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Improving Social Connectedness among Older Adults

Grants to USA Organizations to Help Vulnerable
Older Adults Build Social Support

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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AARP Foundation

Deadline Date:

10/18/19 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories organizations for evidence-based projects to help low-income adults age 50 and older stay connected to their communities and other individuals. Funding is intended for direct services, research, education, outreach, and field-building projects.

This funding opportunity is an open competition targeted at projects with evidence that low-income older adults who participate in the proposed project experience improved social connectedness as measured by the Duke Social Support Index. Other types of projects that improve social connectedness in low-income older adults on a systemic level (e.g. research, field-building) will also be considered.

AARP Foundation funds grant projects that align with its mission and strategic objectives in the grant classifications of: Direct Service, Research, Education, Outreach, and Field-Building. Applicants should review the RFP to identify the classification most reflective of the proposed project.

  • Direct Service: Projects directly serving low-income older adults. Funding for direct service grants must be used to enhance direct services or projects/programs for low-income older adults.
    • Ready to Pilot: Small-scale projects to test the feasibility of a project’s approach, methods, and procedures that are intended to be used in a larger-scale project. Program model is developed and it needs to be tested thoroughly in multiple locations and/or among a low-income older adult population.
    • Ready for Outcomes: Program has been developed, pilot-tested and implemented among low-income older adults, and needs to be independently evaluated to demonstrate a higher level of evidence along the continuum.
    • Ready to Scale: Program has been independently evaluated and has
      demonstrated moderate to strong evidence of effectiveness and needs to be
      expanded or scaled (see Exhibit B for details regarding Ready-to-Scale projects).
  • Research: Projects that apply scientific rigor and research methodology to work that will enhance knowledge about and solve challenges faced by low-income older adults.
  • Education: Projects that facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, beliefs, and habits pertaining to low-income older adults (e.g. training, instructional material development).
  • Outreach: Projects designed to increase awareness of and access to services and resources that help low-income older adults.
  • Field-Building: Projects that may not directly serve low-income older adults, but advance the work of one or a group of organizations serving low-income older adults to achieve measurable and sustainable results (i.e., infrastructure support, capacity building).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184035

Estimated Size of Grant:

- In general, Direct Service projects will receive higher grant award amounts than other types of projects, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 per year.

- A typical grant award range for Research, Education, Outreach and Field-Building projects is from $50,000 to $150,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

- January 1, 2020: Grant Start Date
- Direct Service projects can be up to three years.
- Research, Education, Outreach and Field-Building projects can be up to two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This funding opportunity is intended for national or regional organizations with built-in distribution channels, such as affiliates, members, chapters or collaborative partnerships. For Direct Service projects, local organizations will only be considered if they have the ability to serve thousands of low-income older adults, on their own or in conjunction with other organizations.

The following are not eligible for funding:
- Grants for individuals;
- Debt retirement or operating deficits;
- Endowments or reserve funds;
- Political organizations or campaigns;
- Lobbying legislators or influencing elections;
- Sponsorship of fundraising events;
- Marketing endeavors and personal research;
- Organizations located outside the United States or its territories; or
- Indirect expenses unrelated to the project being funded.

Pre-Application Information:

- September 2019: Funding opportunity announced
- October 18, 2019: Application deadline by 11:59 p.m. ET
- November 2019: Clarification period (as needed)
- December 2019: Applicants notified of award decisions
- January 1, 2020: Grant Start Date

This funding opportunity requires a 1:1 dollar match (cash or in-kind) from one or more other funding sources. If you do not have matching funding for your requested grant amount, you must detail a plan for raising the matching funds in your application.

Application submissions undergo a thorough review process, from which a limited number of organizations are selected as finalists. During the review, you may be asked to respond to clarification questions and participate in follow up (which may include video conferences or an on-site visit).

More about the Application Process:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For questions related to this RFA or relating to application submission in the AARP Foundation Community Portal, please send an email to the AARP Foundation Grants Management mailbox at

Toll-free Nationwide: 1-800-775-6776
Toll-free TTY: 877-434-7598

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

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