American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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Initiative Fund

The Initiative Fund was established by the ASABE Board of Trustees (BOT) to provide seed money for new activities, programs, and pilot projects. Initiative Fund proposals may be submitted at any time, by any group within the Society.  Proposals must align with the Society's objectives, set forth in the Society Bylaws, Article B2, Paragraph 1, and with the priorities identified annually by the BOT.

Past Projects Supported by Initiative Funds

Availability of Funds

Each year the ASABE Finance committee recommends to the BOT an amount to be made available in the Initiative Fund during the following year. Initiatives are funded from ASABE’s restricted reserve. Finance committee recommendations are based on the financial health of the Society, and the committee may suggest that no monies be made available for the Initiative Fund. Authorization of Initiative Funds is made by the BOT.

Initiative Funds may be requested for use in a single year or over multiple years. Multi-year proposals must clearly indicate the budget for each year. All awards must be used within one year of the project completion date identified in the proposal, after which any balance will be forfeited. All awards must be used for the purpose for which they were approved.

A final report summarizing how the funds were used and the impact to the society is required for all approved Initiative Funds no later than one year after the completion date identified in the proposal.  If the request covers multiple years a brief summary must be provided annually.  All final reports and mid-project updates should be sent to and include a reference to the original proposal. 

Submission Process

Preproposals are optional but allow applicants to gauge Initative Fund Evaluation Committee interest prior to investing significant time and resources in developing a full proposal. Preproposals may be submitted at any time during the year, using the
Preproposal Template. Preproposal submissions are limited to four (4) pages including the cover page. The chair of the Evaluation committee will respond within six weeks of receipt with feedback. Please submit prepoposals to

Proposals must be completed using the Proposal Template and may be submitted at any time. Proposal submissions are limited to eight (8) pages including the cover page. The Board will review proposals three times annually, in the spring, summer, and fall. Proposals should clearly identify the alignment with Society objectives and Board of Trustees priorities and should include a detailed budget and project milestones. Applicants are encouraged to involve, as early as possible, the appropriate Council, committee, division, community, or group, and headquarters staff. Endorsement of requests by an appropriate Council, committee, division, community or group is encouraged and enhances the probability of approval. Generally, proposals that include travel costs for participants for meetings are not evaluated favorably.

Please send preproposals and proposals in PDF format to A reply e-mail will serve as an acknowledgment of receipt of the proposal.

Review Process

An Initiative Fund Evaluation committee is formed annually to consider all preproposals and proposals and make funding recommendations to the BOT. 

The Evaluation committee is chaired by the Society treasurer and includes the immediate past chairs of Membership Development, Meetings, Standards, and Publications councils and two at-large members. Prospective at-large members are identified by the past council chairs and contacted by the treasurer. If one of the past council chairs is unable or unwilling to participate on the Evaluation committee, an additional at-large member shall be selected.

The Evaluation committee will base its reviews on the suitability and merit of the proposals, with no obligation to recommend the expenditure of all available Initiative Funds. The Evaluation committee will provide comments on each proposal, including strengths, weaknesses, and a recommendation regarding funding.

Upon submission, preproposals shall be forwarded to the Evaluation committee for electronic review. Committee members will have two weeks in which to provide comments. The Evaluation committee will then determine whether the preproposal has merit and a full proposal should be pursued. All comments will be summarized and included in the response to the applicant. All preproposals will receive a recommendation and comments within six weeks of submission.  

Initiative Fund proposals may be considered at any of the BOT’s three annual meetings, as outlined below. Upon submission, proposals will be reviewed by the Evaluation committee, who will forward recommendations to the BOT in advance of these meetings. Decisions will be conveyed to the applicants no more than two weeks after the BOT meetings.

Board of Trustee Meeting

Submissions Review Deadlines

Fall - October

Any proposals submitted from June 2 -September 1

Spring - April

Any proposals submitted from September 2 -March 1

Summer - July

Any proposals submitted from March 2 -June 1


For questions regarding the submission process, contact Darrin Drollinger (InitiativeFund@asabe).

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