The Initiative fund was established to provide seed money for new activities, programs, and pilot programs. It has been the funding source of numerous projects and activities that have helped the Society serve its members and the profession. Proposals may be submitted at any time,

Submission and Review Processes
Proposal Review Schedule
Fund Availability


Initiative fund proposals must align with the Society's objectives, set forth in the Society Bylaws, Article B2, Paragraph 1, and offer significant connectivity with the goals and strategies set forth by the ASABE Board of Trustees. The Initiative Fund makes possible new projects and services that further the interests of the Society. Proposals can represent a onetime investment, or a pilot project that, if proven valuable, can become an ongoing activity of the Society. To be accepted, proposals must originate from a Society member or from a group within the Society.

Submission and Review Processes

Preproposals are not for funding purposes. They are optional and exploratory, allowing applicants to gauge Initiative 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 pages including the cover page. The chair of the Evaluation committee will respond within six weeks of receipt with feedback. Please submit preproposals to

Proposals must be completed to be eligible for funding consideration, using the Proposal Template. They may be submitted at any time but will be considered using the review schedule below. Proposal submissions are limited to eight 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. 

All incomplete proposals (including budget request information) will be returned to the originator for completion and re-submission.  The evaluation cycle will be determined using final submission date, as noted in the schedule below.

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

For questions regarding the submission process, contact Darrin Drollinger.

Review Process

The Initiative Fund 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 review. Committee members will have two weeks in which to provide comments. The Evaluation committee will 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 Board’s three annual meetings, as outlined below. Upon submission, proposals will be reviewed by the Evaluation committee, who will forward recommendations to the Board in advance of these meetings. Decisions will be conveyed to the applicants no more than two weeks after the Board meetings.

Evaluation Committee

An Evaluation committee is formed annually to consider all preproposals and proposals and make funding recommendations to the Board. The Evaluation committee is chaired by the Society treasurer and includes the immediate past chairs of Membership Development, Meetings, Standards, and Publications councils and a minimum of 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.

Submission and Review Schedule

Submission Window

For  Consideration at

Proposals accepted June 2 to September 1

Fall Board meeting (October/November)

Proposals accepted September 2 to March 1

Spring Board meeting (April)

Proposals accepted March 2 to June 1

ASABE Annual International Meeting (July/August)


Project Reporting 

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 10 months after approval of funding and then again, every 12 months after that.  

All final reports and mid-project updates should be sent to and include a reference to the original proposal.  

Availability of Funds

Each year the ASABE Finance committee recommends to the Board 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 Board.

Initiative funds may be requested for use for up to three years. Multi-year proposals must clearly indicate the budget for each year. All awards must be used during the year of the project completion date identified in the proposal. All awards must be used for the purpose for which they were approved.