Abelard Foundation West


Contact Information


Common Counsel Foundation's consortium of family foundations (including Abelard Foundation West) is committed to funding economic, environmental and social justice initiatives. It seeks to give voice to low income people, women, youth, people of color and others working for justice, equity, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

Funding Interests

Committed to supporting social change organizations which:

  • Reflect, through membership or grassroots participation, the communities in which they are based; 
  • Expand community control over economic, social and environmental decisions affecting the community's well-being; and 
  • Build a strong informed voice on public policy issues. 

Geographic Focus

Northern Rockies, the Great Basin, the Northwest, the Southwest and California.

Types of Support

General support.

Grant Size

$6000 to $12000

Requirements & Limitations

The foundation is unable to support the following:

  • organizations with total annual budgets over $400,000 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; and
  • emergency funding.

Application Process

Applicants are required to use a common coversheet. The proposal should describe the organization, constituency or membership, the issues or problems the group seeks to address and an explanation of the organization's current programs, strategies and timeline. See the foundation's website for additional instructions.


Applications are due January 15 and June 15. E-mail submissions are preferred.


Applicant organizations must have an annual budget under $400,000 and should be:

  • Based in and working in a low or moderate income community;
  • Engaged in community, neighborhood, and/or workplace organizing;
  • Implementing a strategy for clear policy change objectives; and
  • Funded at least partially by grassroots fundraising such as dues, fundraising events, workplace giving, raffles, etc.

Recent Grants

Grant 1

Grantee: Rio Pueblo-Rio Embudo Watershed Protection Coalition, Penasco, NM
Amount: $7500
Purpose: A renewal grant in support of this coalition of individuals and groups that work to protect and sustain the environment and communities of the Rio Pueblo-Rio Embudo watershed in New Mexico.

Grant 2

Grantee: Western Shoshone Defense Project, Crescent Valley, NV
Amount: $12000

A renewal grant to assist and provide support services to the Newe (Shoshone) people in their ongoing struggle to protect Newe traditional lands, sovereignty, and self-determination in the face of government and corporate-led mining and pollution.

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