While the American education system has put much money and effort toward improving in-class education in public schools, after-school programs are often harder to justify in already-stretched school budgets. This statement is especially true in high-poverty, high-crime areas where under-served students are likely to drop out of school or engage in risky behaviors.
When most people hear “grants for seniors,” they immediately think of grants to start a new senior center or grants to improve activities in senior homes. Such grants abound, and there’s no doubt that offering varied activities in senior homes benefits residents. However, there are also many others ways to enhance the lives of seniors. Here are a few grant opportunities that benefit seniors in unique ways.
Help Seniors Learn: A New Definition for “Senior in College”
The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation has provided over $2.6 million to colleges and universities that help women over 25 finish their Bachelor’s degrees. Any four-year college or university may apply for funding. For information on the application process and deadlines, contact the foundation by phone (609-924-7022) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Help Seniors Remember the Good Times
According to The Alzheimer's Association, “one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer's dementia.” Since 1982, the Alzheimer Association’s International Research Grant Program has provided $435 million dollars in grants to institutions whose research projects help the global community learn more about this disease and improve treatment and care options for afflicted individuals. The application guidelines and deadlines vary, so please visit the Association’s grant page to learn more about the research grants to which you’d like to apply.
Many grantmaking organizations—especially small, private foundations—do not accept proposals for initial funding requests. Instead, they require grantseekers to submit a letter of introduction (LOI), also known as a letter of interest, letter of inquiry, letter of intent, or letter of request (LOR). Often, LOIs are requested by foundations as a tool to determine which projects they will be invited to submit a full proposal. While each grantmaking organization’s requirements for these letters may vary, most funders want LOIs of no more than one to three pages that describe the project for which you’re requesting funding and indicate the amount of funding for which you’re asking.
But is writing LOIs (as opposed to grant proposals) really worth doing? There are two main strategic approaches to consider: sending many LOIs – vs- fewer full proposals. To determine the best strategy for your organization, consider some of the general pros and cons of LOI writing when seeking grant funding.
-- LOIs are brief and quick to write.
Most full grant proposals require multiple pages of specific information regarding your funding request, including a project description, timeline, itemized budget, and measurable goals and outcomes. Therefore, planning your project and then writing a good proposal can take days, weeks, or even months. Because LOIs require much less verbiage and rely on more general information, an experienced writer can prepare a persuasive LOI quickly. If you have a collection of documents and text from other proposals and LOIs, the task can be even easier.