Atkinson Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Atkinson Foundation restricts its global grantmaking to Mexico and Central America. Grantmaking priorities are broad, here, and include economic development, microenterprise, food security, water, sanitation, health education, nutrition, and family planning.

IP TAKE: Atkinson prefers to award global development grants that are project or program specific. Also, it prefers to see indications that its grant support will help lead to project replicability over the long-term.

PROFILE: George Atkinson earned his wealth as a founding partner of the Guy F. Atkinson Construction company—now known simply as Atkinson Construction—in the early 1900s. George Atkinson and his wife Mildred were known as generous philanthropists and established the Atkinson Foundation to carry on their giving tradition. The foundation awards grants to local community organizations working in economic development, microenterprise, food security, water, sanitation, health education, nutrition, and family planning.

Internationally, the foundation limits it's funding to Southern Mexico and Central America. Nationally, it restricts giving to the San Mateo region. Atkinson remains a cautious grantmaker focused on supporting grassroots organizations that work to improve local communities in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Costa Rica.

Most grants range from $5,000 to $15,000 and largely support grassroots organizations. Atkinson is an approachable funder that accepts unsolicited grant applications throughout the year. Grant decisions are made four times per year on the first of March, June, September and December. The foundation suggest that grantseekers get their applications in at least one month before those deadlines. The foundation offers a streamlined application process via its website.

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