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Grant Overview and Purpose

The ASAE Research Foundation advances association management and leadership, focusing principally on three areas important to the success of association professionals and the organizations they serve: research, leadership, and innovation. 

As one of the strategic objectives of the ASAE Research Foundation, the Innovation Grants Program (IGP) provides financial awards to association professionals and organizations for the exploration, implementation, and learning immersion of innovative solutions that address emerging challenges. Grant recipients receive funding to dive deeper into innovation and implement their project ideas, creating models of innovation for the entire association community.

For more information and how to apply contact: igp@asaecenter.org.

The Most Successful Proposals Will Clearly Articulate:

  • How the project aligns with the grant cycle’s funding priority
  • Why the project is considered innovative to the association and/or the association’s industry
  • What methods will be used to achieve the project’s objectives
  • How the project will add knowledge-based value to the association community as a whole
  • How the project will impact the association’s culture


The program provides funding in two tiers:

  • One-year funding commitment of up to $10,000
  • Two-year funding commitment of up to $30,000 ($15,000 per year) 


Awards will be given to meritorious proposals in one or more funding tracks.

Exploration - Intended to support the exploration and/or development of innovative activities. Funding may be used for strategizing, planning, crowdsourcing, research, etc.

Implementation - Intended to support the implementation of innovative activities. Funding may be used for putting your plan into action, testing products, evaluating results, etc.

Learning Immersion - Intended to broaden the exposure to cultures of innovation. This type of grant is generally used to pursue educational opportunities by visiting organizations or institutions that have demonstrated a commitment to innovation (i.e. ASAE's Innovation Launchpad).


Awards will typically be made on an annual basis (see submission and review schedule), however, special review panels may be convened when proposals in high-priority areas are received. The funding cycle for each award is one to two years, however, applications for Continuation of Funding will be accepted for up to one additional cycle.

Award Eligibility

The program is intended for the creative individual working within and for the association community; individuals from professional or trade associations, nonprofits, association industry partners, and consulting companies that serve the association community are eligible to apply. All applicants or applicant teams must include at least one ASAE member.


Can the grant funds be used for expenses like staff training and consultants?
Yes. The key is to provide sound justification for the use of grant funds for any proposed expenses in your application. You should use the budget section of your application to explain how each expense and its expected outcome will contribute to your project’s overall implementation and success.

What is the Letter of Intent (LOI)?
Though not required, you are encouraged to submit a letter declaring your intention to submit a proposal. Please see the important dates for the deadline. The Letter of Intent should include the point of contact for your project, the contact’s title, the organization name, and the type of grant you intend to request. The letter should be sent via email to IGP@asaecenter.org.

I've missed the LOI deadline, can I still apply?
Yes, you are welcome to apply to the Innovation Grants Program even if you did not submit a Letter of Intent by the deadline, though we encourage you to submit a Letter of Intent ahead of your application. If you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact us at IGP@asaecenter.org.

Innovation Grants Program Sponsors






The ASAE Research Foundation advances association and nonprofit leadership, focusing principally on three areas important to the success of association management professionals and the organizations they serve: research, leadership, and innovation. The support, participation, and knowledge of an engaged community of people, linked by a shared passion for association management, make the foundation’s work possible and amplify its impact.