Frequently Asked Questions


What projects are not eligible?  We do not fund lobbying activities, grants to individuals, scholarships, and projects not related to improving the lives for individuals with disabilities.

Do you provide general operating grants?  No. We do not provide general operating grants. 

How do you handle requests from universities or school districts?  Kessler Foundation requires that all request from universities be submitted through the university’s office of sponsored programs or foundation relations office, if required by that applicant's affiliation.  Funding requests from schools should be submitted through the school district.

How do I review the actual grant application for grants? Select 'Apply Now' for the signature or community grant web page to establish a user ID and password to view our eligibility quiz. Upon passing the quiz, you are directed to the application instructions requirement page with access to the budget templates.  Please Note: The concept grant application is not accessible, unless the eligibility quiz is passed.  

Can I contact Kessler Foundation to discuss my project before applying for funding?  Yes. Please contact us via email at only after reviewing the online application and reading through our website.

Does Kessler Foundation make multi-year grants?  Yes.  We currently make multi-year grants only under our Signature Employment Grant Program.  We make one year grants under our Community Employment and Special Initiative Grants Program.

How often can an organization apply for funding?  Organizations may submit only one application per calendar year for any of our three grant programs.

Can we apply for funding through our fiscal sponsor?  Yes.  The fiscal sponsor must be a tax-exempt entity according to the Internal Revenue Code and have a formal relationship with the organization working on the project.  If a grant is awarded, the fiscal sponsor is responsible for exercising proper expenditure of funds as well as meeting any reporting requirements under the grant term.

Does Kessler Foundation make grants outside of the United States?  Kessler Foundation only makes grants within the United States or any of its territories. 

Does Kessler Foundation make grants to individuals?  No. We do not make grants to individuals.  Kessler Foundation only makes grants to organizations that are tax-exempt according to the Internal Revenue Code.  This includes nonprofit organizations, public/private schools, and public institutions.

Does Kessler Foundation fund the purchase of vehicles? No. We do not fund any purchase for cars, vans, trucks or buses. 

Does Kessler Foundation fund research projects? No. We do not fund any purely research-based projects. However grant projects may have research component.

What if my project fits into more than one of your programs’ guidelines?  If your project fits into more than one of our programs and you are unsure about which program to apply for, please contact us at to further discuss. Our national signature employment grants are very competitive. In 2019, there were 78 concept letters received, 12 full applications submitted, and 4 applications selected for funding. For local community employment grants, 38 proposals were submitted and 13 applications funded.

What amount of funding should I ask for?  The amount of funding requested should reflect the amount that is required to successfully complete the project.  We recommend that you visit our grant listings by year page as a reference.

Does Kessler Foundation support indirect costs?  Yes.  Kessler Foundation allows for indirect costs up to 15 percent for Signature Grants and 8 percent for Community Employment Grants.  Indirect costs must be reflected in the project budget.  Some examples of indirect costs include: utilities, rent, postage and printing, telephone charges, and office supplies. 

My organization is interested in submitting a proposal for funding consideration under Kessler Foundation’s Community Employment Grants Program, and our current operating budget is approximately $800,000.  Would we be eligible to apply for funding?  Organizations seeking funding under our Community Employment Grants Program must have an operating budget greater than $1,500,000. 

My organization’s current operating budget is less than $2,000,000.  Would we be eligible to apply for funding under the Foundation’s Signature Employment Grants Program?  Organizations seeking funding under our Signature Employment Grants Program must have operating budget greater than $3,000,000.   

My organization is interested in applying for a Special Initiative grant and as per your grant guidelines, applications are by invitation only.  Can we contact the Kessler Foundation to discuss our project and eligibility?  Yes.  Kessler Foundation will be accepting  applications for our 2019 Special Initiative Grants beginning January 2, 2019. These grants are only open to New Jersey organizations and are very limited. Please send us a one paragraph inquiry with a project description to  These grants are awarded in September and December 2019. Please allow at least 1 week for a response to your inquiry.

Can Kessler Foundation staff visit our organization or meet with us to discuss and learn more about our project?  We have a small staff so it is not always possible for us to meet with everyone who requests a meeting.  We ask that you submit your inquiry via email at Please allow at least 2 weeks for a response to your inquiry.


Application Submission:

I created an online account and now I’m unable to log back in.  What should I do?  If you have started an online application and are unable to log back in, try clearing the cache, cookies, and history from you browser and signing back in.  Please note the correct link to sign back in is:  If you are still having technical problems please contact us at   

How do I create a login for multiple users that are writing and review a grant application? The simplest solution is to create a common login and password that everyone can use.

An online account was created by an employee who is no longer with my organization.  How can I retrieve the password for the account?  Please send us an email at so that we may reset the password on the account.

I am using Chrome and am having difficulties accessing and logging to the online application.  What should I do?  Please try using a different browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.  If you continue to experience difficulties please email us at  

My organization did not pass the Foundation’s online application eligibility quiz, what should we do?  If you do not pass the eligibility quiz,your project will not meet our grant guidelines and you will not be able to proceed with the online application.  We have a small staff and are therefore unable to answer individual questions as to why your organization failed to pass the quiz. 

Does the Kessler Foundation have any matching funds contingencies?  Yes.  In an effort to help our grantees increase their funding base and replicate their project models, Kessler Foundation requires that prospective grantees partially match the value of our grant.  Organizations approved for funding under our Signature Employment Grants Program must obtain matching funds equal to 15 percent of the Kessler Foundation grant. In-kind donation of time to the project by educational institution staff is not eligible as a matching fund contribution.

Who reviews the proposals?  Proposals are screened and reviewed by Kessler Foundation staff and our Grants Committee.  All grant applications recommended for funding must receive final approval by Kessler Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Will the Kessler Foundation staff conduct site visits during the proposal review process?  After our review of a proposal, we may schedule a site visit with your organization, but we have a small staff and cannot meet personally with everyone who applies.

Can I contact the Foundation to learn why my request was declined?  Yes, you may contact our staff if you received a declination letter.

If our request was declined, when may we reapply?  Organizations that are not selected for funding are eligible to apply during the next grant cycle.

Can I apply for a new grant if our current grant term has not ended?  Please contact your program officer to further discuss. 


Application Deadlines:

Signature Employment Grants Program

Grant Concept Application Deadline: 

February 22, 2019 5 pm ET

Grant Concept Acceptance Notification:

April 1, 2019

Invited Full Proposal Deadline:

June 14, 2019 - 5 pm ET

Grant Approval Notification:

December 13, 2019


Community Employment Grants Program

Proposal Deadline:

April 8, 2019

Grant Approval Notification

September 16, 2019


Special Initiative Grants Program     Grants are by invitation only and reviewed in September and December. Please see this section on our website for more information on submission.