Did you know...

People with disabilities are nearly twice as likely as people without disabilities to have an annual household income of $15,000 or less.

DFN Is Not a Grantmaking Organization


Click Here for Access to Available Hurricane Sandy Rapid Response Funds



The Disability Funders Network is not a grantmaking organization. Our members are both grantmakers and nonprofits who work with people with disabilities. Our mission is to increase the amount of funding flowing to organizations.

We do, however, have informational resources and a reduced membership option directed at nonprofit organizations and interested individuals, which means that you would receive our newsletters, membership list and listserv distribution service. "Foundation and Corporate Grantseeking for Employment Networks" and a list of resources might be of particular interest to you.

If you are interested in doing research on funding programs and corporate, foundation and individual grantors, we recommend that you go to www.foundationcenter.org. Their Foundation Directory is available on-line. You might also want to check out their regional libraries located around the US; there might be one near you.

There is also an active, free electronic discussion forum operated by the Charity Channel that is very helpful in the grantseeking area. Funding for disability organizations is a frequent topic, and you can ask direct questions, like "where can I go to get funding for X in Y state?" If you're interested in checking this out, go to http://www.CharityChannel.com. First click on "Discussion Forums," then "Forums" on the next page, then "Grants." Of all the listservs and discussion groups out there, this is rated the best by our funders.

Access comprehensive information on the different types of foundations and corporate funding organizations, who they fund and how, together with how to research and write proposals:

Disability Grantseekers Guide to Foundations and Corporate Funding

If you are interested in joining DFN, please sign up.

Special Opportunities for Grantseekers

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF)

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) seeks to strengthen the participation of Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) in the advancement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at country level in the Global South and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union.

The 2010 “Moving Rights Forward” grant cycle is now closed.

The first funding round of 2011, addressing India, Indonesia, Mexico and Ukraine will be publicized in February 2011.

For 2011, DRF is also adding a pilot Letter of Inquiry process, directed at Lebanon in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

Explanation of this Letter of Inquiry process follows.

LETTER OF INQUIRY (only for Lebanon)

Applicants can apply as:

  1. Single organizations or partnerships for Small Grants; and/or
  2. National DPO-led coalitions for National Coalition Grants.

Single organizations or partnerships can apply for 12-month grants ranging from USD 5,000 to 20,000 to:

  1. Increase DPO skill in addressing the CRPD by
    1. Building more inclusive organizations or partnerships; and/or
    2. Internal capacity building; and
  2. Rights-based advocacy and monitoring through
    1. Increasing DPO participation in decision-making processes regarding the CRPD at state or local levels; and/or
    2. Directly addressing implementation of CRPD Articles.

National DPO-led coalitions of 3 or more organizations can apply for National Coalition Grants between USD 30,000 and 50,000 per year for two years, to work on: ratification of the CRPD, passage of specific legislation to accord with the CRPD, the production of an alternative/parallel report, or the production of a report to be submitted to other UN human rights monitoring mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council or to other Committees of Experts from other human rights treaties.

Download details in English about the Letter of Inquiry and the Application Form here. (MS Word) (English Version)

Download details in Arabic about the DRF Letter of Inquiry and the Application Form here. (MS Word) (Arabic Version)

DRF supports projects that demonstrate a clear ability and commitment to contribute to the advancement of the human rights of persons with disabilities. Grants provide one- or two-year, project-specific support. Cross disability and other partnerships in-country are strongly encouraged, as are projects which address particularly marginalized sectors of the disability community.





Kessler Foundation
2011 Signature Employment Grant Cycle Opens
Grants to increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities

Deadline – February 15, 2011 at 5 pm Eastern Time

Visit www.kesslerfoundation.org for more information and link to application

Kessler Foundation’s Signature Employment Grant Program seeks to fund cutting-edge, innovative and other non-traditional solutions that increase employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Projects must be collaborative, serve a large geographic area and include multiple funding partners and stakeholders. In addition, initiatives or projects must have the potential for growth, scalability or replication. Applicants may seek funding for $100,000 - $250,000 per year, for maximum project funding of $500,000 over two years.

All interested candidates must submit an online concept application. After scoring and review, a selected group of candidates will be asked to submit a full grant proposal to Kessler Foundation by June 2011. Grants will be awarded in December 2011 for the grant period January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2014.

Any US based non-profit organization or other IRS tax-exempt group such as public/private school, public institution or government from any state is encouraged to apply.

Visit www.kesslerfoundation.org under Grants and select “Signature Employment Grants” for more specific information and link to online application.



Disability Rights Fund opens second round of grantmaking for 2009

BOSTON, MA - The Disability Rights Fund (DRF)-a groundbreaking grantmaking collaborative supporting the human rights of people with disabilities-today announced the second round of its 2009 grantmaking, "Raising Our Voice." This round opens another year of possible funding to disabled persons' organizations (DPOs) in: Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru; Ghana, Namibia, Uganda; and Bangladesh and adds an additional region to the Fund's reach - the Pacific. In the Pacific, 14 island countries are targeted: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The broad objective of the Fund[1]-which was officially launched in March 2008-is to empower DPOs in the developing world and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union to participate in ratification, implementation and monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD).

In 2008, the Fund made one-year grants to 33 organizations in 7 countries (Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru; Ghana, Namibia, Uganda; Bangladesh), totaling USD 800,000. Grants ranged from USD 5000 - 50,000 and supported CRPD awareness-raising, strengthening coalitions and networks, and rights advocacy.

In the second round of 2009 grantmaking, applicant organizations may apply within one of two categories: a) single organizations or partnerships and b) national DPO coalitions. Grants to single organizations will range from USD 5,000 to 30,000 and support efforts to build voice and visibility and to develop rights-based advocacy and monitoring on the CRPD. Grants to national DPO coalitions will range from USD 30,000 to 70,000 and will support advocacy toward ratification of the CRPD, passage of specific legislation to accord with the CRPD, or the production of shadow reports.

Interested organizations are urged to review the full eligibility criteria and application details posted at the Fund's website, http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org/grant.html. Any questions on the proposal process should be directed to info@disabilityrightsfund.org by August 15. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2009.

DRF's donors include the Aepoch Fund, the American Jewish World Service, an anonymous founding donor, the Australian Government's International Development Assistance Agency - AusAID, the Open Society Institute, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development.




$10,000 to Lesbian Writers! Deadline EXTENDED: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 (for receipt in Astraea's office)

The Lesbian Writers Fund of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice:

For emerging lesbian poets and fiction writers within the U.S. First place awardees and two runners-up in the poetry and fiction categories will receive cash awards ($10,000 for awardee, $1,500 for runners-up). Thanks to Skip's Sappho Fund, at least one grant will be awarded to a lesbian writer who is based west of the Mississippi River. Please note that the application is in two documents - please read both thoroughly before compiling and sending in your application. Please make sure to read the guidelines thoroughly for eligibility criteria and submission instructions. There will be an ID number on the application when you download it from the web.

For more information, or a copy of guidelines and application for the above grants, please contact us at: 212-529-8021, ext. 44 or via email at: grants@astraeafoundation.org. Guidelines and application forms are also available online at:





Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Announces 2009 SCI/D Grant Opportunities - First deadline is Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is pleased to announce funding opportunities to help organizations improve the quality of life for those living with a spinal cord injury/disease. These grants are awarded to qualifying nonprofit (501(c)3) organizations that provide innovative rehabilitation, independent living, recreation and education programs for people living with spinal cord injury/disease throughout the United States and Canada. The Neilsen Foundation also supports one-year fellowships in SCI training. Please see the attached announcement on the 2009 Program Grants and/or visit the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (www.chnfoundation.org) for more information.  (Download as a Word Document.)