American Legion Child Welfare Foundation: Grants for Early Childhood Education

OVERVIEW: The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation mainly supports organizations' efforts to disseminate useful information about health, social-emotional development, education and safety.

IP TAKE: The Child Welfare Foundation prioritizes the dissemination of knowledge and information related to all aspects of child welfare. This funder works with organizations serving broad geographic areas and runs an open application program.

PROFILE: The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation was founded in 1954 by the American Legion, a veterans' organization, and Commander Dr. Garland D. Murphy, Jr., who bequeathed partial mineral rights to his oil-rich land in Montana and North Dakota to the foundation. The foundation's "foremost philanthropic priority is to contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children and youth by aiding progress in the field of child welfare." It invests mainly in projects that disseminate knowledge about new and established programs and organizations that contribute to child and youth welfare "to the end that such information can be more adequately used by society." 

This foundation approaches child welfare broadly, including programs that address health, social-emotional development, education and safety. It's funded knowledge dissemination projects include print and electronic media, videos, music and workshops. One grantee, the New York City-based Autism Speaks, used funding to update its "Interactive Guide to Individual Education Programs for Children on the Autism Spectrum," which includes videos and interactive tools for parents and educators. The National Braille Institute, another grantee, used funding to support its "Free Materials for Blind Children" program. While most of the foundation's investments are directed toward the dissemination of useful knowledge, a smaller portion of its funding has supported scholarships, camps and therapeutic programs.

The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation supports programs and organizations that have the potential to help children in broad geographic areas in the United States; the foundation does not support organizations operating in a single state or regional area. Grants are awarded for one year, and the foundation requests that funded projects be completed by the end of the grant cycle. The foundation awards over $600,000 in grants each year, ranging in amount from $5,000 to $75,000. Brief summaries of current and past grants and application guidelines are available at the foundation's website. 

This funder accepts applications by mail or delivery from May 1 through July 15 of each year and announces awards each fall. 

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