For over 17 years, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has proudly granted funds to nonprofits serving individuals with disabilities, and are an important resource for any non-profits seeking assistance for individuals and families living with paralysis. The Foundation is always looking for qualified Quality of Life Grant recipients to help people live a more independent and enjoyable way of life.
About Christopher and Dana Reeve
We all know Christopher Reeve as the beloved character of Superman, but he was also a real-life superhero through his inspiring and tireless work for people with paralysis and spinal cord injury and their community. He brought unprecedented awareness to the issues and challenges people with paralysis face and helped motivate neuroscientists around the world to conquer the most complex diseases of the brain and central nervous system.
Reeve married Dana Morosini in 1992, and only three years later fell off a horse and sustained a spinal injury that paralyzed him from the neck down.
After being elected Chairman of the American Paralysis Association, Reeve created the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which was later renamed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation after his wife’s untimely passing due to lung cancer in 2006.
Chris died from heart failure in 2004, at the age of 52. All three of Christopher and Dana’s children – Matthew, Alexandra, and Will – are actively involved in the foundation to this day.
Types of Quality of Life Grants
The Chris and Dana Reeve Foundation provides a Quality of Life Grant to non-profit organizations that help people with paralysis, either as a result of a spinal cord or another type of injury, a birth condition, or a disease. These can include conditions such as stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and others.
There are four types of grants awarded by the Foundation:
1) Direct Effect Quality of Life Grant. This grant 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. This grant is offered twice each year.
2) High Impact Priority Quality of Life Grant. This grant focuses on three different areas of funding: a $30,000 grant for transportation, respite/caregiving, and disaster preparedness; a $40,000 grant for nursing home transition; and a $50,000 employment grant. These grants are also offered twice every year.
3) Expanded Effect Quality of Life Grant. In 2019, the Foundation piloted a new grant program for previously awarded Quality of Life grantees whose programs and/or projects have achieved demonstrable, successful impact. The Expanded Effect Quality of Life grant program awards approximately six (6) grants of up to $100,000 each, and supports significant expansion of strategies and programs that are evidence-based, and show innovative practices in the field they serve to improve quality of life for people with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.
4) High Impact Innovation Assistance Technology Grant. This grant 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. This grant program awards up to five (5) grants of $75,000 each.
Who Should Apply for a Quality of Life Grant?
Any recognized 501(c)(3), grassroots organization that provides immediate and direct services to individuals with paralysis is encouraged to apply for a grant through the program. Larger nonprofits, as well as qualified municipalities, tribal entities, schools, national programs, and others, are also encouraged to apply.
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.
A letter of intent is no longer required of applicants. You can apply through the application page on their Grant Interface portal.
The Reeve Foundation cannot award grants to individuals, but their team of information specialists can help identify resources and organizations that provide financial assistance.
The Quality of Life Grant’s Legacy
Dana Reeve was the main innovator behind the Quality of Life Grant before her lung cancer-related death in 2006. To date, the Foundation has granted more than $26 million to more than 3,000 organizations across the country and in every one of the 50 states. The Foundation’s reach also moves beyond the United States and has provided grants to 33 additional countries.
The Quality of Life Grant is funded by the Administration for Community Living Award.
All of these grants continue to make life better for people with disabilities. The Reeve Foundation is a great place to go for a wealth of information, resources, support, and community outreach to empower those living with paralysis and spinal cord injury. You can see everything they have to offer at http://www.christopherreeve.org.
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