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Developmental Disabilities

Funding Opportunity

Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle


As family and friends of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD), members of the Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle (DDGC) are committed to supporting innovative projects and programs that will help adults with I/DD (18 years old and older who have completed school) lead fulfilling, productive, and meaningful lives.

The innovations we support must be measurable, sustainable, widely applicable, and meet our grant priorities.

What Do We Mean By Innovation?
We are looking for new approaches to solving existing problems that are accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or service models. Refer to the DDGC web page to see previous grant recipients as examples of innovative proposals.

Giving Circle Funding Guidelines
Programs do not have to be new, but we will only support existing programs if they are developing new approaches or processes, such as expanding a pilot, developing new partnerships, or expanding in project scope (i.e., to a larger or different population). Although no multi-year requests will be considered, applications for continued funding may be made on an annual basis provided appropriate progress on current grant. The total grant amount should be expended within one year from the date it is received. Clearly defined and measurable outcomes must be included in each proposal.

Grant Priorities for 2019 Include:

  • Employment Readiness and Success: Program examples include providing integrated and competitive employment options; innovative training/experience for building employment skills; transportation options; technology that supports employment; mentoring support; volunteer opportunities; employer training; and career exploration opportunities.
  • Community Inclusion: Program examples include mobility; transportation; social and recreational options; health/wellness; disability awareness tools; expanding social connections; and self-advocacy.
  • Increased Independence: Program examples include technology supports for residential/community living including mobility; health data reporting; budgeting; shopping; cooking; behavioral supports; and finding and hiring staff for self-directed plans.

The DD Giving Circle does not support the following:

  • Programs that serve children and youth
  • General operating costs
  • Individuals and events
  • Scholarships
  • Political or legislative advocacy

Typical Grant Size

Giving Circle members will determine how many grants and the size of the grants awarded based on the number and quality of applications. Grant requests may be up to $40,000. In the past, grant awards have ranged from $5,000 to $20,000.

Eligibility Criteria

Organizations in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties with 501(c)(3) status whose activities and programs fit within the mission and scope of DDGC’s funding guidelines (programs serving adults 18 and older) are eligible to apply for grants. Consideration will also be given to initiatives that receive fiscal sponsorship from a 501(c)(3) organization.

Application Due Date(s)

New Process for 2019: The DD Giving Circle is requesting Letters of Intent by 4 p.m. on January 16, 2019. 

This process is being used for two reasons:

1) To respect potential grantees’ time by allowing them to run project/program ideas by the Giving Circle before completing the detailed application; and 

2) To help ensure the proposals are meaningful, thorough, and directly address Giving Circle priorities.

Only projects with successful LOIs will be able to submit completed grant applications by 4PM on March 1, 2019.


Letter of Intent

The Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle will begin accepting Letter of Intent submissions on December 12, 2018 via Rochester Area Community Foundation's online grant portal. To register, login or begin a new LOI or application click here.


Note: Rochester Area Community Foundation moved to a new online grant system in June, 2018. First-time users to the portal will need to register their organization's information to create an account before applying. See the tutorial video on the log-in screen for registration tips. For additional assistance, contact a Program Administrator at

Notification Date(s)

February 6: Successful LOI submissions will be informed before this date so that they can submit a grant application by March 1.

End of May 2019: Proposals to receive funding will be notified. Grants will be presented at a breakfast celebration in June 2019.


Contact with any questions.

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PHONE 585.271.4100 | FAX 585.271.4292 |
500 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

PHONE 585.271.4100 | FAX 585.271.4292 |
500 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607


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