Community Foundation of Abilene

OVERVIEW: The Community Foundation of Abilene mainly supports community and youth causes in the Abilene, Texas, area. Field of interest funds address other topics, such as pro-life education and mental health.

FUNDING AREAS: Community, children and youth, mental health, humane treatment of animals, strengthening neighborhoods, pro-life education and promotion

IP TAKE: With a population of around 122,225, there are opportunities at CFA for all types of nonprofits serving Abilene. Funding topics and parameters are broad, so be creative with the pitch.

PROFILE: Established in 1985 and based in Abilene, Texas, the Community Foundation of Abilene (CFA) is one of many community funders in the state. A $750,000 gift from the Dodge Jones Foundation helped establish this foundation. This private family funder wished for other people in the community to be able to establish endowments and give locally too. Grant interest areas are community, children and youth, mental health, humane treatment of animals, strengthening neighborhoods, and pro-life education and promotion.

Discretionary grants are usually between $1,000 and $25,000 and go to a wide range of groups that benefit the Abilene community. Only local nonprofits receive these grants, and the application process is completely online. The Future Fund is a grantmaking program to benefit children and youth. A total of $15,000 or more is awarded in this program each year, with most grants between $2,500 and $5,000. Field of interest grants address topics such as mental health, humane treatment of animals, strengthening neighborhoods, and pro-life education and promotion. Each field of interest fund has its own guidelines and award amount ranges. In addition to these grant cycles, CFA offers a Volunteer Fire Department Fund to assist rural and volunteer fire departments in the Texas counties of Taylor, Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Eastland, Fisher, Jones, Nolan, Runnels, and Shackelford. This fund doesn’t operate on a regular grantmaking schedule but gives funds as donations are received.  CFA awards scholarships as well. Donor-advised and donor-designated funds are not part of CFA’s competitive grant cycles.

Overall, a CFA grants are typically between $1,000 and $25,000. Learn about past grantees in the community impact section of the funder’s website. Grantmaking is generally restricted to the Abilene area of the state.

This foundation has open grant cycles that local nonprofits can apply for. In a past year, for example, there was a field of interest grant cycle deadline in July, a fall discretionary grant cycle deadline in August, a Future Fund grant cycle deadline in January, and a spring discretionary grant cycle deadline later in January. The funder published a video tutorial about submitting applications that is worth watching. Board members and community volunteers evaluate grants to make decisions about new grantees. Direct general questions to the staff at cfainfo@cfabilene.org or 325-676-3383.

PEOPLE:

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