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Grants to USA, Canada, and International NGOs and
Agencies to Address Vision Loss and Impairment

SightFirst Grant

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Foundation / Corporation

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Lions Clubs International Foundation

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Grants to USA, Canada, and International nongovernment organizations, government agencies, and others to address major reversible and preventable causes of blindness, and to assist individuals affected by vision loss and impairment. Applicants must consult with program staff when preparing an application.

The mission of the Lions Clubs International Foundation’s SightFirst program is to build eye care systems to fight blindness and vision loss and assist blind and visually impaired persons in underserved communities. SightFirst supports high-quality, sustainable projects that do one or more of the following:

-Deliver eye care services
-Train eye care professionals and management personnel
-Upgrade the infrastructure of existing eye care systems
-Improve access to education and training for blind and low vision persons
-Increase public awareness of the importance of eye health

Lions’ districts (single, sub or multiple) work with their regional SightFirst technical advisor and the (multiple) district SightFirst chairperson and committee to assess local eye care needs and develop project proposals. Projects must align with the funding priorities detailed in the SightFirst strategic plan entitled SightFirst: Lions’ Vision for All, which is available online at:

Preparation of a SightFirst grant application begins after positive discussion of the project has been had by local Lions leadership, the national blindness prevention or VISION 2020 committee and project partners including local health and government authorities, eye care professionals and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

In general, SightFirst does not provide funding for expenses related to the operation of established programs, the construction of new facilities or aid to individuals (including scholarships). SightFirst grant funds are not intended to reimburse past expenses or establish reserve funds. Projects will not be considered in which a transaction or arrangement might benefit, either directly or indirectly, the private financial interests of Lions and/or their families.

SightFirst Program Goals:
-SightFirst projects support the development of comprehensive eye care systems that provide prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation services for leading eye diseases and vision loss.
-SightFirst projects provide services to underserved populations who cannot access eye care because of economic, social and geographic barriers.
-SightFirst projects deliver cost-effective, equitable and high-quality eye care to the underserved.
-SightFirst projects monitor and evaluate output, outcome and impact indicators. Projects report on the number of patients served as well as changes in quality of life and improved access to eye care, rehabilitation and education.
-SightFirst projects establish sustainable eye care services through the training of local personnel and provision of equipment and facilities. Projects also include locally appropriate cost-recovery mechanisms.

SightFirst Funding Priorities:

-SightFirst supports projects in communities where alternative funding for cataract surgeries - including subsidies from local government or other NGOs - is either unavailable or significantly limited.
-SightFirst infrastructure and manpower training projects aid institutions to sustain the services initiated or expanded through its support.

Childhood Blindness:
-SightFirst childhood blindness projects aim to increase the capacities of Lions-affiliated institutions to provide primary and specialty eye care services for children.

Diabetic Retinopathy:
-SightFirst projects benefit communities where diabetic retinopathy is a significant cause of blindness and where appropriate diabetes case management exists.
-SightFirst diabetic retinopathy screening & treatment projects are integrated into existing diabetes and eye care services.

Education and Rehabilitation for Blind & Low Vision Persons:
-SightFirst funding objectives for this program area are currently under review.

Eye Health Education:
-SightFirst develops national-level eye health education programs where public health messages encourage at-risk populations to use existing eye care services.
-SightFirst provides eye health education resources to enhance its other projects.

Low Vision:
-SightFirst strengthens secondary and tertiary level eye care institutions with the addition or expansion of low vision services for adults & children.
-SightFirst provides funding for occasional regional training seminars for specialized low vision services.

-SightFirst supports operational and evaluative public health research related to improving SightFirst programs to identify needs and assess program strategies, especially those related to equity, capacity building and sustainability in the delivery of eye care.

River Blindness:
-SightFirst funds existing Lions-led river blindness projects that have exhibited success and are focused on creating locally sustainable mechanisms for ivermectin distribution and the development of comprehensive eye care services. LCIF does not currently accept SightFirst applications for new river blindness projects.

-SightFirst provides large numbers of sight-saving trichiasis surgeries as part of an integrated SAFE program – surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental change.

Uncorrected Refractive Error (URE):
-SightFirst supports capacity building and the development of systems for the manufacture and distribution of new glasses.
-SightFirst projects target underserved school-aged children.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 147322

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Term of Contract:

Consideration may be given to multi-year proposals.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Lions Clubs International Foundation’s SightFirst program funds the efforts of Lions, nongovernmental organizations, government agencies and others to fight the major causes of preventable and reversible blindness, and provide services to persons who are blind or have a visual impairment.

Pre-Application Information:

To be eligible for consideration, completed applications must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the SightFirst Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting in January or August. Prior to the meeting, applications are reviewed by the LCIF Sight Programs staff and SAC Secretariat. Applicants are often asked to follow-up with further detail and/or revisions by a specific deadline and consideration by the SAC may be postponed until the application is deemed complete.

At their meetings, the SAC considers completed applications and approves funding for projects which align most favorably with SightFirst funding priorities. Applications are approved (either in whole or in part), denied, or postponed for future review (usually with the condition that additional information should be provided or that changes should be made to the application). Grant applications for large or multi-year projects can sometimes be reviewed by the SAC several times before a decision is made.

Each applicant is notified of the status of their grant application following the SAC meeting at which it is reviewed. Grantees are responsible for submission of regular progress reports with each grant disbursement and/or a final report upon project completion. Reports should include a financial accounting and corresponding receipts as well as narrative on project activities and achievements, photographs (as appropriate) and samples of public relations materials.

The application deadline for SightFirst grants to be reviewed at the August 2018 SightFirst Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting is May 12, 2018.

Prior to applying, applicants should consult project idea with the regional SightFirst Technical Advisor. The SightFirst application must be completed in consultation with the regional SightFirst Technical Advisor.

Grant deadlines are listed here:

Grant materials may be found here::


Contact Information:

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

Lions Clubs International Foundation
300 W. 22nd Street
Oak Brook, IL 60523-8842

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

USA Compact Free Associations: Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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