Kessler Foundation: Signature Employment Grants
The Kessler Foundation awards Signature Employment Grants to support non-traditional solutions that increase employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Grants fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that lead to the generation of new ideas to solve the high unemployment and underemployment of individuals with disabilities. Preference is given for interventions that overcome specific employment barriers related to long-term dependence on public assistance or advance competitive employment in a cost-effective manner. Innovation lies at the core of all Signature Employment Grants. Innovation is defined as a new idea or process that will improve systems to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Innovation can often improve systems already in place. These ideas may be original or may use existing solutions or technologies in a new way.
For 2017, the Kessler Foundation has prioritized serving Americans with disabilities that live in rural states and other areas with more limited service delivery. Priority will be given to proposals that foster collaboration among different community agencies, local government, and business to promote employment for people with disabilities in these communities. Although proposals can be submitted from any state, funding priority is given to projects serving individuals in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennesse, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Amount: A total of $1,500,000 is available to fund projects that range from $100,000-$250,000 per year for up to two years. A 15 percent match of the total request amount is required. Matching funds must be newly acquired and available for the grant project.
Eligibility: Non-profit agencies, public or private schools, and public institutions, such as universities and government (state, local, federal) based in the United States or any of its territories. Applicant organizations must have operating budgets greater than $3,000,000.
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