Abney Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder primarily supports higher education but also funds local causes in Anderson, South Carolina, in the areas of education, health, culture, and social services. Letters of inquiry are accepted, and grants are awarded once per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, cultural affairs, social services

IP TAKE: Nonprofits in and around Anderson should get to know this funder and not be intimidated by how much in yearly funds goes towards higher education scholarships. There are some good program and project grant opportunities here, too.

PROFILE: The Abney Foundation is located in Anderson, South Carolina, and was established in 1957. Susie Mathews Abney was the founder and the widow of John Pope Abney, who founded Abney Mills in Greenwood, South Carolina. Susie passed away in 1969 and left a sizable portion of her estate to the foundation. A private foundation, it funds innovative and creative projects as well as community needs related to education, health, cultural affairs, and social services.

A majority of grantmaking is focused on higher education—about 75 to 80 percent of grants go towards this purpose. Remaining funds go to local organizations in the Anderson area. The foundation has awarded over $58.5 million to a variety of organizations since its founding.

The Abney Foundation accepts letters of intent prior to full proposals. A list of required materials is posted on the funder’s website. As a rule, this foundation does not fund general operating expenses. Only groups serving residents of South Carolina are eligible. Grants are usually made once per year, with a full proposal deadline of November 15. The foundation prefers submission of documents via mail. Only one copy of the proposal is needed, and you’ll receive an email or postcard acknowledgment within a month. Grantseekers should know by the third week in December whether their full proposals are approved.

In higher education, Abney has scholarship endowments at 14 colleges and universities in South Carolina. At the time of this writing, over $32,169,000 had been awarded to 14,675 Abney Scholars, including over 500 students for the last academic year. The combined endowment balances have exceeded $41,581,790. Schools with Abney Foundation scholarship programs include Anderson University, Lander University, Presbyterian College, Claflin University, and Tri-County Technical College.

There is a small staff at Abney. David C. King is executive director. Carl T. Edwards is executive director emeritus, and Bonnie Nash is the administrative assistant. There are six trustees on the board of directors.

General questions can be sent to info@abneyfoundation.org or called in at 864-964-9201. The address is 100 Vine Street, Anderson, South Carolina, 29621.

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