Tower Foundation: Programs & Services Grants

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $40,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jan 17, 2019 8:59pm PST (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: May 9, 2019 8:59pm PDT (Pre proposal), Aug 22, 2019 8:59pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Massachusetts: Barnstable County, Dukes County, Essex County, Nantucket County, Counties in New York: Erie County Expand all

Location of residency: Counties in Massachusetts: Barnstable County, Dukes County, Essex County, Nantucket County, Counties in New York: Erie County Expand all

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NOTE: New applicants should create a Grant Portal account 1 week prior to any "pre-proposal" deadline above. 

Our Mission

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation supports community programming that results in children, adolescents, and young adults affected by substance use disorders, learning disabilities, mental illness, and intellectual disabilities achieving their full potential. The Foundation is dedicated to societal impact through healthy communities and capacity building. We work diligently to foster a sense of empowerment and an environment of collaboration.

Our Vision and Values

The Tower Foundation serves as a strategic partner and catalyst for positive community change. We believe in the power of sustainable, healthy communities and the effectiveness of coalitions and self-advocacy—success as measured by stakeholder partnership and growth as defined by constituent action and understanding. We hope to inspire others to honor strength in difference and identify opportunity in challenge.

We disburse assets strategically, to fund community programs and projects that boost societal and partner capabilities and lift young individuals to an enhanced quality of life. The Foundation prioritizes funding that leads to improved systemic and organizational capacities in screening/assessment, education/awareness, transition/service navigation, evidence-based practice, efficiency, and technology solutions.

Programs & Services Grants

The Foundation provides direct grants to fund programs and services in our four focus areas of intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health, and substance use disorders. Programs & Services grants support organizations working to improve the lives of children and young adults in our geographic footprint of Erie and Niagara Counties in Western New York and Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties in Eastern Massachusetts.

Focus Areas

The Foundation supports organizations and initiatives that help provide young people with opportunities to realize their highest potential regardless of the challenges they face. Our funding supports work in four focus areas: Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health, and Substance Use Disorders – all typically underfunded and stigmatized conditions.

We have set out broad, aspirational goals to guide our work and to keep us focused on the big picture. With these in mind, we hope to move a little closer each day to these ideals.

Intellectual Disabilities

  • Children with intellectual disabilities are identified early and receive services that meet their evolving needs.
  • Young people with intellectual disabilities are engaged in meaningful, social, vocational, and educational pursuits.
  • Families understand intellectual disabilities and secure needed supports.
  • Communities embrace persons with intellectual disabilities and provide them with a full range of supports and opportunities to engage in community life.

Learning Disabilities

  • Children with learning disabilities are identified early, diagnosed, and connected to services that meet their ongoing individual needs.
  • Youth with learning disabilities understand how they learn and pursue resources that support them accordingly.
  • Young adults are confident and do not view their learning disability as a liability.
  • Young adults with learning disabilities are ready for work and/or educational pursuits.
  • Families are informed about learning disabilities and can identify and navigate available services.
  • Communities value persons with learning disabilities and accommodate their needs.

Mental Health

  • Stigma related to mental illness is eliminated.
  • Children with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges are identified early and connected to appropriate services.
  • Young people with mental health challenges understand and manage their conditions and behaviors.
  • Families understand mental health challenges and help members live productive lives.
  • Communities offer meaningful opportunities and appropriate support to young people with mental health challenges and their families.

Substance Use Disorders

  • Community members understand the prevalence and harmful effects of alcohol and drugs and work to address them.
  • Resources for substance use disorders prevention, treatment, and recovery are readily available.
  • Families provide safe environments that support healthy and informed choices about alcohol and drugs.
  • Young people make healthy and informed choices about alcohol and drugs.

What Types of Projects Will the Foundation Consider?

Projects must focus on children, adolescents, or young adults (up to age 26) affected by intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

The Tower Foundation is open to multi-year grants with budgets ranging from (but not limited to) $10,000 to $40,000 per year.

The majority of grant funds should be for expenses that are new to the organization as a result of the proposed project. Requests for funding to support existing services as currently offered are considered general operating support, and are unlikely to be competitive.

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


  • Organizations located in and serving primarily residents of the following areas are eligible to apply for Tower Foundation grants:
    • Massachusetts
      • Barnstable County
      • Dukes County
      • Essex County
      • Nantucket County
    • New York
      • Erie County
      • Niagara County
  • Additionally, applicants must be:
    • not-for-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) designation that are not private foundations, or
    • not-for-profit public benefit corporations, or
    • public and diocesan school districts, or
    • private and charter schools.


  • While open to a range of projects that have the potential to advance its goals, the Foundation will give preference to projects focusing on the following:
    • Screening and Assessment: Programs or processes that promptly identify challenges that young people face and match them with optimally effective services, treatment, or supports.
    • Community-Based Education and Supports:
      • Community and Professional Education: Community-based education or professional development that enhance knowledge of intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness and/or substance use disorders; and on tools and evidence-based approaches to promote life and learning skills, wellness, independence, and an individual and creative voice. Education can target teachers and educators, employers, healthcare and human services professionals, and the general public.
      • Family Supports: Programs that are supportive of parents and families: parent or peer networks, respite or social activities, family-based support for recovery and wellness, and family support of career and educational planning.
    • Transition/Service Navigation: Programs that help young people navigate life transitions, including transitions from one educational setting to another, transitions from job training to employment, and transitions that continue to facilitate personal growth and fulfillment. This includes programs that facilitate sustained recovery from mental illness and/or substance use disorders. 


  • The Foundation does not fund programs or projects that:
    • provide private benefits for any grant recipient or affiliated person,
    • attempt to influence legislation or intervene in any political campaign,
    • contribute to capital improvements or capital campaigns
    • consist of scholarships, services, or treatment for specific individuals,
    • consist largely of general operating support.

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary