Guidelines for Grant Proposers


In 1829, a group of far-sighted people created Abbot Academy, the first boarding school in the United States dedicated to the academic education of high-school-aged women. At the time, creating such a school was an unprecedented act of boldness and innovation.

Over the next century and a half, Abbot inspired tens of thousands of young women to explore every aspect of human knowledge and endeavor with passion, caring, and understanding.

In 1973, Abbot and Phillips Academies joined forces, and the student body became coed. Today Phillips Academy is a true merger of the two schools, offering the best of both traditions to new generations.

Purpose of the Abbot Academy Fund

The Abbot Academy Association, Inc. was created in 1973, at the time of the merger, to continue Abbot’s tradition of boldness, innovation, and caring through large and small grants to Phillips Academy students and members of the faculty, administration and staff. In May 2017 the board of directors voted that going forward, the organization would be called the Abbot Academy Fund (AAF), in order to better reflect its mission.

The Fund seeks proposals that will expand grantees’ experiences in meaningful ways beyond the school’s ongoing academic, athletic, and extracurricular activities; and/or heighten the impact and reputation of Phillips Academy across the nation and around the world.

Abbot Grant proposals can be for small projects that improve the quality of life of a group of students on campus, or they may be for large projects that incubate and help launch new academic or entrepreneurial ideas and initiatives on or off campus. Abbot Grants should have a measurable impact on their recipients. Abbot Grants should embody Abbot’s innovative and ground-breaking spirit by enhancing the value of the on-campus experience, and by spreading the intellectual wealth and diverse experiences of today’s Phillips Academy beyond 01810 to people all over the world.

Guidelines: Principles

  1. The projects funded must be relevant and beneficial to some aspect of the Andover community. The Andover community should be defined broadly: it includes all who study or work on campus, as well as alumni, students, and teachers all over the world who can benefit from the experience and wisdom generated by almost 400 years of learning and teaching at Abbot and Phillips academies.
  2. Grants should provide Andover students, faculty, administrators, and staff opportunities and experiences beyond those possible through the school’s core academic, athletic, or extracurricular activities.
  3. The AAF encourages collaboration between and among students, faculty, administrators, and staff, and across academic, athletic, and extracurricular disciplines.
  4. A small, imaginative grant proposal designed to relieve stress or explore a new area of interest on campus will be taken as seriously as a large grant proposal designed to enhance Andover's role in the world as a private school with a public purpose. Proposals should be innovative and relevant and designed to have a lasting and measurable impact on the groups or issues they are designed to benefit.
  5. The AAF does not provide operating support for activities on an ongoing basis; it will, however, consider start-up and multi-year projects (maximum duration: three years). For example: a grant for an ongoing extracurricular club should focus on a new initiative, not on current operational needs, and a grant for a new club should identify the need the club will satisfy, the club’s target audience, and a plan for its future financial and organizational self-sufficiency.
  6. Projects proposing the creation of a new nonprofit 501(c)3 entity will not be approved. Phillips Academy is a 501(c)3 with a Board of Trustees, and no separate nonprofit can be created within the Academy or using Academy funds.
  7. Experiences may take place on or off campus, but Abbot Grants do not fund individual efforts on or off campus. Summer vacation travel, for example, no matter how intriguing, falls outside the AAF guidelines. A proposal involving overnight student travel must adhere to Academy guidelines, including ratio of chaperones to students.

Guidelines: Process

  1. Grant proposals can be large or small, short-term or long-term; above all, they should be imaginative and idiosyncratic, but focused. Most AAF grants range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The large grant category applies to grants of $25,000 and above. Proposals of $10,000 or greater must be discussed with Nancy Jeton, special assistant to the head of school.
  2. Proposals will include specific goals and objectves; timelines for achieving those goals; impact on the Andover community and/or beyond; project implementation plan; detailed budget; and measurable criteria by which the degree of success of the grant can be determined. An important criterion is that lessons learned from the project be made broadly available to past, current, and future Andover students, faculty, and staff, as well as to non-Andover students and teachers.
  3. The AAF Board requires that each grant’s impact be rigorously measured, documented, and reported.
  4. The AAF’s goal is to maximize the impact of each grant. A proposal for a speaker who comes, speaks, spends the night, participates in classes, and eats one or more meals with students, for example, will be looked on more favorably than a grant application for a speaker who comes, speaks, and then leaves the campus having had minimal interaction with students.


All Abbot Grant proposals are subject to review by the administrative offices of Phillips Academy to ensure that they adhere to Academy policies. Grant applicants are encouraged to consult with Erin Strong, Community Liaison to the Abbot Academy Fund, prior to submitting their proposals. Ms. Strong will lead "Abbot Grant Information Sessions" prior to deadlines. Times and locations will be posted on PANet. She is also available for individual consultations by appointment. Please email Erin Strong with any questions. Belinda Traub, assistant to the AAF, is also available to answer your questions.