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Responsive Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits for Projects that
Benefit Older Adults, Ages 65 and Above

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA nonprofits for innovative projects that benefit older Americans (ages 65 and above). Funding is intended to support aging-related proposals that focus on the areas of advocacy, direct services, education and training programs for professionals working with the elderly, and research to identify the causes of and solutions for significant problems faced by older adults.

Please Note: Proposals for direct service projects are considered from organizations based in seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, or Florida. Advocacy, training, and research projects, all with national relevance, are considered from organizations located anywhere in the United States.

Priorities for each of the four focus areas are outlined below.

Advocacy: The RRF funds advocacy projects that have a regional or national impact for older Americans. Of particular interest are projects that:
- Advance policy issues of critical importance to our nation’s seniors such as economic security, health care, housing, etc.
- Use clearly focused and strategic efforts to address systemic problems
- Forge partnerships with organizations to achieve better use of resources and to share knowledge

Direct Services: The Retirement Research Foundation awards Direct Service Grants for projects that:
- Increase the availability and effectiveness of comprehensive community programs designed to maintain older persons in their homes
- Provide supportive services to older persons in residential settings, such as congregate living facilities, group homes, and assisted living facilities
- Improve the quality of nursing home care
- Coordinate the provision of acute- and long-term care for older persons with chronic conditions by supporting efforts that provide continuity of care, prevention, early intervention, and client education
- Provide new and expanded opportunities for older adults to engage in meaningful roles in society such as employment and volunteerism

Professional Education and Training: RRF recognizes the importance of a well-trained work force to serve older persons both in the community and in residential settings. Of particular interest are programs that:
- Increase the knowledge and skills of professionals and paraprofessionals who serve older adults, ages 65 and older
- Expand the capacity and number of professionals and paraprofessionals prepared to meet the growing demands of an aging population

Research: The Retirement Research Foundation funds research projects that have a regional or national impact on older Americans. Of particular interest are projects that seek causes and solutions to significant problems facing older adults, ages 65 and older, through support of applied and policy research for which federal funding is not available.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180281

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

These grants are provided to nonprofit organizations that are:
- Tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or nonprofit organizations that are not required to have a 501(c)(3) designation, such as state-funded universities;
- Proposing a project that may have a significant focus on older adults, ages 65 and above
- Research: For applicants from universities or hospital organizations, please note that RRF prefers that the applicant is the university or the hospital, rather than a foundation affiliated with the university or hospital.

Proposals for direct service projects are considered from organizations based in seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, or Florida. Advocacy, training, and research projects of national relevance are considered from organizations located anywhere in the USA.

RRF does not fund:
- General operating support
- Conferences or fundraising events
- Governmental agencies, except for state universities, area agencies on aging, and programs of the Veterans Administration

For Professional Education and Training Grants, education programs for undergraduate or graduate students are ineligible.

For Research Grants, RRF also does not fund the following:
- Biomedical, theory development, or dissertation research
- Research that is not specifically focused on aging

For Advocacy Grants, the following exclusions apply:
-While RRF is committed to funding effective advocacy programs, RRF grant funds cannot be used for lobbying efforts to win or defeat any specific pieces of legislation.

Organizations applying for Advocacy Grants will:
- Maintain a separation between their lobbying and advocacy work
- Describe the activities to be funded by RRF
- Acknowledge in writing that RRF funds will not be used for lobbying efforts

Pre-Application Information:

The next deadline for submission of applications is May 1, 2019.

Applications for Responsive Grants are considered three times per year. The deadlines for the submission of applications are February 1, May 1, and August 1. When a deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the due date is moved to the following work day. Decisions are usually made four months after each deadline.

RRF offers an opportunity for applicants to submit a brief (1 – 3 pages) Letter of Inquiry (LOI) as part of the grantmaking process. LOIs should be submitted by March 15th. This step is optional, but offers valuable one-time feedback as you prepare a full proposal.

Evaluation Guidelines:

Click here for more information about each focus area, including overview, eligibility, and how to apply:

Contact Information:

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

An LOI (optional) may be emailed to as a Word or PDF attachment.

Click here to apply online:

The Retirement Research Foundation
8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 430
Chicago, Ill. 60631-4170
Phone: (773) 714-8080
Fax: (773) 714-8089

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

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