Like many funders in the Southeast, the Daniel Foundation takes a state-based approach to giving locally. Organizations must be based in Alabama and serve state residents to be eligible for grants, and there are some great opportunities here for local grantseekers.
Here are three things you should know about this funder and a reminder about application deadlines.
This Funder Likes Familiar Faces
There are some foundations that love taking risks on startups, and work with new innovators on a regular basis. However, that isn’t exactly what you get with the Daniel Foundation. This funder prefers to work with organizations that it’s supported in the past, and typically only considers multi-year funding requests from repeat grantees. Startups are considered on an invitation only basis.
However, there is a “three-year rule” in place that prohibits grantseekers from obtaining new grants if their organizations have already been funded by the Daniel Foundation within the past three years.
Education is a Big Focus
One common theme that we’ve been seeing in philanthropy in the Southeast is how big the education needs down here really are. So it should come as no huge surprise that the Alabama-based Daniel Foundation supports many education causes at all age levels.
The funder gives to education and youth development causes mostly for the pre-K to grade 12 demographic, often prioritizing public libraries, preschools, public school advocacy, youth mentoring, summer learning, and career and college readiness. Within the realm of higher education, it gives to colleges and universities in Alabama.
However, some of its education(ish) grants touch on other issues important to this funder too, such as the environment. For example, the Daniel Community Scholars program funds Greener Tide, which is a University of Alabama volunteer group that provides information and resources for recycling at home football games.
Veterans and Obesity Are Big Issues Too
There are an estimated 400,000 veterans living in Alabama--about eight percent of the state’s population. This is one reason why the health and welfare of veterans is so important to this funder. Also, the founder, Hugh Daniel, served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps.
In addition to the health needs of veterans, the foundation is also concerned that Alabama has one of the nation's highest obesity rates. Health funding priorities are healthy eating, exercise, preventative health measures, nurse training, and mental health and counseling for the underserved.
Dates to Remember
Your first step as a grantseeker is to submit a letter of intent and understand that the foundation typically has three issue-specific grantmaking cycles per year. Education and youth grant program letters of intent are due on October 3, and you should hear back from the funder either way about your idea by Halloween.
To learn more about how this funder gives grants in Alabama, check out IP’s full profile, The Daniel Foundation: Southeast (Alabama) Grants. If you’re wondering where your program could fit within the foundation’s priorities and guidelines, reach out to Grants Manager Joyce Brasher via email at Joyce@df-al.com for advice.