Lavelle Fund for the Blind Grant

Lavelle Fund for the Blind

Grant amount: Up to US $1,500,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Preferred: New York Other eligible locations: Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola; Argentina Expand all

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Grantmaking Focus

The Lavelle Fund supports:
  • Vision rehabilitation, education, and other non-medical services to or on behalf of people with irreversible vision loss.
  • Eye care (ophthalmic, optometric, and related public health services) for disadvantaged people.
Support is concentrated mainly on organizations serving the New York City Metropolitan area and New York State. Support also goes to developing world programs, particularly primary and secondary eye care programs. 

While especially interested in programs that reflect the Catholic tradition of serving the disadvantaged, the Fund makes grants to a broad range of quality direct service programs. Support is concentrated on programs that present evidence of program impact on the population served and plans for making measurable progress toward pre-determined goals in a specific time frame.

The Lavelle Fund for the Blind funds the following program areas:

Eye Care (Medical And Other Health-related)
 This includes medical (ophthalmic) treatment and surgery for eye diseases and disorders, optometric treatment and eyeglass prescriptions, and public health efforts to control the spread of communicable eye diseases.

Services To Or On Behalf Of People With Irreversible Vision Loss (Non-medical)
  • Vision Rehabilitation and Low Vision Services - These include an array of professional services and adaptive devices designed to prepare people who are blind or visually impaired to live independent, productive lives. Examples include:
    • Undergoing training in skills of daily living (e.g., eating, cooking, personal hygiene), safe mobility in the home and community, and adaptive communications skills (reading and writing Braille and accessing Braille, large-print, and recorded books). 
    • Preparing for and obtaining appropriate paid work.
    • Learning to use adaptive computer technology and, as needed, being fitted with low vision optical devices.
  • Education
    • Education Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Students. Examples include instructional and therapeutic services to K-12 students who are blind and visually impaired. 
    • Lavelle Fund College Scholarship Program. This provides last-dollar-of-need scholarships to New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents who are legally blind, financially needy, and studying at selected partner colleges and universities in the Tri-State New York Area. (For more information, please find out more here.)
  • Training for Vision Professionals & Para-Professionals - Examples include university and other training programs for the teachers, rehabilitation specialists, and other professionals and aides who serve blind and visually impaired people.
  • Information and Referral Services - Often internet- or phone-based , these services inform blind and visually impaired people and their families about: eye diseases and disorders; available medical and vision rehabilitation care and technology; and contact data for local care providers. They also often provide blind consumers and their families with opportunities to network with people facing similar challenges.
  • Access to Religious Services - This includes access to church and religious education services (e.g., liturgical readings and religious books in accessible formats) and vision services for Catholic religious and clergy.
Program vs. Capital Support 
The Fund concentrates on providing program support earmarked for program creation, expansion, or improvement. Capital support is generally awarded only in connection with specific program support needs.

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


  • Nonprofit charitable organizations that are exempt from federal taxes under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Revenue Code can apply for grant, except in the case of non-U.S. charitable, nonprofit organizations that lack a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) fiscal intermediary.
  • Most Fund support goes to organizations that serve the New York City metropolitan area or New York State. However, the Fund also funds programs benefiting the developing world.


  • Programs in the Catholic tradition of serving the disadvantaged are of special interest. 


  • The Fund does not make grants to any of the following:
    • Individuals.
    • Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service,
      • except in the case of non-U.S. charitable, nonprofit organizations that lack a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) fiscal intermediary.
    • Medical research programs.
    • Conferences or media events (unless they are an integral part of a broader program of direct service).
    • Efforts to influence legislation or elections.Organizations seeking support for deficit reduction or emergency funding.
  • The Fund rarely provides general operating support.

About this funder:

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