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Creating Opportunity and Independence (CO&I) Project Grant

Grants to USA and Canada Nonprofits to Enhance the
Quality of Life for Individuals With Spinal Cord Injuries

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/27/20 5:00 PM ET


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Grants starting at $25,000 to USA and Canada nonprofit organizations for programs and services to enhance the quality of life for individuals and families affected by spinal cord injury. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended for programs and services in the focus areas of assistive technology, education, employment, independent living, rehabilitation, arts, sports, and recreation.

Creating Opportunity & Independence (CO&I): The goal of the portfolio is to support organizations that provide programs and services that enhance the quality of life for individuals and families living with SCI. These grants cover diverse efforts that include discrete projects, program support, and capacity building. 

There are two funding categories in the CO&I portfolio:

  • Community Support Grants
    • Community Support Grants fund efforts that provide services for individuals with spinal cord injury and can include discrete projects, program support and/or capacity building.
  • Sustainable Impact Projects
    • Sustainable Impact Projects focus on innovative projects that address pervasive barriers in the delivery of services and care for people with SCI across their lifespan. These grants are intended to encourage out-of-the-box thinking to enhance quality of life on a wide scale with the potential to serve as a model that could be replicated in other settings. This program is by invitation only.

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.
  • 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 associated with rehabilitation services.

More information about Community Support Grants can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178077

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants range from $25,000 - $100,000.

Term of Contract:

Community Support Grants project funding is for one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- The grantee must be a nonprofit organization or rehabilitation facility located in the United States or Canada with a demonstrated capability to conduct grant-funded programs or activities.
- Neilsen Foundation grants are not awarded to individuals, private foundations or non-functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations.
- The Applicant named in a grant application must be deemed eligible by his/her organization to apply for a grant, and is expected to be responsible for conduct of the grant activities.
- An organization may only submit one application in a given program cycle and may hold only one Neilsen Foundation award within a given CO&I grant category at one time.

Support for large, capital construction or renovation is not allowed.

- Academic Scholarships: The Neilsen Foundation supports educational scholarships at select colleges and universities throughout the U.S., 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 an LOI.

Pre-Application Information:

- November 20, 2019: Letter of Intent opens for 2020 cycle
- January 10, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time): Letter of Intent closes for 2020 cycle
- March 31, 2020: Letter of Intent results announced for 2020 cycle
- April 27, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time): Full Grant Applications due for 2020 cycle
- September 30, 2020: Awards announced for 2020 cycle

All LOI applications must be submitted online, via proposalCENTRAL. The current LOI template in proposalCENTRAL must be used.

It is strongly recommend that you begin the application process in proposalCENTRAL well in advance of all deadlines.

The Neilsen Foundation will notify Applicants whether the application has been approved or declined for funding, via email, approximately five months after the FGA deadline. Only approved FGAs will proceed to the award process.

How to Apply:

Areas of Grant Funding:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

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


Contact page:

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