American Eagle Foundation
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The American Eagle Fund
Summary Guidelines for Bald Eagle Grants
American Eagle Foundation

The American Eagle Foundation ( (AEF) is a 501 (c) (3) public charity, headquartered at Pigeon Forge, TN. It was established in 1985 to conduct public awareness and recovery programs directed toward national conservation of Bald Eagles.

In 2004, the "Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Act" authorized the U.S. Mint to create and market $5 gold, $1 silver and $0.50 clad commemorative coins during 2008. These Coins celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as well as the Bald Eagle's successful recovery in the U.S.A. The Act authorized surcharges collected from the sale of collectible Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins to be paid to AEF of Tennessee "to further its works," which includes grants for Bald Eagle Projects.

The U.S. Mint's 2008 Eagle Coin sales yielded $7.8 million in surcharges. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the monies, $5.8 million, were earmarked in the American Eagle Fund, hereafter called the Fund. This Fund supports priority bald eagle projects within the USFWS Regions ( of the United States. Projects may be conducted by state, federal and private agencies.

In 2011, AEF accepted its first applications for nationwide Bald Eagle projects beginning in 2012. There were no grants for 2013 projects. The Fund’s earnings are utilized to provide competitive annual grants. Grants support conservation, monitoring, educational, and research projects, rated as most needed and of greatest benefit to Bald Eagles.

Applicants must document at least a $25 match for each $75 to be received. Worthy applications with significantly higher matches are given higher points. Matches may be in cash and/or in-kind services, provided proposed and actual in-kind services are itemized by dollar value.

The AEF has a 12-person Bald Eagle Grant Advisory Team (BEGAT), consisting of eagle experts, representing federal, state and private agencies from all regions of the country. They advise AEF concerning: a) grant criteria, subject to annual refinements and b) rating of the relative merits of applications for AEF grants for bald eagle projects.

AEF’s total grant allocation was $100,000 for the 2012 and 2014 Bald Eagle projects. Annual grants are divided among nationwide projects @ up to $5,000 - $20,000. Total grants ideally will increase significantly during most subsequent years, pending adequate growth of the Fund.  

AEF normally accepts applications during July 1 – September 1 for 1-year grants, beginning at the start of any quarter of the next calendar year.  AEF is accepting applications from July 1 – September 1, 2014 for 2015 Bald Eagle projects.  The total grant allocation for 2015 projects is $100,000, with individual grants generally varying from $5,000 to $20,000.     

Contact AEF’s Jody Millar at for more detailed guidelines for a potential grant application.

Last updated:  January 29, 2014

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