Allen Foundation, Inc., named in honor of William Webster Allen, operates under the laws of the State of Michigan with offices in Midland. Grants are limited under the terms of the foundation’s charter to projects that primarily benefit programs for human nutrition in the areas of health, education, training, and research.

Policies and Priorities
Eligibility Requirements
Deadlines and Notifications
Assistance or Feedback

The policies and priorities of Allen Foundation, Inc.:
  • To make grants to fund relevant nutritional research.
  • To support programs for the education and training of mothers during pregnancy and after the birth of their children, so that good nutritional habits can be formed at an early age.
  • To assist in the training of persons to work as educators and demonstrators of good nutritional practices.
  • To encourage the dissemination of information regarding healthful nutritional practices and habits.
  • In limited situations to make grants to help solve immediate emergency hunger and malnutrition problems.

The connections between diet and health remain a basic and primary priority, and consideration has always been given to projects that benefit nutritional programs in the areas of education, training, and research. Low priority has traditionally been given to proposals that help solve immediate or emergency hunger and malnutrition problems. The foundation does not under any circumstances sponsor professional conferences, seminar tables, discussion panels, or similar events. The foundation welcomes proposals that develop and advance: (1) the inclusion of mandatory courses in nutrition in medical schools; (2) bringing the promise of nutrigenomics or nutritional genomics to realization; and (3) the promotion of environmentally sound, economically viable, socially responsive, and sustainable food and agricultural systems.

Eligibility requirements for receiving a grant from Allen Foundation, Inc.:

In order to be considered for an Allen Foundation grant, you must be a non-profit organization and be able to provide us with a copy of your Internal Revenue Service certification of 501(c) 3 tax-exempt status. If applying from outside the United States, you must inform us how we can document or confirm that you have your country’s counterpart or equivalent of the 501(c)(3) form. Only online submissions of grant proposals will be considered for possible funding. Please click on How to Apply and follow the instructions for submitting a proposal online.
In certain circumstances, the Allen Foundation will consider requests from the following: hospitals or medical clinics; social, religious, fraternal, or community organizations; private foundations; and K-12 public, parochial or private schools. Preference may be given to proposals that include matching funds from the institution or other partners including in-kind contribution. Third party contribution to matching funds such as computer or software donated from a company may be included. The foundation reserves the right to make an award without further discussion and reserves the right to reject any or all proposals. Reviewers will objectively evaluate the merit of the proposal based on the goal, objectives, and expected outcomes. All projects should have the potential for budgetary self-sufficiency (direct and indirect costs) or show evidence that special funds will not be needed to continue the program after completion of the grant period. The Allen Foundation Inc. imposes a cap of twenty percent (20%) for overhead costs collected (on top of direct costs of completing the project) by colleges and universities. Applicants are thus requested to plan their budgets accordingly in order to avoid any problems with their institution’s administration or development foundation. The foundation does not directly administer the programs which it funds. The recipients are asked to submit yearly progress reports and a financial accounting concerning the expenditures of the foundation grant. The foundation does not retain ownership rights in intellectual property generated in relation to grants.
Academic research under an Allen Foundation grant must be conducted under the leadership of a principal investigator (PI) who is a full-time regular faculty member with tenure or on tenure track. Research projects that are pre-clinical or translational in nature, i.e., utilizing animal models, as well as human/clinical studies are eligible for consideration for possible funding. An application requires the following: (1) an abbreviated curriculum vitae for the PI; (2) a short statement of the performance and leadership qualifications of the PI to undertake the project and the suitability of the environment in which the project will be conducted; (3); the name with full contact information (mailing address, email, and fax number) of the person or office in charge of institution internal review of all proposals for sponsored projects that are submitted to external agencies prior to their submission; and (4) full contact information, if applicable, regarding institution oversight of projects involving humans or experimental animals. If the board of trustees desires further documentation or additional materials, it will contact the office or person named in the application.

Deadlines and Notifications:

The submission deadline for proposals is midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on January 15 for review at our April board meeting and July 15 for review at our October board meeting.  Proposals received after these deadlines will be considered for review at the next session. Please do not ask the webmaster for an extension of the deadline. The decisions of the board of trustees will be announced by posting the list of organizations winning grants on this website in June and December of each year. Because of the number of proposals received and the limited resources of the foundation, applicants should never view possible declinations to fund their proposals or delays in reviewing their proposals as judgments on the actual merits of their proposals. The foundation would like to be in a financial position to assist all the hundreds of grant requests that it receives each year, but its resources are unfortunately limited and in many cases have already been committed.

Requests for Assistance Or Feedback:

Requests for assistance or guidance in drafting proposals or inquiries for “feedback” regarding the evaluation of proposals are perfectly reasonable, but the Allen Foundation is currently unable to comply. Unlike most large charitable foundations that pay professional staff members to guide grantees through the process of preparing proposals, the Allen Foundation is a small family foundation with an all-volunteer group of board members who hold other full-time jobs. Nor can the secretary demand that the board of trustees agree to any characterizations about the putative “strengths” or “weaknesses” of your previous grant or any new grant. Applicants should also understand that the grading procedure used by the trustees means that grants are separated out at times by the smallest of fractions, and thus drawing a line becomes often brutally arbitrary simply because the standard deviations in the last “final set of grades” after discussion are almost totally nonexistent. In so many instances, if the money for funding had still been available when proposals next in the final rankings were reached, the proposals would have been funded.