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

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Grantmaking Process, Guidelines & Procedures

The Abell Foundation is committed to promoting the development of fuller human potential and achievement of self-sufficiency through educational opportunities.

The Foundation’s grantmaking process generally includes the following steps:

Letter of Inquiry
Full Application
Board Meeting and Notification of Decision by Mail
First Payment
Interim Report (if applicable)
Second Payment (if applicable)
Final Report

Foundation staff members welcome inquiries regarding the grantmaking process and specific questions about the application process.  Please make initial contact by letter, email, or  phone. Direct inquiries about the application process to the attention of Holly Russell, Grants Administrator. 

Letter of Inquiry

The Abell Foundation requires that applicants initiate requests for new grants by providing a one- to two-page letter including the following information:

  • the applicant’s mission;
  • population served;
  • scope of activities;
  • key accomplishments;
  • summary of project with goals and objectives;
  • evaluation plan;
  • amount of funding requested and budget; and
  • grant period.

Please submit your Letter of Inquiry by regular mail, fax, or email (with an electronic signature) to:

Robert C. Embry, Jr., President
The Abell Foundation
Suite 2300
111 S. Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-6174
Fax: 410-539-6579

A Letter of Inquiry is not necessary if contact has been made with the President, Vice President, or relevant Program Officer first to ensure that the proposed project meets the Foundation’s criteria.

Application Process

Should the Foundation be interested in reviewing the project described in the Letter of Inquiry, the applicant will receive a letter in the mail requesting that a more detailed application be submitted. 

The Foundation uses the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers’ Common Grant Application. Please note that the Foundation accepts applications from organizations designated by the IRS as 501(c)3 and 509(a) organizations.  Applicants must include a copy of their latest IRS determination letter.

Please submit your application by mailing one hard copy of the full proposal with attachments to:

Robert C. Embry, Jr., President
The Abell Foundation
Suite 2300
111 S. Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-6174  

Please note that after the proposal has been received, a program officer may contact you with questions about your proposal and/or request a site visit.  Applicants will be notified by mail of the decision made by the Board of Trustees within a week of the board meeting.  We respectfully request no inquiries about grant status before the letter is received.

If your request is funded or declined, please wait a year before submitting another proposal for the same project.  An organization is welcome to submit multiple proposals for different projects during the same calendar year.

Monitoring and Reporting

Once the grant has been awarded, the Foundation will monitor the progress of the project during the grant period and will withhold payments of the grant should the grantee not comply with or fall short of the specified goals and objectives as set forth in the grant request.

Typically, the Foundation does not release a press announcement on each grant. However, if the recipient wishes to issue its own announcement, the Foundation requests that the recipient review any material with the Foundation prior to distribution.

When the Foundation awards a grant, the recipient may be asked to submit an interim report to the Foundation that includes a narrative of the progress of the project, an accounting of funds expended to date, and notice of any substantial changes from the original request.

A grant recipient will also be asked to submit a post-grant report, including a final progress report, an accounting of expenditures and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the project. The post-grant report will follow the Baltimore Area Grantmakers’ post-grant reporting form and procedures. Download the post-grant report form.