Recent Trends in the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation's Grantmaking

We’re barely into our third month of 2016, and yet some youth-focused funders aren’t wasting any time in the new year. One example is the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, which has already awarded $640,395 in grants to 24 nonprofits for 2016.

The foundation’s board of directors actually met last October at a Sheraton in Indianapolis to decide upon these new grants to kick off the new year and support the needs of children. This is a funder that’s been around since the early 1950s and has awarded over $11 million to children’s causes across the country since that time.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the new grantees that have captured this foundation’s attention lately.

Grants for Diseases

Children’s physical health isn’t the only priority for the Child Welfare Foundation, but it’s always a big one. Recent health-related grants were awarded to the Alstrom Syndrome International, Autism Speaks, Inc. of New York, and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

These grants are funding efforts to guide families from adolescence to adulthood, grassroots advocacy, and efforts to provide information to families and physicians about optimal treatments. Other disease-related grants provided by the foundation include efforts in hemophilia and cancer.

Grants for Disabilities

This funder also prioritizes causes that assist children with physical and mental disabilities. For example, recent grantees include the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the American Printing House for the Blind. These grants are funding early prevention efforts and adaptive learning strategies.

Collaborative efforts tend to catch this funder’s attention, too. For example, the foundation’s grant to the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England will build relationships with 10 other organizations that serve kids with disabilities.

Grants Related to Veterans

Since the American Legion has strong ties to the military and veteran’s affairs, a good number of grants are also going toward charities for kids who have veteran parents. For example, the foundation awarded a grant to Defending the Blue Line to provide a free camp and equipment to military kids. It also awarded a grant to the American Legion Post 133 in Fort Kent, Maine to provide a day of connecting children and veterans through storytelling.

Although it was established in Indiana, this is a national funder that considers supporting nonprofits all across the U.S. Current grantees operate in Florida, Maine, Kentucky, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, and several other states.

Proposals are accepted from nonprofits that serve at least one of these two purposes:

  • To contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children through the dissemination of knowledge about new and innovative organizations and/or their programs designed to benefit youth; and
  • To contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children through the dissemination of knowledge already possessed by well-established organizations, to the end that such information can be more adequately used by society. 

All grants are awarded for a one-year period, and the foundation looks for groups that can help children in multiple states. The next application period is between May 1 and July 15, 2016.

To learn more about this funder, check out IP’s profile, Child Welfare Foundation: Grants for Early Childhood Education. Grantseeking tips and an application forms can be downloaded from the foundation’s Grantseekers Overview page. Your best point of contact at the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation is Executive Secretary Jason R. Kees at 317-630-1202 or via online form.