Angell Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Angell Foundation supports a mix of programs in California and New England that aim to help low-income, at-risk young people and adults improve their lives. Education-related programs are part of this equation, and the foundation funds tuition assistance, mentoring programs, career counseling, and other academic support for students from pre-school to 12th grade.

IP TAKE: Angell will be a tough nut to crack since it only funds organizations in two regions, and proposals and letters of inquiry are invitation-only. But it values long-term partnerships and welcomes organizations to send informational materials or call to discuss their work.

PROFILE: Before their deaths in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, David Angell and his wife, Lynn, left the world two lasting legacies: the sitcom Frasier (of which David Angell had been a creator and the executive producer), and the Angell Foundation, which the couple founded in 1996 to coordinate their already-extensive charitable giving.

From its headquarters in Los Angeles, the foundation distributes grants averaging about $35,000 and directed at "promoting and advancing high-impact programs that help people empower themselves," including through education. 

With the foundation's mission of "empowerment" in mind, its education funding is primarily directed at two critical areas, namely, "early childhood and access to postsecondary education," the latter of which is oriented towards "comprehensive programs that prepare youth to graduate from high school" ready for additional education, be it at a university or in postsecondary job training. For Angell, ECE is particularly important because "high-quality early care and education programs" help students both developmentally and in school readiness. High school graduation, meanwhile, is emphasized as ensuring future "marketable employment skills" and "economic stability." 

To that end, the foundation funds educational programs at every grade level, from pre-kindergarten through high school. In terms of K-12 suppport, Angell has offered funding to back a wide array of education services for low-income students, including tuition aid for low-income families to enroll their children in private schools, teacher training, student mentoring, academic enrichment, and career preparation in multiple fields. 

Organizations working in other ways to support children may also be eligible for grants through Angell's additional funding areas, which include Spirituality, Art, Social Justice, and Youth. Recent Youth grants have supported foster youth and job training, for example, while a Social Justice grant was recently awarded for an "art therapy program for adolescent adjudicated girls." The foundation's web site features a searchable grants database, with the caveat that past grants "may not accurately reflect ongoing guidelines" for awards going forward.

Program Related Investments, which the foundation defines as "low-cost loans and equity investments provided at below-market rates to support charitable activity," are also a possibility.

Unfortunately for grantseekers, Angell’s grants are restricted exclusively to organizations whose work will benefit communities in Southern California or New England, and proposals are invitation-only; the foundation stresses that it does not accept unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiry.  

That said, Angell constantly researches communities and the organizations working within those regions, and fundraisers "are free to send us information or contact us to discuss [their] organization and program." When it finds an organization that looks promising, it will send an invitation to apply for funds, after which a letter of inquiry may be submitted for review and possible invitation for a full proposal.

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