The William S. Abell Foundation supports qualified, tax-exempt organizations, regardless of religion or affiliation, providing aid to people in need in Washington, D.C. and nearby Maryland counties.

Our Core Mission: The Foundation primarily awards grants quarterly to help the hungry, *people with intellectual disabilities, homeless, abused women and children, and to assist at-risk pregnant women in delivering and caring for their infants. Grants typically do not exceed $25,000.

* The William S. Abell Foundation funds programs for people with intellectual disabilities only, and not for persons with other developmental disabilities. "The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has substituted the term intellectual disability as a narrow definition of mental retardation. This disability is characterized by 1) intellectual functioning level (IQ) below 70-75; 2) significant limitations in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills; 3) a disability originating before the age of 18".

Additionally, the Foundation makes grants by:

  • Our Cultural Initiative in June and December by The Margaret Abell Powell Fund for classical ballet and traditional theater.

All applicants must follow these steps:

  1. Review our requirements and deadlines.
  2. Complete our eligibility review: Am I Eligible? After you complete the quiz, it will walk you through how to submit a letter of intent.
  3. If letter of intent is approved, you will be invited to submit a proposal. Review our application checklist.


If the quiz is not available, our current funding cycle is closed. Our next funding cycle will open November 10, 2014. Please submit your letter of intent on PhilanTrack no later than January 1, 2015.