Adams Legacy Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

IP OVERVIEW: The Adams Legacy Foundation's main grantmaking focus through the year 2020 is on the centrality of nature "as a source of renewal, delight, education, nourishment, healing and hope--for individuals, family and the community," and K-12 grantseekers must focus on the "intersection" between education and that perspective. 

IP TAKE: During its most recent funding cycle, Adams' broad-based approach provided funding for a wide variety of education organizations.  Funders should take note, however, that giving has been historically limited mainly to organizations working in central Ohio as well as the counties of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA.

PROFILE: A California-based family operation that first took wing in 2005, the Adams Legacy Foundation has a broad mission to “foster a commitment to philanthropy in the founders’ heirs and succeeding generations.”

Adams is a modest-sized funder and has adopted a strategy to "fund in 5-year cycles" that are dedicated "to specific funding areas." From 2011-2015 the foundation's grantmaking "focused on education and land conservation," with a heavy emphasis on the latter.  For the upcoming 2016-2020 cycle, however, Adams' focus has shifted to supporting projects through which "nature [can] be applied to solving specific local problems," specifically, those that connect nature to "education, art and architecture, conservation of land and wildlife, food and clean water systems," and "re-integration of military personnel into civilian life." 

    While the specifics regarding future grantees remain to be seen, in its previous cycle the Adams Foundation awarded grants to a wide variety of recipients serving K-12 students, including public schools and private schools (including ones holding religious affiliations), libraries, and nonprofits.  Awardees worked on a range of education-related activities including after-school programs, capital-improvement plans, teacher training, classroom equipment purchases, programs for disadvantaged or at-risk youth, reading enrichment initiatives, and offering financial assistance to students in need.  

    In terms of award size, most recent grants have fallen within the $10,000 to $20,000 range, with some outliers totaling $5,000 on the low end and $30,000 on the high end, and quite a few repeat awards given out over multiple years to nonprofits, schools, and museums, among others. While the foundation's web site does not specify geographic limitations, its IRS reporting as well as recipient award recipients suggest a geographic focus almost exclusively on central Ohio and the counties of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA.

    Applications are completely submitted online and start with the foundation's Application Process page, where organizations create an online account and follow the prompts to post a letter of inquiry.  LOIs are only accepted from April 15 to October 15, and full applications are submitted only after the inquiry is approved. 

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