Albuquerque Community Foundation: New Mexico Grants

OVERVIEW: The Albuquerque Community Foundation has a competitive grants program that awards about $250,000 each year, with the average individual grant coming out to just over $8,000. To be eligible for these grants, nonprofits must have been incorporated in New Mexico for at least five years and serve the Greater Albuquerque metro area.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education, environment, environmental and historic preservation, health, human services, economic and workforce development

IP TAKE: Although Albuquerque Community Foundation competitive program grants are small compared to some other local funders, they cover a broad range of topics and maintain a strictly local focus. This is a great foundation to pitch your Albuquerque-based program for nearly any large or small charitable cause. Just keep your request between $1,000 and $15,000. 

PROFILE: The Albuquerque Community Foundation (ACF) is one of over 700 community foundations in America, and it’s great example of this century-old tradition of local giving. It was established in 1981 to support the Greater Albuquerque area and has a mission to build, invest, and manage endowment funds to enhance the quality of the community through informed strategic grantmaking.

In a recent year, ACF has over $66 million in total assets, which is more than previous years. It's also been making over $4 million in annual program distributions and grants, which is also higher than previous years.

To encourage donor contributions, ACF stands behind the idea that one doesn’t have to be a millionaire to be a philanthropist. Donors can start a new donor-advised fund, student aid fund, or leave decisions up to ACF’s discretion for just $10,000 or $3,300 paid over three years

ACF awards grants to local organizations in the Albuquerque metropolitan area through a competitive grantmaking process each year. The competitive grant program is currently made up of 66 endowment funds, which are pooled together to respond to needs that align with the foundations fields of interest. The foundation estimated having about $280,000 in this competitive grant pool in a recent year. However, ACF does share submitted proposals with other individual donors and foundations that may be interested in helping out as well. 

These are ACF’s current grantmaking fields of interest: arts and culture, education, environment, environmental and historic preservation, health, human services, and economic and workforce development.

Arts & culture grants have an emphasis on low-income populations and at-risk youth. Education grants support early childhood, K-12 programs, and adult learning programs that promote literacy and vocational training. Environmental and historic preservation grants have an emphasis on K-12 and overall community involvement. Health grants support access to care, including mental health, and human services grants benefit at-risk youth, senior citizen, and the homeless.

The average competitive grant in past years has been around $8,350 and only about 25 percent of grant requests are funded in a typical year. ACF uses a letter-of-intent process, and those letters are reviewed by the board of trustees and volunteers in the community. Although nonprofits need not be based in Albuquerque to be eligible for a grant, their services must benefit the people living in the Albuquerque metro area community. To apply for the Competitive Grants Program, nonprofits must be incorporated in the state of New Mexico for a minimum of five years. Both large and small organizations are considered for competitive grants.

You can find a list of recent ACF grants on the foundation website.

If you’re planning to request a grant, the amount you ask for will need to be between $1,000 and $15,000 depending on your organization’s total income. ACF funds both program support and general operating support, however, schools, government entities, and umbrella funding organizations can only apply for program support. For a list of current deadlines, check out the foundation’s Grant Deadlines page. You can download a Letter of Intent on the website as well.

To keep up with ACF news, you can browse through recent foundation newsletters and follow the foundation blog, which is updated at least every couple months. General inquiries about grants can be directed to the Program Director Nancy Johnson.


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