Program overview

As a pillar of the Paralysis Resource Center, the Quality of Life Grants Program, pioneered by the late Dana Reeve, impacts and empowers people living with paralysis, their families and caregivers by providing grants to nonprofit organizations whose projects and initiatives foster inclusion, involvement and community engagement, while promoting health and wellness for those affected by paralysis in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

The Quality of Life Grants Program has funded 3,330 non-profit programs, awarding over $32 million to organizations nationwide that provide services to foster community engagement, improved access, and independent living.

Grants have been awarded in all fifty states, a number of U.S. territories and though we no longer fund projects outside of the United States of America, grants have previously been awarded in 33 countries outside the U.S.

Grant Details

We are pleased to announce that during the 2021 1st Cycle, we will continue to offer our special grants program to address social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More.

Applications are welcome from nonprofit organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) status, municipal and state governments, school districts, recognized tribal entities, and other institutions such as community or veterans hospitals.

Grants are awarded to organizations that address the needs of people living with paralysis caused by spinal cord and other injuries, diseases or birth conditions, including (but not limited to) stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

In 2018, we piloted a tiered approach to the structure of the Quality of Life grants program to better reflect and respond to the priority needs of the community of people living with paralysis and their families.

Direct Effect Quality of Life (Tier 1) is open-focused and awards grants of up to $25,000 to support the wide range of projects and activities of the traditional Quality of Life grants. Grants fund specific budget items that will clearly impact individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Direct Effect Quality of Life grants are offered twice yearly, in the 1st (Spring) and 2nd (Fall) grant cycles.

High Impact Priority Quality of Life Grant Tiers offer three increasing levels of grant funding. Each tier is targeted to focus on a High Priority issue for the community of individuals living with paralysis and their families, as follows:

Tier 2 -- Grants of $30,000 for the following Priority Areas:

    • Transportation
    • Respite/Caregiving
    • Disaster Preparedness

Tier 3 -- Grants of $40,000

    • Nursing Home Transition

Tier 4 -- Grants of $50,000

    • Employment

High Impact Priority Quality of Life grants are currently being offered once per year, in the 2nd grant cycle (Fall).

Expanded Impact Quality of Life (Tier 5). In 2019, we began piloting a new grant program for previously awarded Quality of Life grantees whose programs and/or projects have achieved demonstrable, successful impact. The Expanded Impact Quality of Life grants program will award approximately six (6) grants of up to $100,000 each and will support significant expansion of strategies and programs that are evidence-based, show innovate promising practices, and/or best practices in the field they serve to improve quality of life for people with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.

*******The Expanded Impact Quality of Life grants program is currently on hold due to the ongoing pandemic.********

High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grants program is restricted to state and territory AT programs funded through the State Assistive Technology Act, including implementing agencies subcontracted for Assistive Technology (Section 4) Activities. The HIIAT grants program will award up to 5 grants of $75,000 each. The HIIAT grants program is offered once per year during the Summer.

Organizations that receive grants provide a diversity of services and approaches, including:

  • Improving access in public and residential spaces
  • Providing education, independent living skills, and job training
  • Sponsoring organized sporting and recreational opportunities
  • Enhancing community engagement, independence and inclusion

The Reeve Foundation gives special consideration to organizations that serve returning wounded military and their families, and to those that provide targeted services to diverse cultural communities and/or underserved population groups.

All potential applicants are encouraged to read information on the application page.

Letters of Intent (LOIs) are no longer required for the Quality of Life grants program.

Funded projects in all grant tiers are expected to be completed in 12 months. If this is not possible, the applicant is encouraged to delay submitting a request until such time as the proposed project may be completed in 12 months.

Requests to support the launch of new initiatives or the expansion of existing projects are encouraged. However, grant recipients should not rely on the Reeve Foundation for continued funding of their programs or projects.

The Quality of Life Grants Program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL) Award No. 90PRRC0002.

Who should apply?

The Reeve Foundation aids local grassroots nonprofit organizations that have an immediate and practical impact on individual lives, as well as established nonprofit agencies, municipalities, schools, parks and recreation departments, tribal entities, and large national nonprofit organizations within the United States of America.

Prior Grantees

Once an organization is funded with a Reeve Foundation grant, there is no guarantee that it will receive subsequent funding. With the exception of organizations applying for an Expanded Effect grant, prior grantees are encouraged to apply for new and innovative projects. However, funding requests for continuation of projects already funded through the Direct Effect and High Impact Priority Tiers that are not Expanded Impact proposals, will be considered, based upon the merit and success of the past grant project.

The Reeve Foundation cannot award grants to individuals, but our team of information specialists can help identify resources and organizations that can provide financial assistance.