Creating Opportunity & Independence Grant

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

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Grant amount: US $25,000 - US $100,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jan 18, 2020 2:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Apr 30, 2020 2:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Canada, United States

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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About this funder:



The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding decisions are driven by our core values: Excellence, Leadership, Accountability, Innovation and Collaboration. Our portfolios support scientific, charitable and educational organizations conducting spinal cord injury research, training in spinal cord medicine and providing services to assist individuals and families affected by spinal cord injury.

Creating Opportunity & Independence Grant

The Creating Opportunity & Independence (CO&I) portfolio supports organizations that provide programs and services that enhance the quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injury. Areas of focus include: assistive technology, education, employment, independent living, rehabilitation, and arts, sports and recreation.

Two funding categories

Project Grants

One-year Project Grants support services and projects benefiting participants with spinal cord injury, including purchase of essential programmatic equipment.

CO&I Project Grants support equipment, services or programs benefiting individuals with SCI.

Topic areas include:

  • 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 of individuals with SCI.
  • Education: e.g., patient/family education, peer mentoring/training, consumer-based conferences.
  • Employment: e.g., vocational training, local employment placement, employment initiatives.
  • Independent Living: e.g., accessible housing to move individuals with SCI out of nursing homes, adaptive driving programs, companion animal services, independent living center support for SCI programs.
  • Rehabilitation: e.g., wellness programs, patient assistance funds and equipment, including clinical and/or assistive technology associated with rehabilitation services for people with SCI.
  • Arts, Sports and Recreation: e.g., community partnership initiatives, visual and performing arts programs, equipment, travel funds, event support or wellness programs. 

Sustainable Impact Projects

Three-year Sustainable Impact Projects focus on innovative projects that will have high impact, such as making systemic changes in the delivery of services and care to enhance participation and quality of life. These grants are designed to launch or augment impactful programs by encouraging out-of-the-box ideas and streamlined solutions that address important gaps in service. This program is by invitation only.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The grantee must be a nonprofit institution/organization or rehabilitation facility located in the United States or Canada with a demonstrated capability to conduct grant-funded programs or activities. 
  • The PI/Applicant named in a grant application must be deemed eligible by his/her institution/ organization to apply for a grant, and is expected to be responsible for conduct of the program/project. 
  • An institution/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. 


  • Neilsen Foundation grants are not awarded to individuals, private foundations or certain 509(a)(3), Type III supporting organizations.