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    Grant Seekers

    AWS Foundation awards grants to help children and adults with enduring intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities live as independently as possible, be included in the community and function at their highest potential. “Mighty Money” mini grants, designed to provide a boost for not-for-profits, are also available.

    We invite you to creatively audit the abilities of your organization for opportunities that, coupled with our grant making activities, expand your programs to serve the disability community. Then take a look at the eligibility and funding guidelines below to see how AWS Foundation might partner with your organization to make that vision a reality. For grant ideas, click here to review past grant recipients.

    As you explore the possibilities and have questions about how your grant request aligns with our mission and guidelines, please email or call Lynne Gilmore, Chief Program Officer at 260.207.5656.

    Letter of Intent

    Beginning July 2017, we’re adding a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the grant application process.  An LOI is required for requests that fall into one of these categories:

    • The organization is making its first formal grant request;
    • The request is for capital support regardless of amount;
    • The request is for $50,000 or more;
    • The funding is a multi-year request.

    You can access the LOI online application here. You may review the LOI questions before the application here. The LOI must be submitted on the organization’s letterhead and include the following:

    • Program or Project Name
    • Summary of the program/project, demonstrated need and expected outcomes
    • Total cost of the program/project
    • Amount requested from AWS Foundation
    • How the request aligns with the Foundation’s mission and one of our priority initiatives
    • Signed and dated by the Executive Director/CEO

    Upon our receipt of your LOI, you will be contacted by Lynne Gilmore, Chief Program Officer, to discuss the request for eligibility and next steps.

    Key LOI dates for each grant cycle are (each application will open two weeks before their due date):

    Fall 2018 Grant Cycle

    • Letter of Intent due August 1, 2018 by 5 p.m. (EST)
    • Invitation to apply by August 15, 2018
    • Grant Application due September 14, 2018 by 5 p.m.
    • Grant decision on November 13, 2018

    Winter 2018 Grant Cycle

    • Letter of Intent due November 1, 2018 by 5 p.m.
    • Invitation to apply by November 15, 2018
    • Grant Application due December 14, 2018 by 5 p.m.
    • Grant decision on February 12, 2019

    Spring 2018 Grant Cycle

    • Letter of Intent due February 1, 2018 by 5 p.m.
    • Invitation to apply by February 15, 2018
    • Grant Application due March 15, 2018 by 5 p.m.
    • Grant decision on May 8, 2018

    Summer 2018 Grant Cycle

    • Letter of Intent due May 1, 2018 by 5 p.m.
    • Invitation to apply by May 15, 2018
    • Grant Application due June 15, 2018 by 5 p.m.
    • Grant decision on August 14, 2018

    Grant Guidelines


    Our focus is specific to individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, fragile X syndrome and alcohol fetal syndrome, etc. Aging or illness related disabilities fall outside our scope of disabilities.


    We have five priority initiatives:

    • Social Enrichment: Seeking inclusive and accessible social, recreational and creative programs that engage and inspire individuals with disabilities.
    • Education & Employment: Supporting access to educational resources and activities to be successful learners, both academically and in developing life skills, that offer individuals with disabilities equal opportunity for meaningful employment.
    • Transportation: Pursuing opportunities for accessible, affordable community transportation increasing access to locations throughout the community for individuals with disabilities.
    • Early Diagnosis & System Navigation: Exploring programs that recognize and diagnose disabilities early to achieve each individual’s highest potential, providing easy access and information to assist families and care givers, and gaining better understanding of effective therapies for individuals with disabilities.
    • Housing: Broadening opportunities for safe, secure and affordable housing that provides a variety of beneficial living environments for individuals with disabilities.


    To be competitive for funding, your request should:

    • Align with the AWS Foundation’s mission and initiatives.
    • Consider innovative or new approaches that address the needs of people with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities.
    • Involve a significant number of individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities.
    • Requests to fund individuals, fundraising activities of other organizations or religious activities are not competitive for funding.

    Geographic Area

    Organizations qualified for funding consideration must be 501(c)(3) organizations serving these northeast Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. The Foundation’s funding priorities are:

    1. Program
    2. Capital
    3. Operating

    Grant Schedule

    AWS Foundation has four grant application deadlines per fiscal year. Below is the list of upcoming grant cycles. Applications open two weeks before their due date and must be received by 5 p.m. (EST) per the grant deadlines below and are accepted only via the Foundation’s website.

    FALL 2017

    Letter of Intent Due:
    August 1, 2017

    Invitation to apply by:
    August 15, 2017

    Grant Application Due:
    September 15, 2017

    Decision Announcement:
    November 15, 2017

    WINTER 2017

    Letter of Intent Due:
    November 1, 2017

    Invitation to apply by:
    November 15, 2017

    Grant Application Due:
    December 15, 2017

    Decision Announcement:
    February 14, 2018

    SPRING 2018

    Letter of Intent Due:
    February 1, 2018

    Invitation to apply:
    February 15, 2018

    Grant Application Due:
    March 15, 2018

    Decision Announcement:
    May 9, 2018

    SUMMER 2018

    Letter of Intent Due:
    May 1, 2018

    Invitation to apply by:
    May 15, 2018

    Grant Application Due:
    June 15, 2018

    Decision Announcement:
    August 15, 2018

    Grant Application

    When you have read through our Grant Guidelines and have determined your request meets our criteria, we recommend you review this list of Application Questions.

    We have implemented a new online grant application and management system using Foundant Technology. This new system enables you to work on your application over time, cut and paste information into question fields, save your work and then return to it. You can also print the entire application (including attachments) with just one click. Reports will be submitted using this grant portal too. And, your organization’s applications and reports will be permanently stored for you to access at any time.

    The logon process requires the following:

    • A user name that is an email address
    • Your contact information
    • Your organization’s information including the EIN/Tax ID number
    • Contact information for the organization’s Executive Director/CEO

    To begin the application process click here.

    Note: When referring to people with disabilities in your grant application, please use “People First” Language, respectfully putting the person before the disability, i.e., individuals with disabilities, individual with autism.

    For an example on what “People First” Language is and how to write in this point of view, click here.

    Mighty Money

    Our “mini grants” provide funding to not-for-profit organizations who need a little boost for their big idea. These grants are available to organizations serving northeast Indiana. Before applying, you may view the Mighty Money Questions.

    Grant Cycles:

    • Applications accepted any time throughout the year.
    • Limit of one application per year.

    Mighty Money features:

    • Grants of $2,500 or less
    • Simple application
    • Approval within 30 days
    MIghty Money

    Have a great idea, but not sure if it’s grant worthy?

    Send us a quick description of your concept. We’ll let you know what we think and give you pointers on making it a grant-winning success.