Here’s an Albuquerque Funder that Gives Locally in the $5-10K Range

Located in Albuquerque, the Albert I. Pierce Foundation is a New Mexico-focused grantmaker that’s concerned with education, arts, and the environment on a local level. The foundation recently made headlines for sponsoring a robotics competition for more than 100 elementary, middle and high school students from all over New Mexico. At the end of 2012, the foundation reported over $1.1 million in assets.

Related: IP's Profile of the Albert I. Pierce Foundation 

Albert Pierce was a Southern California native and a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. After his military career, he got his master’s degree and served a long career with the city of Albuquerque. As Executive Director of the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments for 17 years, he helped to push along the development of the Montano Bridge, the Paseo del Norte road plans, and the Double Eagle Airport.

In recent years, most grants have ranged between $5,000 and $10,000. Some $5,000 grantees in 2014 included the Valles Caldera National Preserve in Jemez Springs, New Mexico and Chatter, a music nonprofit that performs in “unconventional, intimate venues and fosters curiosity about and understanding of today’s composers by juxtaposing and weaving together new and traditional classical music.” Albuquerque’s Harwood Art Center was awarded a $10,000 grant for its Creative Roots and Teen Arts Mentorship program last year.

Although New Mexico is the main focus here, broader national grants are sometimes awarded to education and environmental organizations, such as the DC-based Project Learning Tree, and the Boulder, Colorado-based National Wildlife Federation. Small grants under $5,000 are also awarded at board discretion throughout the year.

Fortunately for grantseekers, the Albert I. Pierce Foundation accepts unsolicited online proposals from New Mexico nonprofits. Keep in mind that projects must be completed within a year of their start dates, and the foundation will hold you to a mid-cycle six-month report and a final one-year report. This is not the foundation to turn to for emergency funding, property acquisition, construction, or capital campaigns.

The best person to get in touch with about foundation grantmaking is Executive Director Debra N. Thrall-Pierce at 505-883-3114 or via email at She comes from a strong science background, with a Ph.D. in environmental education, a master’s in biology education, and a Bachelor’s in natural science education. Current deadlines are detailed on the foundation's guidelines page.