Administered by the ASABE Foundation, the KEYS Fund supports ASABE activities that encourage K-12 Outreach, Humanitarian Missions, Youth Career Development, and Student Chapter Support. Examples of each of these, which comprise the acronym KEYS, include:

K-12 Outreach: Programs and initiatives that improve future generations by developing talent and expertise in agricultural and biological engineering and technology and/or exposure to ASABE. An example could be supporting participation of K-12 students in an ASABE activity.  

Encourage humanitarian missions: Humanitarian efforts that utilize engineering and technology in a way that showcases knowledge and skills of ASABE professionals through projects that benefit underserved individuals or groups. 

Youth Career Development: Competitions or other activities that foster awareness and understanding of careers in engineering and technology for agricultural, food, and biological systems by pre-college or university students. Funds might be used for travel, meeting participation, or other budgeted items.

Student Chapter Support: Activities established for or by ASABE student chapters to strengthen chapter vigor, support academic success, and improve student relations with ASABE. 


Criteria and Deadlines

Who Can Apply?

Any ASABE-related entity, including a committee, community, section, or student chapter, can sponsor an application. Funding requests, typically ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, may be allocated to supplement existing programs or initiate new programs. 


  • The project must address one or more of the KEYS fund goals described above.
  • Fund recipients agree to submit a short (1-3 page) report and/or 2-5 minute video describing the activities and use of the funds. Reports should include photos and videos so that ASABE can highlight the activity on the website and social media. Submission grants ASABE full use rights for promotion of the Society, the profession, and the KEYS Fund. 
  • Fund recipients shall acknowledge KEYS Fund support in their own communications such as social media, reports, and press releases, referencing the KEYS Fund (year) of the ASABE Foundation.
  • Projects may be proposed for single or multiple years. For multi-year proposals, the budget should clearly indicate funding by year. Unless approved as part of the proposal budget, the funds shall be used within two years of the award. 
  • Unsuccessful proposals may be resubmitted in following award cycles.
  • No indirect costs (costs not assigned directly to the project) are allowed. 

Criteria for Assessment

  1. Degree to which the goals and expected results align with the KEYS fund and ASABE objectives  (30%)
  2. Likelihood that the activities described and the team assembled will successfully achieve the goals and expected results (40%)
  3. Appropriateness of the budget for completing the activities and achieving results (30%)

Deadlines for Submission

Deadlines are March 31, June 30, and October 31 each year. Applicants will be notified of a decision within 30 days of the deadline. 

Direct questions to Dolores Landeck, ASABE director of communications.

Submitting an Application

Before proceeding to the application form, familiarize yourself with the information that will be required. The system will not allow you to save a partially completed form; to facilitate submission, create a Word document from which you can copy and paste the following into the form fields:

What to Include in a Proposal 

  1. Name of project.
  2. ASABE-related (committee, community, etc.) entity sponsoring the proposal.
  3. Name and roles of team members, and contact information for one contact person.
  4. Goal of project and how it accomplishes the goals of the KEYS fund. 
  5. Activities that will be funded.
  6. Expected results. 
  7. Timeline of the project (start date, end date, and a few intermediate milestones).
  8. Any additional information about the team or project that you wish to share.
  9. Potential pitfalls and how you will address them.
  10. Other sponsorships or funds received or applied for.
  11. Budget (file upload required).


Before submitting the form, you will be required to provide an electronic signature and to agree to the Reporting Requirement:

If funded, we agree to submit within three months of project completion a one- to three-page report or three- to five-minute video describing how the funds were used and the results. We acknowledge that ASABE will have rights to use this for promotion of the Society, the profession, and the KEYS Fund.