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Sara Elizabeth O'Brien Trust Grants

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits to
Help Individuals with Blindness or Cancer

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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U.S. Trust, Bank of America - Sara Elizabeth O'Brien Trust

Deadline Date:

05/01/19 11:59 PM - for Direct Service applications only.


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Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations to assist individuals who have cancer or are living with blindness. Funding is intended to support health and human services programming that benefits individuals or for medical research in the areas of cancer or blindness.

The O’Brien Trust funds in 2 primary areas:

1. Direct Service. The O’Brien Trust supports organizations in Massachusetts in the area of health and human services to provide treatment, care, training and/or rehabilitation to individuals living with blindness or who have cancer. Grant requests for general operating support are considered as well as program requests. Program-related capital expenses may be included in general operating or program requests.

2. Medical research: The O’Brien Trust’s grant review process for medical research is administered by The Medical Foundation, a division of Health Resources in Action (HRiA). There are two types of research grants in this program:
- Cancer research grants
- Blindness research grants

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 146745

Estimated Size of Grant:

Cancer research: Two-year research fellowships, ranging from $87,000 to $106,000 are awarded.
Blindness research: Grants of up to $80,000 are awarded.

Term of Contract:

Cancer research grants are for two years and blindness research grants are for one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Massachusetts nonprofit organizations serving the needs of people with blindness or cancer may apply. Organizations that advance research in these areas may also apply.

Capital requests are generally not advised. Additionally, support for endowment campaigns is not provided. Sponsorships of events such as galas or award ceremonies are not provided. Costs of fundraising events such as sports tournaments will not be funded or sponsored.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply for direct service grants is May 1. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions by the end of August.

Cancer research: The 2019 application cycle is currently closed. The application deadline for cancer research is generally in February. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions by August.

Blindness research: The application deadline for blindness research is generally in March of each year. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions by June.

Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the deadline date. If the deadline falls on a weekend or a federally recognized holiday, applications are due on the next business day by 11:59 p.m. Online grant applications will be accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, generally on (or prior to) the proposal due date.

- Email submissions are not accepted
- Hand-delivered applications are not accepted
- Applications sent via USPS, UPS, FedEx, or similar postal services are not accepted
- Letters of Inquiry or Intent are not accepted

Only 1 application may be submitted per calendar year.

Applicant inquiries can only be answered during normal business hours (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET).

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply for Direct Service grants here:

For questions regarding direct service requests, call the bank contact below:

For cancer research information email, or visit The Medical Foundation - King:

For blindness research applications email, or visit The Medical Foundation - Noonan:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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