Small Grants ProgramOverview


We are now recruiting volunteers to review grant applications and make funding recommendations. Apply online using the form at: or call: 615-383-9442

Want to learn more about being a small grant reviewer for our program? Watch a brief video by grantee Amy Harris at:

Deadline to apply is: May 31st, 2024


“The lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of flying alone.”


The Coalition's Board of Directors offers biannual small grant awards of up to $10,000.00 per grant. In keeping with the mission of the Coalition, the grant awards must BUILD CAPACITY in the disability community and include a sustainability plan.



What is Capacity Building?

Definition of capacity building adopted by the Board of Directors in June 2018:

CAPACITY BUILDING is not just about the capacity of a nonprofit today -- it's about the future. Distinct capacity building projects such as identifying a communications strategy, improving volunteer recruitment, developing a leadership succession plan, identifying more efficient uses of technology, and engaging in collaborations with community partners -- all build the capacity of a charitable nonprofit to effectively deliver its mission in the future.  When capacity building is successful, it strengthens a nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission over time and enhances the nonprofit’s ability to have a positive impact on lives and communities.  

~ National Council of Nonprofits


Who can apply?

  • Projects/organizations in the State of Tennessee, that are IRS - designated tax-exempt organizations - 501(c)(3) and government entities
  • As part of the annual budget, the project/organization's unrestricted funds must be less than $2 million 
  • Projects/organizations that are ready to build capacity and expand inclusion within the disability community


Please note that effective March 2021, prior Grant Recipients cannot re-apply for two years (four grant cycles), with the exception of topic-specific grant cycles.


The small grants program does NOT fund:

  • Individual or family grants
  • Membership fees
  • Conferences
  • Fundraisers
  • Replacement of lost funding
  • Reimbursement for purchases previously made
  • General operating cost
  • Political Activities
  • Social events


Example of funded proposals:

  • To add technology for outreach, communication, managing finances, data storage, and optimizing operations
  • Create a resource library of videos/podcasts
  • Develop a formal volunteer program
  • Purchasing equipment (i.e., hearing assistive technology, computers) that can be used by many individuals and over time
  • Assist in the funding of a new chapter of the organization


If you would like to be added to the Small Grants email award notification list please use this link to register your email address:

For more information, contact: 

Carrie Carlson |