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.

Funding Streams & Priority Areas 

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 (summarized below) during our 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. 

In target countries, three funding streams are administered during DRF/DRAF grantmaking rounds:

Small Grants support growth of a broader and more diverse disability movement to advance the CRPD and the SDGs at local levels. While we welcome applications from any eligible OPDs, we especially encourage new applicants to apply for a Small Grant, as well as 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).  

Mid-Level and National Coalition Grants  support advocacy for more inclusive laws, policies, and programs. Because of the importance of joint advocacy at national and sub-national 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. 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. 

  • Small Grants range from USD 10,000–30,000 per year (up to USD 60,000 for 2-year grants);
  • Mid-Level Coalition Grants range from USD 30,000–50,000 per year (up to USD 100,000 for 2-year grants);
  • National Coalition Grants range from USD 40,000–60,000 per year (up to USD 120,000 for 2-year grants).

Target Countries 

Currently, the Grantmaking Committee will consider grants to OPDs in the following target countries. 

  • Africa: Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda
  • Asia: Indonesia, Nepal 
  • Pacific Island Countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
  • Caribbean: Haiti 

Eligibility Criteria  

To meet the minimum eligibility requirements for DRF/DRAF funding consideration, applicants must:   

  1. Be based in and conduct the majority of activities in one of the targeted countries; 
  2. Be a legally registered non-governmental organization of persons with disabilities (OPD), or a group of persons with disabilities acting under the fiscal sponsorship of a legally registered organization.  
  3. Be proposing a project that explicitly promotes the CRPD and specifies the relevant Article(s).  

Important Considerations for Funding 

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

  1. Providing Multi-Year Funding to Eligible Grantees: Beginning in 2023, eligible grantees[1] will be invited to apply for funding on a two-year approval cycle. This shift acknowledges that systemic, rights-based change takes more time than just a year. It also responds to the growth—largely supported by the expansion of placed-based staffing as well as the increasing amount and variety of Technical Assistance offered—of grantees’ institutional capacity and efficacy as advocates. Details as follows: 
  • The historical practice of single year applications, recommendations and approvals will continue for all new applicants, as well as others rated high risk and thus ineligible for multi-year funding.
  • Eligible grantees will be invited to submit a proposal for two years of funding, with budgets and activities reflecting the expanded timeframe. 
  • Recommendations will be subject to the same (GMC and Board Committee) approval processes.
  • If approved, grants will continue to be released in tranches, with disbursements contingent upon implementation, safeguarding, submission of narrative and financial reports, and funding availability.

2. Streamlining the CycleAs part of our Grantmaking Overhaul, GMC grantmaking has consolidated into a single round starting with the 2023 cycle. This approach is now possible due to sequencing of multi-year approvals and other efforts to improve processes for applicants and reviewers, as well as the growth of our team at local and regional levels. This shift will allow:

  • Standardization of the annual schedule for application, internal review, GMC decision-making and award execution processes, so that everyone knows what to expect and when 
  • Exploration of new approaches in consultation with GMC, such as regional or thematic review cohorts
  • Earlier and increased opportunities for exchange in-round, ensuring GMC feedback can be integrated to improve project conceptualization, budgeting, strategic linkages, and overall portfolio cohesion 

3. Technical Assistance: DRF funding can be used for “Technical Assistance” (TA). Download TA Guidance document here.

What is TA:

TA aims to support OPD learning and growth in sustainable ways and in line with the CRPD. Grantees can request funds for activities that increase their expertise (knowledge, skills, experiences), partnerships and tools to: 

  1. Advance their rights advocacy goals, and/or 
  2. Become stronger advocacy organizations. 

 How to plan and budget for TA: We encourage grantees to identify their learning and growth priorities that  will support you to advance your rights advocacy and to become a stronger advocacy organization. In their applications, OPDs can include activities and budget for any support in line with their priorities as part of their application. If you want to use consultants, including OPDs, to provide training and advice or if there is relevant training available locally – these costs can be included in your TA activity budgets. 

What are examples of TA: TA may include resources to learn about legislative advocacy, budget advocacy, CRPD training, advocacy skills, improve financial policies and systems, safeguarding, governance, resource mobilization, monitoring, and evaluation. 

What happened to OPD strengthening: In this round, support previously referred to as “OPD Strengthening” is now considered part of TA. Please see our TA guidance note for more information about our TA.

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). All grantees are required (with our financial and technical support) to put in place a safeguarding policy framework compliant with DRF/DRAF standards. 

How To Apply 

*Please note that 2023 Round grantmaking is by invitation only. As part of DRF’s efforts to streamline and simplify our grantmaking processes, we have merged Rounds 1 and 2 into a single cycle (for projects to start in January every year). 

If you have any questions or accessibility needs, please contact us at

[1] Refer to sections: Selection Criteria, Funding Cycle.

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

*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.
**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.