The Abelard Foundation is a left-of-center family foundation created by Albert B. Wells and funded with profits from the American Optical Company in 1958. 
The Foundation makes grants to left-of-center nonprofit start-up organizations that seek to build political power in support of left-of-center social policy. Abelard makes an average of 15 grants per year, ranging in value from $8,000 to $12,000 each  The Foundation has made grants to several left-of-center organizations, including the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Transgender Law Center, and the Movement Strategy Center (MSC).
The Abelard Foundation is a left-of-center foundation that provides seed funding to community organizing groups that work to implement left-of-center social policy. 
The Foundation is the successor to the Albert B. Wells Charitable Trust, which was established in 1950 with the wealth created from ownership of the American Optical Company.  In the 1960s, A.B. Wells II assumed leadership and shifted the direction of Abelard Foundation to providing “seed grants” for left-of-center organizations. 
Wells later founded the left-of-center Common Counsel Foundation (CCF), a foundation that supports community organizations focused on left-of-center social policy implementation, and the Windcall Institute, an organization that provides wellness retreats for leaders of non-profits.   
The Abelard Foundation operates East of the Mississippi River as Abelard East and West of it as Abelard West. Abelard West is managed by the Common Counsel Foundation (CCF). CCF also manages the Acorn Foundation, a group that funds startup environmental nonprofits; the Grassroots Exchange Fund, a grantmaking organization that supports left-of-center collaborations between social impact and environmentalist organization; the Social and Economic Justice Fund, a CCF project that seeks to fund left-of-center local coalitions; and the Still We Rise Fund, a project which organizes ethnic minorities, women, and LGBT individuals to support left-of-center social policies. Abelard East is controlled directly by a board of directors.    
AFI is a signatory of Philanthropy’s Promise, a project of the left-wing National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. The statement pledges AFI to committing 50% of its grants to underserved communities and 25% to advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement efforts. 
The organization makes about 15 annual grants ranging from $8,000 to $12,000 to groups seeking to build political power to support left-of-center policy implementation. Grants are one-year awards with the opportunity to renew for a maximum of three years. 
The Abelard Foundation has made grants to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been suspected throughout its history of supporting political Islamist movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.  Abelard has also provided grants to the Georgia Latino Alliance For Human Rights (GLAHR), a left-of-center organization focused on Latino communities; the Workers Center For Racial Justice, an organization focused on ending the alleged over-criminalization of African Americans; the Movement Strategy Center (MSC), a left-wing economic policy organization; and the Transgender Law Center, a controversial left-of-center organization most known for bringing a lawsuit which granted the right for criminals to be jailed according to their chosen gender, rather than their sex at birth.   
The Ethel B Wells Trust, SP FW Magee, and SP JW Schreck trusts donate a combined $143,000 annually to AFI and are the sole source of funds not generated by investments held by the foundation. 
The Abelard Foundation is led by a 45-person board of directors consisting of persons from multiple branches of the Wells family. Decisions are made by majority vote. Travis Buck sits as president. Susan Collins, Brian Collins, Amma Bernhard, and Adele Bernhard sit as vice presidents. 
The Abelard Foundation reported $601,111 in revenue in 2018, with $143,300 sourced from contributions by the Ethel B. Wells Trust and the remainder from investments. 
Expenses for Abelard totaled $477,111, including $293,000 in grants and $152,647 in professional fees. The Foundation did not report any salary expenses. 
It reported $8,350,008 in assets in 2018.