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Community Support Grants - Creating Opportunity and Independence (CO&I)

Grants to USA and Canada Nonprofits, Facilities, and IHEs to
Enhance the Quality of Life for Individuals Living with Spinal Cord Injury

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/23/21 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and Canada nonprofits, rehabilitation facilities, and IHEs for programs and services that enhance the quality of life for individuals and families living with spinal cord injury. Applicants are required to submit an online LOI prior to a full grant application. Funding areas of interest include arts, sports and recreation, assistive technology, education, employment, independent living, and rehabilitation.

The Neilsen Foundation partners with and supports organizations that have significant impact on their communities, affect people across the lifespan, demonstrate partnerships, and empower individuals with SCI. These grants cover diverse efforts that include discrete projects, program support, and capacity building. Grantees are expected to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organization and in the communities they serve.

Funding Details:

  • Salary support for personnel/consultants associated with a project/program is allowed.
  • Equipment purchases may not exceed $100,000 total over the life of the grant.
  • Requests for general administrative and overhead costs (i.e., indirect costs) are allowed up to 10% of the total cost, exclusive of large equipment acquisition. 
  • A subcontract may be established by the grantee organization with another site to carry out
    selected activities. If a subcontract is included, it should be described in the Proposal and

Topic Areas:

  • Arts, Sports and Recreation: e.g., community partnership initiatives, visual and performing arts programs, equipment, travel funds, event support or wellness programs.
  • Assistive Technology: i.e., access to a piece of equipment, device or product system (e.g., an app) to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities.
  • Education: i.e., programs to promote return to school/university, education readiness, literacy interventions, General Education Development courses, tutoring programs.
    • Note: For educational activities used as a tool to advance employment, independent living, or rehabilitation, specify the respective programmatic goal, rather than Education.
  • Employment: e.g., vocational training, local employment placement, return-to-work programs, employment initiatives.
  • Independent Living: e.g., accessible housing to move people with SCI out of nursing homes, adaptive driving programs, consumer education focused on independent living, transition/ reintegration projects, companion animal services, and independent living centers.
  • Rehabilitation: e.g., health/wellness literacy, patient/family education, patient assistance funds and equipment, including clinical and/or assistive technology for rehabilitation.]

For additional considerations, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178077

Estimated Size of Grant:

Requested budgets must be from $25,000 - $200,000. The budget for any given year cannot exceed $125,000.

Term of Contract:

Community Support Grants are for one or two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The grantee must be a nonprofit organization or rehabilitation facility located in the United States or Canada with the capability to conduct grant-funded programs or activities. Major academic or medical organizations (e.g., universities, large medical or healthcare systems) are also eligible.

The Foundation does not fund:
- Indirect costs are not allowed on purchases of individual pieces of equipment costing $5,000 or more.
- Support for large, capital construction or renovation will not be provided.
- Academic Scholarships: The Neilsen Foundation supports educational scholarships at select U.S. colleges and universities, by invitation only, through the Neilsen Scholarship Program.
- Conferences: If the sole purpose of a proposal is to support a consumer-based conference, contact the CO&I Program Officer before submitting a LOI.
- Neilsen Foundation grants are not awarded to individuals, private foundations or non-functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations.

Pre-Application Information:

January 4, 2021 - Letter of Intent opens for 2021 cycle - via ProposalCentral
February 1, 2021, 5:00 PM ET - Letter of Intent closes for 2021 cycle
March 26, 2021 - Letter of Intent results announced for 2021 cycle
April 23, 2021, 5:00 PM ET - Full Grant Applications (FGA) due for 2021 cycle - via ProposalCentral
September 15, 2021 - Awards announced for 2021 cycle
October 2021 - Awarded Grants to be Funded

- The Applicant named in a grant application must have his/her organization’s authorization to apply for a grant, and is expected to be responsible for conduct of the grant activities.
- Generally, an organization may only submit one CO&I application in a given program cycle and may hold only one Neilsen Foundation CO&I Community Support Grant at a time. However, major academic or medical organizations (e.g., universities, large medical or healthcare systems) may submit concurrent applications, if they are from independent Applicants (Principal Investigators, or PIs) within the institution, and provided that the projects/programs are distinct.
- If two or more people are directing a project, one must serve as the Applicant; the other(s) should be listed as collaborator(s). The Neilsen Foundation does not recognize co-Applicant leadership on its grants.
- All application materials and communications must be in English and budgets must be in U.S. dollars.
- Applicants are allowed to submit a LOI for a project that was not previously funded.

Note: Applicants are strongly discouraged from contacting Neilsen Foundation Review Board members during the application process. Such contact will result in disqualification of the LOI or FGA.

For more requirements, see:

How to apply:

What the Foundation funds:

For technical questions regarding the online submission process, contact ProposalCentral Customer Service (see Contact Information, below).

ProposalCentral also has a tutorial section on its website that may be helpful in completing the application: (

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Application login:

ProposalCentral Customer Service:
(800) 875-2562
or via email at, during business hours, Monday– Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
There is no technical support available on weekends or holidays.

For questions regarding an application’s submission status contact, Ehrica Hernandez, Grants Management Associate, at

For questions regarding the CO&I portfolio contact, Darrell Musick, Program Officer, at

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
16830 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 352
Encino, CA 91436

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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