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Kessler Foundation’s Signature Employment Grants Program


Signature Employment Grants are awarded nationally to fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that lead to a generation of new ideas to solve the high unemployment and underemployment of individuals with disabilities.

Donor Name: Kessler Foundation

Country: United States

State: All States

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline (mm/dd/yyyy): 02/22/2022

Size of the Grant: $100,000 – $250,000

Grant Duration: 2 years


Preference is given for interventions that address the intersection of race, class, gender, disability and poverty within the framework of helping individuals with disabilities obtain competitive, integrated employment in a cost-effective manner. Signature grants are not intended to fund project expansions or bring proven projects to new communities, unless there is a significant scale, scope or replicable component.

Innovation lies at the core of all Signature Employment Grants. They define innovation as a new idea or process that will spark new models to increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Innovation can often improve systems already in place. These ideas may be original or may use existing solutions or technologies in a new way.

The Foundation looks for new pilot initiatives or demonstration projects that generate new ideas. For the 2022 grant request for proposals, they have a special interest in projects that address the intersection of race, class, gender, disability and poverty within the framework of helping individuals with disabilities obtain employment or re-enter the job market following injury. Partnerships across sectors, such as public/private collaborations with economic development organizations, banks and municipalities are particularly of interest. However, all submitted innovative grant concepts on various topics are eligible for funding.

Funding Information

Organizations may apply for up to two years of funding. Yearly funding ranges from $100,000 – $250,000 with maximum project funding at $500,000. Application organizations must have operating budgets greater than $3,000,000. Indirect costs are funded up to 15 percent.

Signature Employment Grants will be awarded on December 9, 2022 for the grant period January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024.

Who Can Apply

  • Any organization recognized as a tax-exempt entity according to the Internal Revenue Code may apply for funding. This includes non-profit agencies, public or private schools, and public institutions, such as universities and governmental entities (state, local, federal) based in the United States or any of its territories.
  • They do not fund outside the United States. Kessler Foundation will not fund projects that discriminate in hiring staff or providing services on basis of race, gender, religion, marital status, sexual orientation or national origin. Organizations employing a large number of staff members self-identifying as having a disability is scored higher.

For more information, visit Signature Employment Grants.

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