Social Entrepreneur Grant

Social Entrepreneur Grants


One way the Ausherman Family Foundation empowers the passion for change is to recognize and support individuals and organizations that are catalysts for change. The Foundation refers to these individuals as “Social Entrepreneurs.”

The goal of the Social Entrepreneur Grant program is to support Frederick County individuals and nonprofit organizations with ideas and the passion to carry out a transformative endeavor that could dramatically improve at least one aspect of community life. These individuals or organizations may not have been able to bring their vision to fruition because of insufficient financial support.

The Social Entrepreneur Grant program award is capped at $25,000 per year. Grant seekers may receive up to two years of Social Entrepreneur funding based on the success of the first year's funding as noted in the required follow-up reports.

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Eligibility Criteria

  1. The organization must have, or be in the process of, securing a tax-exempt determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service.
  2. The organization must be located in Frederick County, Maryland.
  3. The organization's mission should fall into one of the Foundation's areas of interest.

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Areas of Interest

The Ausherman Family Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations that fit into the following defined Areas of Interest:

  • Children, Youth, & Families

    Organizations or programs that provide enrichment and increased opportunity to children and youth as well as organizations or programs that strengthen families. Programs and activities included are scouting, mentorships, youth leadership, youth community service clubs and job training, parent engagement, education, college access, academic enrichment, and arts activities.

  • Human Services

    Programs and services that provide basic welfare to help individuals, families, and communities to prevent, alleviate, or better cope with crisis, change, and stress. Human Services include the following sub-categories: crime and delinquency prevention, legal services, employment/jobs, food, housing/shelter, and women's issues.

  • Health

    All treatment and rehabilitative programs relating to physical and mental health including, but not limited to, the following sub-categories: hospitals and primary care facilities, mental health and crisis intervention, diseases, disorders and related medical disciplines, nutrition, and dental care.

  • Education

    Institutions of higher education that provide academic education. Also included are libraries and organizations providing continuing/supplemental education outside of the formal school system such as English-as-a-second-language programs, literacy, and reading programs for children and adults. Excluded are local public, private and charter schools offering K through 12th grade education.

  • Arts & Culture

    Organizations or activities that promote enjoyment or understanding of the visual, performing, folk, or media arts, communication organizations (film, video, publishing, journalism, radio, television), and organizations or activities that promote the appreciation or understanding of historical events. Included are services to artists, performers, entertainers, or writers, art and performing art schools, centers, studios, and historical societies and museums.

  • Public/Society Benefit

    Organizations or programs that contribute to the public good and benefit society including, but not limited to, the following sub-categories: beautifying public spaces, civic organizations and institutions, community/neighborhood development and improvement, and philanthropy, voluntarism, and grant-making foundations.

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Further Guidelines

  1. The yearly budgeted financial assistance for the program per individual(s)/organization(s) is capped at $25,000.

  2. Individuals/organizations may receive up to two years of Social Entrepreneur Grant funding from the Ausherman Family Foundation.

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How to Apply

  1. Organizations that wish to submit a request for the Social Entrepreneur Program are asked to submit a Letter of Inquiry. All Ausherman Family Foundation Letters of Inquiry (LOI) and grant applications are submitted via an online process.
  2. To begin the online process, click on: Grant Process.

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Grant Cycles

  1. Grant seekers may apply anytime during the calendar year, if the online grant application process is accessible.

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Review Process

  1. The Ausherman Family Foundation's Director reviews the Letter of Inquiry.
  2. An email response from the Director is sent. The response may include a request for additional information. The Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is submitted to the Executive Committee for review.
  3. A site visit may be arranged.
  4. Once the LOI has been approved by the Executive Committee and a site visit has been completed, you may be invited to complete a formal grant application. Directions to the formal grant application site will be provided.
  5. An invitation to submit a formal grant application does not guarantee funding.
  6. The formal grant application will be reviewed and voted upon by the full Board of Trustees.
  7. The Director will inform you of the Trustees' decision.
  8. Grant recipients sign a Grant Covenant/Agreement and submit follow-up reports as detailed in the Grant Covenant.

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Contact Information

If you have questions after reviewing the information above or trouble accessing the online grant process, contact Leigh Adams, Director, by calling 301-620-4443 or emailing

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