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 2018, the Kessler Foundation has a special interest in transportation projects that focus on innovative solutions to help people with disabilities seek, obtain, or retain employment. In addition, the Foundation is interested in innovative projects that improve employment opportunities and provide jobs for people with disabilities that have been formerly incarcerated or encountered the criminal justice system. However, all submitted innovative grant concepts on various topics are eligible for funding.
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: Nonprofit 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. Organizations employing a large number of staff members self-identifying as having a disability will be scored higher. A proven track record managing and participating in collaborative grant projects is also desirable.
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