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Grants from Special Medical Funds

The application for this program is currently closed

The Rhode Island Foundation stewards a collection of funds of various sizes that generous donors have established to address health and healthcare needs of Rhode Islanders related to specific medical conditions. These funds are used to support our Medical Research program and provide support to nonprofit organizations working in these fields. Funding availability varies each year and could include the following areas:

  • Working on the education, prevention, and care of those with renal disease
  • Providing hospice care for the terminally ill
  • Providing care and relief to individuals suffering from incurables
  • Providing care and support for individuals with low-vision and blindness
  • Providing care and treatment for those with cancer
  • Providing support for persons with physical disabilities
  • Helping or aiding those with developmental or intellectual disabilities
  • Focusing on the outreach, education, clinical or basic research involving human growth hormone steroids or other performance enhancing substances
  • In addition to the medical conditions listed above, there may be limited funding available for organizations providing support and care to individuals suffering from mental illness, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or heart ailments

    If your organization is working in an area listed above and you wish to discuss whether or not it is a match for funding available this year, please contact Zachary Nieder at for more information.

    Priority will be given to programs or projects that demonstrate the greatest impact on health and healthcare and address health inequities and disparities in Rhode Island.

    Grants generally range from $10,000 to $50,000 depending upon availability of funds. The average grant award is just under $25,000.

Eligibility and criteria

  • Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations located or delivering services in the state of Rhode Island.
  • Special Medical Fund awards do not fund individuals, scholarships, capital or endowment efforts, fundraising events, or campaigns to elect candidates to public office.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the area of proposed work.
  • Organizational infrastructure that indicates sufficient capacity for this work, including financial infrastructure and staff.
  • Grant support from Special Medical Funds will not impact an organization's eligibility to apply to the Rhode Island Foundation for other grant support.

The on-line application includes:

  • Narrative (no more than five pages)
    • What are the goals and objectives of this project?
    • How will you implement the project?
    • What are your intended outcomes, and how will you assess your impact?
    • What is the evidence that the project is needed? Why is the opportunity critical now?
    • How will the funding requested be used?
    • Who are the leaders of this project?
    • Is there anything else you want us to know?
  • 12-Month Proposal Budget
    • The budget should include all income for the project that you currently have in hand and funding that is anticipated. Please identify all committed and potential funding sources and when a decision is anticipated.
    • Please break all personnel down by position and the percentage of time that the employee will devote to this project. You may group a class of employees.
    • Please note that the Foundation reviews requests that include overhead or indirect costs on a case by case basis.
    • Please make sure that your total project expenses match the total entered in this application under total project budget.
  • IRS 501(c)(3) Tax Determination Letter (not a tax-exempt certificate)
    Required only if your organization has never applied to the Rhode Island Foundation for funding. If an organization is serving as the fiscal agent for this project, please submit the IRS 501(c) tax determination letter for the fiscal agent.

To apply

Due to the limited funding and varying amounts available for different medical conditions, please contact Zach Nieder to discuss your project. If it fits with the funding areas and available amounts, we will provide guidance on how to apply.

Application deadline

August 18, 2023