Creating Opportunity & Independence Grant

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

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Next deadline: Feb 1, 2022 (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Apr 29, 2022 (Full proposal)

Grant amount: US $25,000 - US $100,000

Fields of work: Spinal Cord Injuries

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Canada, United States

Location of residency: Canada, United States

990 Snapshot



The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding decisions are driven by our core values: Excellence, Leadership, Accountability, Innovation and Collaboration. Our portfolios support scientific, charitable and educational organizations conducting spinal cord injury research, training in spinal cord medicine and providing services to assist individuals and families affected by spinal cord injury.

Creating Opportunity & Independence Grant

The Creating Opportunity & Independence (CO&I) portfolio supports non-profit organizations that provide programs and services that enhance the quality of life for individuals and families living with SCI. The Foundation seeks to partner with organizations that have a significant impact on their communities, affect people across the lifespan, and empower individuals with SCI.

Community Support Grants

One-year Community Support Grants fund efforts that provide services for individuals with spinal cord injury and can include discrete projects, program support and/or capacity building.

CO&I Project Grants support equipment, services or programs benefiting individuals with SCI.

Topic areas include:

  • Assistive Technology: i.e., access to a piece of equipment, device or product system (e.g., an app) to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with SCI.
  • Education: e.g., patient/family education, peer mentoring/training, consumer-based conferences.
  • Employment: e.g., vocational training, local employment placement, employment initiatives.
  • Independent Living: e.g., accessible housing to move individuals with SCI out of nursing homes, adaptive driving programs, companion animal services, independent living center support for SCI programs.
  • Rehabilitation: e.g., wellness programs, patient assistance funds and equipment, including clinical and/or assistive technology associated with rehabilitation services for people with SCI.
  • Arts, Sports and Recreation: e.g., community partnership initiatives, visual and performing arts programs, equipment, travel funds, event support or wellness programs. 

Sustainable Impact Projects

Three-year Sustainable Impact Projects focus on innovative projects that will have high impact, such as making systemic changes in the delivery of services and care to enhance participation and quality of life. These grants are designed to launch or augment impactful programs by encouraging out-of-the-box ideas and streamlined solutions that address important gaps in service. This program is by invitation only.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The grantee must be a nonprofit institution/organization or rehabilitation facility located in the United States or Canada with a demonstrated capability to conduct grant-funded programs or activities. 
  • Neilsen Foundation grants are not awarded to individuals, private foundations or non-functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations. 
  • The Applicant named in a grant application must be deemed eligible by his/her organization to apply for a grant, and is expected to be responsible for conduct of the grant activities.
  • An institution/organization may only submit one application in a given program cycle and may hold only one Neilsen Foundation award within a given CO&I grant category at one time. 


  • Neilsen Foundation grants are not awarded to individuals, private foundations or certain 509(a)(3), Type III supporting organizations. 
  • Support for large, capital construction or renovation is not allowed.


This page was last reviewed October 13, 2021 and last updated October 13, 2021