Four special funds at the Foundation relate to services for individuals who are blind or who have visual impairment:
- Alvina Legere Fund, established in 2003
- Helen Walker Raleigh Vision, established in 2006
- Dorothy Hackney Smith Fund, established in 1980
- Ellen and Harry Smith Fund, established in 2010
These funds enable the Foundation to play a major role in servicing the legally blind and visually impaired in Rhode Island. Priority will be given to programs that focus on medical research for macular degeneration and support systems for those affected by that condition.
The Program for the Blind will consider applications from nonprofit organizations that support and work with vision research such as macular degeneration and for programs in support of services such as guide dogs, summer camps for children with low-vision and blindness, etc. Other applications will benefit those with blindness and vision loss in other ways.
The Foundation will fund a total of $300,000 this year. Generally, grants for this program will range from $10,000 to $75,000. Please note: Applications will not be considered from organizations with overdue grant reports.
The Foundation will use the following criteria in making funding decisions:
- Must be a Rhode Island nonprofit serving a well-defined population in Rhode Island
- Responds to one of the Fund for the Blind priority areas:
- Assists visually impaired individuals in Rhode Island to move towards economic self-sufficiency
- Advances innovative solutions for people affected by blindness or vision loss
- Develops research-based solutions to the underlying disease or condition that causes blindness or vision loss, particularly macular degeneration
- Summer camps for Rhode Island children with low-vision and blindness
- Clearly state an identified community need
- Has clearly stated goals, objectives and measurable outcomes
- Organization has a proven and relevant track record in this field
- Organization has the capacity to implement the proposal
- There is a clear sustainability plan
There are two separate grant cycles:
- Applications for summer camps and other summer programs must be submitted by midnight (EST) on May 5, 2017.
- Applications focused on research, support systems, and other services must be submitted by midnight (EST) on September 15, 2017.
Please note that no assistance will be available after 5 p.m. (EST).
For programs focused on vision research such as macular degeneration, programs in support of services such as guide dogs, and other applications that will benefit those with blindness and vision loss in other ways, a complete application includes:
For summer camps and summer programs for Rhode Island children with low-vision and blindness, a complete application includes: