Acorn Foundation


Contact Information


Common Counsel Foundation's consortium of family foundations (including the Acorn Foundation) 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

The Acorn Foundation supports projects dedicated to building a sustainable future for the planet and to restoring a healthy global environment. The Acorn Foundation is particularly interested in small and innovative community-based projects which:

  • Preserve and restore habitats supporting biological diversity and wildlife
  • Advocate for environmental justice, particularly in low-income and indigenous communities; and
  • Prevent or remedy toxic pollution.

Geographic Focus

North America

Types of Support

General support

Grant Size

$5000 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

  1. Complete Common Counsel Foundation Letter of Inquiry Cover Form. Click here for information about the Cover Form. The cover form is required for all grant applicants and asks you some basic questions about your organization, your membership, your funding and your issue campaigns.
  2. Email or mail your Letter of Inquiry Cover Form so that we receive it in our office by January 15th or June 15th. Or you may cut and paste the Letter of Inquiry Cover Form into a word processing document and complete it by hand and send it by mail. You will get a response to your letter within three weeks. 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: Cascadia Wildlands Project, Eugene, OR
Amount: $10000
Purpose: A renewal grant to support organizing efforts that aim to protect pristine forests, endangered wildlife, clear rivers and stable economies in the Pacific Northwest.

Grant 2

Grantee: Butte Environmental Council, Chico, CA
Amount: $10000

A renewal grant to protect the vitality of the Sacramento Valley and Foothills ecoregion through the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the land, air, and water.

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