Venable Foundation

Established in 1983, the Venable Foundation, Inc. promotes the health and well-being of the communities where our clients and professionals work and live.

The Venable Foundation reflects who we are as a firm. As we’ve grown, it’s been a pleasure to watch the Foundation grow in breadth and strength too.

– Lindsay Meyer
, Partner and President, The Venable Foundation

The Venable Foundation, Inc. was established to promote the health and well-being of the communities where Venable’s clients and employees work and live. The Foundation is funded annually by equity partner contributions. By helping individuals and organizations meaningfully connect with opportunities, resources, and each other, we ensure that the firm’s impact reaches far beyond day-to-day business operations.

The Foundation supports a wide range of civic, cultural, and charitable endeavors, as well as public interest law and legal education. Grantees provide deep and meaningful engagement with accessible programs to individuals of all ages, allowing them to overcome institutional disadvantages. The Venable Foundation is particularly interested in how its grants impact low-income and underrepresented communities, working to eliminate barriers to success.

Grantees provide a variety of programs for the community, including out-of-school time activities, arts education, academic enrichment, homeless services, transitional and supportive housing, access to food, LGBTQ+ services, college access, workforce development, environmental preservation, health-based initiatives, legal services, immigration support, and a variety of other issues affecting low-income individuals and domestic violence survivors.

Venable Foundation 2021 Annual Report

Venable Foundation Annual Report FY2021

Grant Application and Eligibility

To Apply

Follow the link below to access the Venable Foundation’s online grants portal and submit a proposal for funding consideration.

New users must register themselves prior to submitting an application. If you are a new staff member with an existing grantee organization wishing to submit a proposal for renewed support, you must register in the grants portal as a new user.

Please click on the Application Timeline tab to view the Venable Foundation’s current deadlines for submissions. The Funding Priorities tab provides further insight into the categories where funds are awarded.


The Foundation provides funding for place-based organizations and initiatives, meaning that organizations must be based in or impacting regions where Venable has major offices. These are the metropolitan areas in and around Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, DC.

The Foundation makes grants to charitable organizations that are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Foundation does not fund projects that promote or proselytize on behalf of any religion.

The Foundation does not fund organizations that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any veteran’s status. Furthermore, the Foundation does not support medical research or funding to individual schools or parent/teacher associations, and will not provide sponsorship support for special events, galas, or other fundraisers.

Application Timeline

The Venable Foundation accepts applications three times per year. The application deadlines for the 2022 calendar year are as follows:

  • February 1, 2022
  • June 1, 2022
  • September 1, 2022

Decisions are announced approximately three months after each deadline. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply once per calendar year.

Funding Priorities

The Venable Foundation envisions that its philanthropic investments provide essential resources to nonprofit organizations in communities across the country. Guided by the belief that everyone has the right to equitable employment opportunities, healthcare, housing, food, and a vibrant cultural community, Venable grantees ensure that economically disadvantaged people are given the tools they need to thrive.

Grant support is provided to assist with general operations and projects. Currently, the Venable Foundation’s funding priorities include:

  • Human Services
  • Legal Services
  • Education
  • Workforce Development
  • Youth Impact
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Arts and Culture

You can learn more about each of these funding priorities below:

Human Services – The Foundation has a strong track record of supporting a breadth of essential human services, including programs that impact people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, incarcerated and returning citizens, LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities, and those affected by domestic violence and housing insecurity.

Legal Services – We support the delivery of free or affordable legal services in our communities. Pro bono consulting and representation focus on a variety of issues, including domestic violence, housing, immigration, public benefits, and discrimination, among other areas. Legal service nonprofits providing “know your rights” training and other activities are also supported. The Foundation also supports training for youth and adults to ensure diversity and access to careers in the legal profession.

Education – The Foundation supports a wide array of early childhood, in-school, and out-of-school time initiatives that provide in-depth opportunities for learning and engagement to position children for success and level the playing field for economically disadvantaged youth.

Workforce Development – We believe that every individual deserves the opportunity to pursue gainful employment. Thus, we support organizations with the goal of developing the workforce of today and tomorrow. Successful programs recruit and train individuals and place them in relevant jobs so that they can earn a sustainable living wage for themselves and their families. Skill development is focused on low-income, underemployed, and unemployed community members, and on preparing youth for careers after their schooling is complete.

Youth Impact – The Foundation invests in services that impact children in each of our communities. These initiatives ensure economically disadvantaged youth are healthy and safe and have opportunities to thrive.

Health – The Foundation is committed to improving wellness and increasing access to care for economically disadvantaged individuals in the region. Successful organizations and programs work to eliminate barriers to healthcare for all ages and provide accessible and no-stigma testing for a variety of diseases. We support pediatric to geriatric services that address a variety of health concerns.

Environment – We support organizations involved in the preservation of our natural resources and those that are addressing natural or man-made disasters in our target regions. Programs educate communities and work for change on a variety of environmental issues, from wildfires to pollution.

Arts and Culture – The Foundation supports initiatives in the arts that promote deeper public engagement and build up the creative economy, with an emphasis on low-income and underserved communities.

Venable Foundation Annual Reports


Michael W. Bigley

Director, Venable Foundation
Foundation video image

“We are all human beings, we are all members of our community, and we really do believe that it’s not just about how much money you make at the end of the day that defines whether you’re a successful lawyer or a successful law firm.”

Venable has long recognized the importance of providing first-rate legal representation to those unable to afford a lawyer. Learn more about our pro bono practice.