Grants, Funding & Scholarships

Apply for funding or a grant

The Foundation sponsors research that helps businesses operate more effective employee owned companies and helps policy makers, the media, and the general public better understand the benefits of employee ownership. Our goal is to grow the number of high-quality employee owned firms so that all employees have a chance to own a stake in the businesses where they work. To start applying for a Foundation grant, click the button below.

Candidates for a foundation grant include

  • Graduate Students.
  • Academic institutions and centers.
  • Professional research firms with an interest in employee ownership.

Grants & programs funded by the foundation

Academic Fellowships

In 2018, the Foundation funded eight fellowships, which are chosen and administered by the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University.

The Foundation paid directly for six Kelso Fellowships, which are named after employee ownership pioneer Louis Kelso. Two other fellowships—the Joseph Cabral Fellowship and the Rob Edwards Fellowship—are supported by directed donations from Joseph Cabral and the firm of Steiker, Greenapple & Fusco, respectively.

CEO Training: Leading in an Ownership Setting

This annual two-week, intensive program is designed exclusively for top executives of ESOP companies. The program offers unique content structured specifically to address the challenges faced by presidents and CEOs of employee owned businesses. Many employee owned companies have used this valuable training program as part of their leadership succession planning and development.

Program alumni network with members of their class, as well as members of prior and later classes, creating a one-of-a-kind resource for discussion, brainstorming, and sharing ideas.

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Edmunson Scholarships

Named in honor of employee ownership pioneer Charles Edmunson, these scholarships advance his vision of encouraging education and development of employee owners—especially related to gaining greater understanding of ESOPs. Scholarships are typically used to attend the Employee Owner Retreat, National Conference, and other conferences geared towards topics relevant to employee owners. Eleven scholarships, in the amount of $2,000 each, were issued in 2020.

For more information, terms, and application forms, please see the Edmunson Scholarship page.

EOF Trustee Scholars

  • Created by the Employee Ownership Foundation for children of employee owners
  • Open to employee owners and family members of corporate members of The ESOP Association at the time of application
  • Each year, the Foundation will award two, $5,000 per year scholarships for college or trade school, renewable for up to four years each 
  • Up to $20,000 for a four-year degree
  • Scholarship winners will also be eligible for a paid internship in the Washington headquarters of The ESOP Association
  • The Foundation will start awarding scholarships for students beginning school in the fall of 2024 

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ESOP Employee Accelerator Program

Employee Ownership Foundation’s New One-Day Accelerator Program Teaches Lifelong Business & ESOP Knowledge, Helps Employees Think and Act Like Owners

What is EBITDA and why should I care? Why does my ESOP’s valuation fluctuate so much year to year? If you’re an ESOP executive, manager, or HR professional, you’ve probably heard employee owners asking questions like these. For new hires that do not come from an ESOP background, it can be difficult to appreciate not only the wealth-creating potential of their ESOP, but also how their day-to-day actions at work affect the company’s bottom line.

That’s why Employee Ownership Foundation has created the ESOP Employee Accelerator. This intensive (and fun!) one-day program is geared toward non-management and new employee owners, to provide them with core fundamentals of business and ESOPs. The goal of the Accelerator program is to get employees thinking like the owners they are by instilling a knowledge base to help them approach their jobs with an ownership mindset. After attending an Accelerator, employee owners will have a better understanding of business operations and decisions, and an appreciation of how they can impact their ESOP.

Accelerator attendees will develop a solid foundation of basic business concepts, gain new perspectives on ownership, and learn with and from one another through a combination of interactive classwork, small group discussions, and structured exercises.

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Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing

The Institute is the only center in the nation devoted specifically to the study of employee ownership. The Foundation is providing $250,000 to launch the Institute and to ensure its viability. These donations are scheduled as follows: $100,000 in 2018 and 2019; $50,000 in 2020.

The Institute has pledged to leverage these funds, along with other programmatic gifts from the Foundation, to build a $10 million endowment to ensure its permanent and continual operation.

State Centers for Employee Ownership

The Foundation issued two $10,000 grants to state centers for employee ownership in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The funds help provide information to owners interested in selling their businesses to their employees.