FISA Foundation invites Letters of Inquiry for programs and services that advance the rights and address the needs of people with disabilities in Southwestern Pennsylvania
FISA Foundation recently closed its summer call for Letters of Inquiry for grants to be awarded in October 2021.  The next opportunity to submit a Letter of Inquiry for disability-related projects will be in February 2022 for grants to be awarded in June 2022.  Exact dates will be announced by December 2021.

July 2021 call for Letters of Inquiry

As a Foundation committed to equity, justice, safety, and inclusion for people with disabilities, FISA Foundation has issued an open call for Letters of Inquiry with the following priority areas of focus:

  • Improving access to healthcare and dental care for people with disabilities. Proposals addressing the needs of people of color with disabilities and/or those who have complex disabilities are of particular interest.
  • Addressing bias among healthcare professionals.
  • Addressing or preventing abuse and violence against people with disabilities.
  • Supporting people with disabilities in pursuit of safety, healing, and justice after domestic or sexual violence.
  • Promoting equal rights, access, and full inclusion for people with disabilities, particularly Black people and other people of color with disabilities, in all aspects of life.
  • Initiatives led by people with disabilities and/or designed to empower people with disabilities to participate in effective advocacy and change-making.
  • Intersectional advocacy and movement-building to cultivate cross-disability collaboration and to integrate disability issues into broader justice-seeking work.
  • Efforts by disability organization to address racism to better reach and serve people of color with disabilities.
  • COVID-19 recovery needs for disability-serving organizations.

There will be two opportunities to submit Letters of Inquiry. The guidelines and parameters for both will be the same (though FISA reserves the right to tweak priorities in response to changing community needs).
FALL 2021:

  • Submit Letters of Inquiry by June 29, 2021
  • Notification of decisions about LOI’s and invitations to submit full proposals by July 23, 2021
  • Invited proposals due by August 16, 2021
  • Funding decisions announced October 14, 2021

SPRING 2022:  Exact dates will be announced in December 2021
Types of funding:
Organizations may request funding for:

  • General operating support for programs or services that advance the above-mentioned priorities
  • Ongoing programs or projects
  • Capacity building initiatives, including technology
  • Advocacy
  • Organizational efforts to become more welcoming, inclusive, and equitable in serving people with disabilities.
  • New and innovative projects or programs

Unfortunately, due to other pressing needs, FISA would be unlikely to consider projects to help arts and culture organizations be more welcoming and inclusive of people with disabilities in this funding opportunity.
Grants will be made to 501(c)(3) organizations, or projects with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor, for services provided in the ten-county region of Southwestern PA.
*Definitional note: FISA Foundation focuses its disability-related grantmaking on adults and children with physical, intellectual, sensory, and developmental disabilities. While we recognize that mental health intersects with many of our other priorities, the primary diagnosis of mental illness is outside our scope.  FISA does fund cross-disability efforts that include mental health.
Award Information:
Total funding available for the fall funding cycle is $250,000 with a similar amount released for the spring cycle. We expect the average grant size to be under $25,000. Unfortunately, we are not able to award multi-year funding through this LOI process.
Letters of Inquiry should be 2-3 pages and include a brief overview of the organization, description of the need and the proposed project or program, the expected outcomes of the initiative, the amount of the request and the total budget for the program. Letters should be accompanied by the FISA Grant Application form.
If you would like the Grant Application in Word format email
Email Letters of Inquiry to by June 29, 2021.
Letters of Inquiry will be reviewed by a panel of FISA staff and board members.
Criteria will include:

  • Potential of the project to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities
  • Feasibility of the proposed plan
  • Cost efficiency

Contact Shani Lasin, Program Officer at

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