alleviation tool, helping low-income working families to increase their earnings by as much as 40 percent.  Research indicates that the EITC has increased the employment and earnings of single women and female heads of...

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Workforce Development

In 2002, the Abell Foundation hired a consultant to identify high-growth/high-shortage positions at the Johns Hopkins Health System that could be filled by Baltimore City residents.  The consultant ultimately obtained data on all 690 positions that require an Associates of Arts (AA) degree or...

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Health & Human Services

Founded in 1968 by the Franciscan Sisters of Baltimore, the Franciscan Center is an emergency outreach center that serves individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The Franciscan Center is located in the Charles Village neighborhood in central Baltimore, but...

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Health & Human Services

According to the Guttmacher Institute, an international reproductive health research and policy organization, nearly half of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended, and rates of unintended pregnancy are more than five times higher among poor women than among...

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Education

With a start-up grant from the Abell Foundation and the New Schools Venture Fund, the Urban Teacher Center (UTC) was founded in September, 2009, creating a new model to train and certify highly effective teachers in Baltimore and Washington, DC.  UTC has developed and implemented an...

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Education

Research consistently demonstrates that high-quality teaching is the most important factor impacting student learning; furthermore, teacher and principal quality accounts for 60 percent of the impact on student achievement.  Despite the growth of alternative teacher certification pipelines,...

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Education

Research, most notably the work of Johns Hopkins researcher Karl Alexander (2001), has identified summer vacation as the culprit in widening the achievement gap in reading between low-income children and their wealthier peers. Termed “summer slide,” low-income children lose, on average, three...

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Education

Highlighted in the Public Justice Center’s advocacy for homeless youth in Baltimore was the need for both residential and educational components to serve adolescent males experiencing housing instability.  According to Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) officials, the annual number of...

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Education

In a high-needs urban public school district, the focus and resources are often directed toward lower-performing students. Baltimore City Public Schools has offered few rigorous academic programs for the high-achieving student beyond five selective admission high schools. Even those programs are...

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Education

Data collection and analysis are critical sources of knowledge and support for large school districts and their boards.  Research departments within school systems, however, are tasked with responding to local and state compliance mandates rather than addressing critical longer term policy...

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Education

Since 1994, the ACLU has been a champion of students’ rights to an adequate education in Baltimore City.  Its Education Reform project has been instrumental in advocating for increased statewide funding for Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) through the Bridge for Excellence...

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Workforce Development

CASA of Maryland opened the Baltimore Workers’ Employment Center at 2224 East Fayette Street on December 19, 2007. The center provides employment placement services for day laborers and low-income workers who assemble early in the morning in the hopes of being picked for low-paying jobs in...

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Workforce Development

Since February 2000, with support from the Abell Foundation, the Rose Street Community Center (Rose Street) has offered small weekly stipends (no more than $10 a day) to community residents in exchange for participating in daily community clean-ups, GED classes, or gang mediation meetings. Last...

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Workforce Development

The need for trained technical expertise in the field of bioscience is acute, not only for the growing number of bioscience companies in Maryland, but also for research centers affiliated with universities.  The Biotechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc. (BTI) was established in the fall of 1997...

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Environment

Since 2000, crude oil has been extracted from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota through a process called hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).  Bakken crude oil, which is shipped by rail to port cities around the country for transport, is highly explosive.  Communities along rail lines...

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Arts

The goal of the Museum of Ceramic Art is to provide a meaningful ceramic art experience in the classroom and at after-school clubs. Now being offered at 41 Baltimore City public middle schools, the program provides teacher-training workshops, classroom assistance, curriculum modules, and...

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Community Development

In 2010, the Waterfront Partnership launched the Healthy Harbor Initiative, an education campaign to draw attention to the poor water quality of Baltimore’s harbor and to create a blueprint for action with the ambitious goal of making the harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020. The Baltimore...

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Community Development

The Venture for America (VFA) Fellows Program attracts bright, newly-minted college students to use their talents working for a start-up or early stage company during a two-year program following graduation. VFA was founded to create a clear path for undergraduate students to find meaningful...

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Community Development

The Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) launched the AccelerateBaltimore program in January, 2012, to advance rapid growth of start-up companies through a program of accelerated incubator services and investment funding.  Modeled after successful accelerator programs from across the country, such...

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Community Development

Vacant properties are one of the greatest challenges facing Baltimore’s neighborhoods. As they slowly deteriorate, they depress the value of all surrounding properties, cause disinvestment, and discourage investment in the neighborhood. Many studies have been conducted on the impact of vacant...

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Community Development

In 2010, Civic Works began building a farming operation for food production and access, workforce training, and education of Baltimore City school children on six acres in Clifton Park called Real Food Farm. Farm operations have grown to include seven production high tunnels (or hoop houses),...

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Community Development

Plagued by high numbers of foreclosures, BENI has developed quality homeownership and foreclosure counseling services. BENI is a leader in community-based marketing and outreach through direct and mass mailings, community banners, and block-level outreach. This direct marketing has convinced...

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Workforce Development

Year Up provides low-income high school graduates and GED recipients, ages 18 to 24, with a year of information technology (IT) and Investment Operations training, leading to technical careers, with starting salaries of over $35,000. In 2006, Year Up opened an office in the Washington, DC area (...

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Workforce Development

According to a National Economic Development and Law Center report, the link between owning a car and being gainfully employed is significant. Studies have shown that not only are those who own cars more likely to work, but they are also more likely to work additional hours and earn higher wages...

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Workforce Development

In the spring of 1997, the Abell Foundation awarded Baltimore City Healthy Start a $250,000 grant to replicate in Baltimore the highly successful East Harlem job placement program called STRIVE. The East Harlem program has been in operation since 1985 and now has affiliate programs in ten other...

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Health & Human Services

It is well established that families living in distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods struggle against far greater odds than families who live in economically strong communities.  Conversely, poor families who are able to move to more affluent communities have access to a wide range of benefits—...

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Opening Doors of Opportunity

The Foundation places a strong emphasis on opening the doors of opportunity to the disenfranchised, believing that no community can thrive if those who live on the margins of it are not included.