For Grantseekers

Applying for a Grant

The Disability Rights Fund and Disability Rights Advocacy Fund are grantmaking collaboratives that support organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) around the world to build diverse movements, ensure inclusive development agendas, and achieve equal rights and opportunity for all.

Please read on for information about our biannual Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

All applicants should read our guidelines thoroughly, as they have changed. Please also refer to our Frequently Asked QuestionsGlossary of Terms, and information on What DRF Does Not Fund.

Applicants are also encouraged to consider constraints and/or advocacy opportunities related to COVID-19 in preparing proposals. At DRF/DRAF, we remain committed to adapting in support of our grantees’ redoubled efforts to secure rights for all during the pandemic and beyond.

Funding Streams & Priority Areas

DRF and DRAF aim to support all persons with disabilities in our target countries to participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. We do this by providing grants, facilitating technical assistance, and supporting advocacy efforts by organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs). Because of the importance of broadening and diversifying movements so that no one is left behind, at least 50% of all DRF/DRAF grants go to marginalized sectors of the disability community. Through DRF/DRAF support, OPDs are equipped to advocate for implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other relevant mechanisms (such as GDS Commitments, the Marrakesh Treaty, and the African Disability Protocol), and to build strong, inclusive, and intersectional movements at local and national levels.

To do this, DRF and DRAF currently administer three funding streams (described below) during our biannual grantmaking rounds: Small Grants, Mid-Level Coalition Grants, and National Coalition Grants. Please visit the Funding Streams page for more information about the priorities for each grant type.

Small Grants support growth of a broader and more diverse disability movement to advance the CRPD and the SDGs at local levels. If your organization has never before received a DRF/DRAF grant, applying for a Small Grant is recommended. While we welcome applications from any eligible OPDs, we especially encourage grassroots (rural), emergent (newly established), and/or marginalized groups (such as women and girls with disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, persons with albinism, Deafblind persons, etc.) to apply for grants in this category. Small grants range from USD 10,000 – USD 30,000 per year. Repeat Small Grant recipients also encouraged to plan for two-year project timelines in order to effect long-term change, though second-year funding is contingent on satisfactory progress in the first year. 

Mid-Level and National Coalition Grants support advocacy for more inclusive laws, policies, and programs at national and sub-national levels. Because of the importance of joint advocacy at these levels, only coalitions of three or more organizations will be funded. Applicant organizations leading coalitions must be OPDs, while partners can be either OPDs or other civil society organizations active in the promotion of human rights. Funds for Coalitions are disbursed to one lead OPD, which is responsible for coordinating the Coalition and managing the grant. Coalitions led by umbrella organizations or federations may include member OPDs as partners, but must also include at least one outside organization to be eligible. Coalition grants support activities to be implemented over the course of two years, though second-year funding is contingent on satisfactory progress in the first year. 

  • Mid-Level Coalition Grants range from USD 30,000 – 50,000 per year. Both the applicant organization and the project aim must have sub-national scope. 
  • National Coalition Grants range from USD 40,000 – 60,000 per year. Both the applicant organization and the project aim must have national scope.  

Target Countries in 2022 Rounds 1 & 2

Eligible OPDs in DRF/DRAF target countries are encouraged to apply during two annual grantmaking cycles. Currently, these are:

Round 1: RFP open by February 15 and due by March 15, 2022 for OPDs in Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, and the Pacific Island Countries

Round 2: RFP open by July 15 and due by August 15, 2022 for OPDs in Haiti, Nepal, the Pacific Island Countries, Rwanda, and Uganda

Please note that, in response to changing conditions in-country, grantmaking in Haiti is planned for Round 2 (publicized in mid-2022). To address the gap of time between Rounds, current grantees will be provided with extensions, bridge funding, and other forms of support.

Eligibility Criteria 

RFPs are open to eligible organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs).1 To meet the minimum eligibility requirements for DRF/DRAF funding consideration, applicants must:  

  1. Be based in and conduct the majority of activities in a country targeted by the specific Round;
  2. Be a legally registered non-governmental OPD, or a group of persons with disabilities acting under the fiscal sponsorship thereof; and
  3. Be proposing a project that explicitly promotes the CRPD and specifies the relevant Article(s). If addressing implementation of the SDGs or GDS Commitments, the specific Goals or Commitments should be referenced.

Cross-disability and other partnerships are encouraged, particularly those that strengthen marginalized2 sectors of the disability community.

Important Considerations for 2022 Funding

Below are several new developments which may impact your organizations and/or proposals.

  1. Increasing Project Funding: In recognition of increasing implementation capacity demonstrated by many grantees as well as rising costs facing OPDs and growing support of DRF/DRAF, the grant amount ranges will increase by $10,000 USD starting in 2022: 
    1. National Coalition grants will be USD 40,000 – 60,000 per year; 
    2. Mid-Level Coalition grants will be USD 30,000 – 50,000 per year; and
    3. Small Grants will be USD 10,000 – USD 30,000 per year (with repeat Small Grant recipients also encouraged to plan for two-year project timelines in order to effect long-term change).
  2. Strengthening OPD Capacities: DRF/DRAF continue to increase funding in support of grantee efforts to mitigate risks and build institutional capacities related to priority areas – such as safeguarding, financial management, and governance – identified by applicants in consultation with DRF/DRAF staff. These OPD Strengthening funds are included in the first disbursement of any grant. 
  3. Accounting for COVID-19: Applicants are encouraged to continue factoring COVID-19 implications into project objectives, activities, and budgets. DRF/DRAF remain committed to supporting OPD advocacy addressing the outsized impact of the pandemic and its socio-economic effects on persons with disabilities, especially on marginalized groups.
  4. Implementing Safeguarding: As part of our responsibilities as a human rights donor, DRF/DRAF continue to expand measures supporting implementation by grantees of our Child Protection Policy (CPP), and our Policy on Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH Policy). If selected to receive funding, all grantees are required to have in place or develop – within the first six months of project implementation – a CPP and PSEAH Policy (as well as related verifications and codes of conduct) compliant with DRF/DRAF standards.

How To Apply

If you are a current grantee and eligible to reapply based on countries targeted in the current round and the status of your DRF/DRAF-funded project, you will receive RFP information directly.

If you are not a current grantee, complete the Eligibility Survey to get started. The Survey is open in between our bi-annual grantmaking rounds, and will be made available here when Round 1 concludes.

If you have any questions or accessibility needs, please contact us at grants@disabilityrightsfund.org


1 In DRF/DRAF’s understanding of the term, an “OPD” (also referred to as “DPO”) is a representative organization or group of persons with disabilities, where persons with disabilities constitute a majority of the overall staff, board, and volunteers, and are well represented at all levels. This includes organizations of relatives of persons with disabilities (when representing children with disabilities or persons with intellectual disabilities) where a primary aim of the organization is empowerment and growth of self-advocacy by persons with disabilities. In addition, OPDs have an understanding of disability in accordance with the social model.
2 The term “marginalized” includes women with disabilities, children and youth with disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, persons with intellectual disabilities, persons with albinism, persons of short stature, persons with Deafblindness, Indigenous persons with disabilities, refugees with disabilities or those living in post-conflict areas, LGBTQI persons with disabilities, persons with disabilities living with HIV/AIDS, and other specific groups (caste, etc) identified as marginalized in a country.

Frequently Asked Questions
What DRF & DRAF Do Not Fund
Glossary of Terms