Raising Funds from Foundations New to Disability

Posted on 26 August 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Funding, Inclusion, Opportunities, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

If you work with a Disabled People’s Organization (DPO), chances are, your organization never has enough cash. And foundations that specialize in supporting DPOs are hard to find.

Often, the answer is to look for funding from foundations that do not necessarily advertise themselves as having a disability focus. But if the funder has limited prior experience with supporting projects run by DPOs, or otherwise targeted at the disability community, then your worry becomes, How do you convince them that your project is exactly the kind of project they’re seeking to support? How do you overcome any misconceptions they might have about the true needs of people with disabilities or their relevance to the kinds of projects they normally support?

Fundseekers wrestling with these kinds of questions can turn to a 2-page handout from the Disability Funders Network entitled “Bridging the Knowledge Gap: Working with Foundations to Attract Disability Funding” (PDF format, 110 Kb) for some of their answers.

This guide is targeted at DPOs in the United States, but many of the broad principles are applicable anywhere. For example, some foundations support projects targeted at “diverse” or “vulnerable” communities. This means it can be helpful to make the case for why disability fits in perfectly with their desire to be supportive of diversity. Also, foundations usually value demographic statistics about the community that a project is meant to support. (For example, how many people with disabilities are there in the area where you want to do your project?)

Download the handout for yourself at:

http://www.disabilityfunders.org/system/files/attractdisfund.pdf

And also be sure to read Disability Funder’s “Recommendations for Grantseekers“; some of the advice is similar, but with added nuances.

Having trouble finding the statistics you need to write a stronger grant proposal? Browse some of the earlier We Can Do posts listed under “Tips and Leads for how to find more Academic Research, Papers, and Statistics” in the Research, Reports, Papers, Statistics page (available from the top navigation bar). Some of these past blog posts may help point you to sources for various kinds of data, research, and other documented information.

Looking for more resources related to fund raising? You can find a few right here at We Can Do from the page entitled “Resources, Toolkits, and Funding” (available from top navigation bar). Or, starting in late August or early September 2008, you will find even more resources in the Resource section of the Disability Rights Fund website.

Also find more resources like this one at the Disability Funders Network website.



I found this handout by browsing the Disability Funder’s Network website.

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Mainstream Grantmaking and People with Disabilities

Posted on 20 August 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Funding, Human Rights, Inclusion, Resources | Tags: , , , , , |

Do people with disabilities need or deserve special attention from mainstream human rights organizations or grantmakers who don’t plan to specialize in their concerns? Is there a role for people with disabilities in mainstream human rights projects? How and why should people with disabilities be included in human rights campaigns that focus on other population groups such as women, ethnic minorities, or the poor? How can including people with disabilities help everyone in achieving human rights goals for all population groups? What role can grassroots organizations, and the funders that support them, play in this process?

Organizations and grantmakers can both consult a pair of brochures that explain how and why non-governmental organizations and funders can and should take disability into account when planning or funding mainstream international human rights programs. They are entitled “Human Rights and Disability: Embracing a paradigm shift: A Funder Opportunity” and “Human Rights and Disability: Embracing a paradigm shift: An NGO Opportunity.” Each brochure is two pages long, and is available in both PDF format and Word format. They can be downloaded for free at:

http://www.disabilityfunders.org/human_rights

These brochures are targeted at mainstream funders and organizations. Grassroots disability advocates could also use them in their outreach efforts to persuade organizations and funders of the need to be more inclusive of their concerns in mainstream human rights programs.

Mainstream organizations and grantmakers who are serious about including disabled people in their programs will want to note that this pair of brochures only gives a broad overview of the issues involved. If you are seeking more detailed, concrete guidance in how to incorporate people with disabilities in your projects, then you will want to explore other resources on inclusive development that have been featured at the We Can Do blog.

Also explore some of the publications available at the Disability Funder’s website.



I first learned of the Disability Funder’s Network when I was working on a project recently to pull together a collection of links for the Disability Rights Fund website (watch their space for an extensive collection of resources due to go up in late August or early September 2008).

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