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Grants Program


Identifying Evidence-Based Solutions for Vulnerable Older Adults

AARP Foundation Grant Competition | Pre-Application Deadline: April 7, 2017, 11:59pm Eastern Time | Application Deadline: May 19, 2017, 11:59pm Eastern Time

AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income and vulnerable older adults have nutritious food, affordable, livable and healthy housing, a steady income, and strong and sustaining social bonds. To address those needs, the grant competition is seeking evidence-based solutions that are guided by a deep level of engagement with AARP Foundation and that can be nurtured, evaluated and brought to scale.

Related: See current grantee organizations

Through this grant competition we hope to achieve multiple goals:

  • Create a portfolio of grant-funded programs that includes projects with different levels of evidence with the goal of scaling, at the appropriate time, to serve more low-income older adults
  • Identify solutions that seek to achieve a double bottom line (sustainable programs that achieve a positive financial and social return).

Ultimately, we expect a percentage of the selected grantees will increase their level of evidence in preparation to scale their programs nationally. AARP Foundation will be actively involved during the grant period to understand how each grant-funded program works and how we can provide the necessary technical assistance to reach the different levels of evidence and create a model to achieve sustainability and expansion.

Related: See current grantee organizations

Funding Eligibility

Eligible organizations include institutions of higher education, public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as other types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Grants for individuals;
  • Capital campaigns;
  • Debt retirement or operating deficits;
  • Endowments or reserve funds;
  • Political organization or campaigns;
  • Lobbying legislators or influencing elections;
  • Sponsorship of fundraising events;
  • Marketing endeavors and personal research
  • Indirect expenses unrelated to the project being funded; and
  • Local affiliates or chapters of national organizations for solely implementing a national program at the local level.

Related: See current grantee organizations

Grant Award Information

The total amount and length of the grant award will coincide with the level of evidence and maturity of the program. The cost to move from one milestone to the next is often higher – particularly as more people are being served and the necessary evaluation becomes more complicated. In general, the following should be considered guidelines, but not strict funding bands:

Theory of Change/ Pre-Evidence: $50,000-$75,000; 9-18 months

Self-reported Evidence: $100,000-$200,000/year; 18-24 months

Independent Evaluation: $200,000-$300,000/year; 24-36 months

Grant Application Process

Eligible organizations include those with 501(c)(3) designation. AARP Foundation does not make grants to individuals.

All applications must be completed online. The application itself will consist of two parts:

  • Mandatory pre-application: deadline Oct. 18
  • Invited full application: deadline Nov. 10

All are invited to submit the pre-application, which, besides general organizational information, contains a list of basic information about your current program or theory of change.

The pre-application submissions undergo a thorough review process, from which a smaller number of organizations will be invited by October 24 to complete a full application.

During the last two weeks of November and first week of December during our review, you may receive clarification questions and follow up (which may include video conference or on-site visit). Our goal is to make a final decision by December 16.


The primary contact for this grant competition is Matt D’Amico, Grant Program Officer (  

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