Working To Enhance The Quality Of Life
In Baltimore And In Maryland.

  • Baltimore Rowhomes

    The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

    [ Listen ]
  • Students

    The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

    [ Listen ]
  • Picture of the Hoop House Garden

    The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

    [ Listen ]
  • Wetlands

    The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

    [ Listen ]
  • The Abell Foundation: A Baltimore Story with Gilbert Sandler

    [ Listen ]

Grants

Grants

The Foundation responds to unsolicited requests for funding and initiates programs that address community-wide needs and effect long-term systemic change.


Areas of Interest
Recent Grants
How Do I Apply For A Grant?

Publications

Publications

The Abell Foundation believes that a community faced with complicated and seemingly intractable challenges is well served by research-based information.


Reports
Newsletters

Direct Investments

Direct Investments

The Foundation’s portfolio makes direct investments in highly innovative companies that promote important social objectives, create jobs and are headquartered in Baltimore City.


Direct Investments
Current Investments

2015 Grant Deadlines

(Dates in parenthesis are board meetings.)

January 1 (March 4), March 1 (April 21), May 1 (June 16),
August 1 (September 15), September 1 (October 27), November 1 (December 15)

Funding the Will to Find Solutions

Environment

As part of the effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore City is required -- by federal mandate -- to restore 20 percent of the city’s impervious surface area within its five watersheds.  Increasing adoption of green infrastructure practices (“greening”) in residential neighborhoods is...

Read More

Environment

Air quality in and around the Port of Baltimore is poor.  The Baltimore area is designated a “nonattainment” area for ozone and leads the nation in asthma mortality; the American Lung Association gave Baltimore mostly failing grades in its latest “State of the Air” report card. 

Mobile...

Read More

Environment

In response to the increasing threat of global climate change and the availability of federal and state tax incentives, demand for renewable energy has significantly increased in Maryland in recent years.  Solar energy has the potential to significantly reduce residential (and commercial) energy...

Read More

Criminal Justice & Addiction

The ACLU focuses on the “front end” of the criminal justice system—from policing to sentencing— seeking to end criminal justice policies that result in mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and racial injustice. Maryland’s prison population has nearly tripled in recent years, growing from 7,...

Read More

Community Development

Newborn Holistic Ministries, Inc. (NHM) was created in l996 as an outreach ministry of the Newborn Community of Faith Church, located in the Sandtown-Winchester area. Its outreach ministry has focused on the Sandtown-Winchester and Upton communities. These predominately African-American...

Read More

Community Development

For over 20 years, the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) has provided business development and lending services to the Latino and minority business community in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. LEDC is both a U.S. Department of the Treasury-certified Community Development...

Read More

Community Development

In 2010, Maryland Hunger Solutions launched a pilot project to enable recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as “food stamps,” to purchase fresh produce at three farmers’ markets in Baltimore City. With the support of the Weinberg Foundation, the...

Read More

Community Development

For more than two decades, Community Law Center has provided legal representation to community groups to challenge new liquor licenses and license renewals in cases where the establishment has, or would have, a negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Significant problems cited by...

Read More

Community Development

The Baltimore Tree Trust (BTT) was formed in 2009 by a group of residents committed to restoring the urban forest through tree plantings, tree stewardship and maintenance, community education and engagement, advocacy, and research. Recognizing the multiple environmental and public health...

Read More

Community Development

The Baltimore Community ToolBank provides tools to community-based nonprofit organizations, churches and other faith-based groups, schools, neighborhood associations, and other primarily volunteer-based efforts for community revitalization.  Projects can include, but are not limited to:...

Read More

Health & Human Services

In 2012, with the support of the Abell Foundation and other funders, the Johns Hopkins Harriet Lane Clinic (HLC) launched the Preconception Women’s Health and Pediatrics Initiative to connect low-income new mothers with health care to address chronic health conditions, improve their health, and...

Read More

Health & Human Services

Many studies have demonstrated that children benefit – physically, socially and emotionally – from participating in team sports.  The benefits include improved health and fitness, increased confidence, and reduced likelihood of engaging in risk behaviors. Moreover, participation in youth sports...

Read More

Health & Human Services

For more than 50 years, Catholic Charities has been meeting the needs of Baltimore’s Latino community in East Baltimore.  Originally known as the Hispanic Apostolate, the immigrant support program began by teaching English to new immigrants.  Over the past half-century, the program has grown...

Read More

Health & Human Services

The Tahirih Justice Center was founded in 1997 to represent women and girls seeking protection from gender-based human rights abuses.  Partnering with an extensive network of pro bono attorneys, Tahirih provides legal services to protect clients from immediate danger, and to assist them in...

Read More

Health & Human Services

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national organization founded in 2005 to help low-income individuals access state and federal aid programs, such as food stamps (SNAP benefits), Medical Assistance, and energy assistance programs. BDT’s model relies on partnerships with federal, state, and local...

Read More

Health & Human Services

The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP) provides counseling and rental assistance to participants in the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program.  BRHP was created as a result of the settlement of the landmark civil rights case Thompson, et al. vs. HUD, et al., which was filed by...

Read More

Workforce Development

The 2012 Brookings Institution report, Building from Strength:  Creating Opportunity in Greater Baltimore’s Next Economy, argues that the manufacturing industry in Baltimore has long been recognized for offering good-paying jobs to those without a postsecondary education.  Once known for steel...

Read More

Workforce Development

Maryland New Directions, Inc., (MND) is a private, nonprofit, career counseling and job placement agency dedicated to helping individuals become contributing members of their community. Founded in 1973 as Baltimore New Directions for Women, the 41-year-old organization has helped more than 130,...

Read More

Education

Less than 7 in 10 Baltimore City public school ninth-grade students receives a high school diploma and roughly 42 percent of high school students miss more than 20 days each school year.  Fewer than half of Baltimore City graduates will enroll in college, and only 10 percent of them will earn a...

Read More

Education

Despite the growing number of afterschool options in Baltimore, there are very few scholastic after-school activities that offer the benefits of encouraging teamwork, leadership, and problem solving, while buttressing in-school academic performance.  The Abell Foundation has invested in building...

Read More

Education

According to studies from the National Research Council, third-grade reading scores can be used to predict the likelihood of high school completion with reasonable accuracy; in fact, students reading below grade level in elementary school are four times less likely to graduate high school than...

Read More

Education

The percentage of Baltimore City public high school graduates enrolling in college has been declining, and now hovers at 44 percent.  In addition, fewer students are choosing four-year colleges, and 75 percent of those who do enroll in college require remedial coursework. Generally, only 30...

Read More

Environment

The Sparrows Point Steel Mill made iron and steel and built ships for more than eighty years on about 2,300 acres along the banks of the Patapsco River and Bear Creek in Baltimore. During that time, and to this day, the site is notoriously known for violating pollution regulations for air, water...

Read More

Environment

Since 2000, crude oil has been extracted from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota through a process called hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).  Bakken crude oil, which is shipped by rail to port cities around the country for transport, is highly explosive.  Communities along rail lines...

Read More

Arts

The goal of the Museum of Ceramic Art is to provide a meaningful ceramic art experience in the classroom and at after-school clubs. Now being offered at 41 Baltimore City public middle schools, the program provides teacher-training workshops, classroom assistance, curriculum modules, and...

Read More

Arts

The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (CSC), Baltimore’s third-largest theater company, was founded in 2002 with the mission to create innovative performance and education programs that bring to life the works of William Shakespeare and other classics.  For the past 11 years, the CSC has been...

Read More

Community Development

In 2010, the Waterfront Partnership launched the Healthy Harbor Initiative, an education campaign to draw attention to the poor water quality of Baltimore’s harbor and to create a blueprint for action with the ambitious goal of making the harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020. The Baltimore...

Read More

Community Development

The Venture for America (VFA) Fellows Program attracts bright, newly-minted college students to use their talents working for a start-up or early stage company during a two-year program following graduation. VFA was founded to create a clear path for undergraduate students to find meaningful...

Read More

Community Development

The Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) launched the AccelerateBaltimore program in January, 2012, to advance rapid growth of start-up companies through a program of accelerated incubator services and investment funding.  Modeled after successful accelerator programs from across the country, such...

Read More

Community Development

Vacant properties are one of the greatest challenges facing Baltimore’s neighborhoods. As they slowly deteriorate, they depress the value of all surrounding properties, cause disinvestment, and discourage investment in the neighborhood. Many studies have been conducted on the impact of vacant...

Read More

Community Development

In 2010, Civic Works began building a farming operation for food production and access, workforce training, and education of Baltimore City school children on six acres in Clifton Park called Real Food Farm. Farm operations have grown to include seven production high tunnels (or hoop houses),...

Read More

Community Development

Plagued by high numbers of foreclosures, BENI has developed quality homeownership and foreclosure counseling services. BENI is a leader in community-based marketing and outreach through direct and mass mailings, community banners, and block-level outreach. This direct marketing has convinced...

Read More

Community Development

The Baltimore Community ToolBank provides tools to community-based nonprofit organizations, churches and other faith-based groups, schools, neighborhood associations, and other primarily volunteer-based efforts for community revitalization.  Projects can include, but are not limited to:...

Read More

Workforce Development

Year Up provides low-income high school graduates and GED recipients, ages 18 to 24, with a year of information technology (IT) and Investment Operations training, leading to technical careers, with starting salaries of over $35,000. In 2006, Year Up opened an office in the Washington, DC area (...

Read More

Workforce Development

According to a National Economic Development and Law Center report, the link between owning a car and being gainfully employed is significant. Studies have shown that not only are those who own cars more likely to work, but they are also more likely to work additional hours and earn higher wages...

Read More

Workforce Development

In the spring of 1997, the Abell Foundation awarded Baltimore City Healthy Start a $250,000 grant to replicate in Baltimore the highly successful East Harlem job placement program called STRIVE. The East Harlem program has been in operation since 1985 and now has affiliate programs in ten other...

Read More

Workforce Development

The need for trained technical expertise in the field of bioscience is acute, not only for the growing number of bioscience companies in Maryland, but also for research centers affiliated with universities.  The Biotechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc. (BTI) was established in the fall of 1997...

Read More

Workforce Development

Since February 2000, with support from the Abell Foundation, the Rose Street Community Center (Rose Street) has offered small weekly stipends (no more than $10 a day) to community residents in exchange for participating in daily community clean-ups, GED classes, or gang mediation meetings. Last...

Read More

Workforce Development

CASA of Maryland opened the Baltimore Workers’ Employment Center at 2224 East Fayette Street on December 19, 2007. The center provides employment placement services for day laborers and low-income workers who assemble early in the morning in the hopes of being picked for low-paying jobs in...

Read More

Workforce Development

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a powerful work incentive and poverty-alleviation tool, helping low-income working families to increase their earnings by as much as 40 percent.  Research indicates that the EITC has increased the employment and earnings of single women and female heads of...

Read More

Workforce Development

In 2002, the Abell Foundation hired a consultant to identify high-growth/high-shortage positions at the Johns Hopkins Health System that could be filled by Baltimore City residents.  The consultant ultimately obtained data on all 690 positions that require an Associates of Arts (AA) degree or...

Read More

Criminal Justice & Addiction

Baltimore City is home to two-thirds of the ex-prisoners who are released from Maryland prisons each year (averaging 9,000 returnees to Baltimore City annually). The Maryland Compact for Public Safety (the PSC), launched December 2008, helps ex-prisoners successfully reenter communities in...

Read More

Criminal Justice & Addiction

In December, l997, the Abell Foundation awarded a grant of $1 million over two years to Baltimore City Healthy Start to implement Recovery In Community (RIC), a community-based initiative designed to reduce crime and drug addiction in three heavily drug-infested communities in Southwest...

Read More

Criminal Justice & Addiction

When a nursing home in Park Heights went bankrupt and the building became available in the spring of 2001, the Abell Foundation saw an opportunity to increase Baltimore's long-term residential treatment capacity significantly. The facility could hold up to 124 beds. The Foundation guaranteed a $...

Read More

Health & Human Services

A July 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute found that 49 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unintended.  While rates of unintended pregnancy have been declining among women with incomes above 200 percent of the federal poverty level over the past two decades, they have risen by...

Read More

Health & Human Services

Founded in 1968 by the Franciscan Sisters of Baltimore, the Franciscan Center is an emergency outreach center that serves individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The Franciscan Center is located in the Charles Village neighborhood in central Baltimore, but...

Read More

Health & Human Services

Despite significant declines in recent years, Baltimore’s teen birth rate remains one of the highest in the nation. In 2009, 1,494 Baltimore City teenagers gave birth, many of them for a second or third time: nearly 11 percent of births to 15- to 17-year-olds were at least their second births,...

Read More

Education

With a start-up grant from the Abell Foundation and the New Schools Venture Fund, the Urban Teacher Center (UTC) was founded in September, 2009, creating a new model to train and certify highly effective teachers in Baltimore and Washington, DC.  UTC has developed and implemented an...

Read More

Education

Research consistently demonstrates that high-quality teaching is the most important factor impacting student learning; furthermore, teacher and principal quality accounts for 60 percent of the impact on student achievement.  Despite the growth of alternative teacher certification pipelines,...

Read More

Education

Research, most notably the work of Johns Hopkins researcher Karl Alexander (2001), has identified summer vacation as the culprit in widening the achievement gap in reading between low-income children and their wealthier peers. Termed “summer slide,” low-income children lose, on average, three...

Read More

Education

Highlighted in the Public Justice Center’s advocacy for homeless youth in Baltimore was the need for both residential and educational components to serve adolescent males experiencing housing instability.  According to Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) officials, the annual number of...

Read More

Education

At a time when school reform and effective leadership are urgently needed, urban schools are facing shortages of qualified principals due to rising numbers of retirements, high attrition, and the creation of new schools.  In Baltimore, City Schools has appointed more than 180 new principals in...

Read More

Education

In a high-needs urban public school district, the focus and resources are often directed toward lower-performing students. Baltimore City Public Schools has offered few rigorous academic programs for the high-achieving student beyond five selective admission high schools. Even those programs are...

Read More

Education

In 2003, the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) launched a chess project that now engages more than 800 children in 55 elementary, middle, and high schools.  The project has received support and five grants from The Abell Foundation totaling $175,000.  The Baltimore City Public School...

Read More

Education

Data collection and analysis are critical sources of knowledge and support for large school districts and their boards.  Research departments within school systems, however, are tasked with responding to local and state compliance mandates rather than addressing critical longer term policy...

Read More

Education

Since 1994, the ACLU has been a champion of students’ rights to an adequate education in Baltimore City.  Its Education Reform project has been instrumental in advocating for increased statewide funding for Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) through the Bridge for Excellence...

Read More

Health & Human Services

It is well established that families living in distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods struggle against far greater odds than families who live in economically strong communities.  Conversely, poor families who are able to move to more affluent communities have access to a wide range of benefits—...

Read More

Recent Publications

Aug 2015
Abell Salutes: Maryland New DirectionsAbell Salutes
Aug 2015
Abell Salutes: David Oros and Gamma3Abell Salutes
Aug 2015

Opening Doors of Opportunity

The Foundation places a strong emphasis on opening the doors of opportunity to the disenfranchised, believing that no community can thrive if those who live on the margins of it are not included.