Small Grants

Council’s Mission

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council’s mission is to advance the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life by eliminating barriers, creating opportunities, empowering people, and promoting innovation. See the Council’s State Plan Overview for more information. 

Note: When the Council refers to “inclusion,” we mean that people with developmental disabilities live, learn, work and participate in community life alongside people with and without disabilities.

What is a Small Grant?

Small Grants support initiatives and activities in Maryland that are consistent with the Council’s mission and will have an impact that lasts beyond the period of time the grant is funded.

Haga clic aquí para obtener información en Español.

Who can submit a proposal?

Any person, group, or organization. Organizations may be public, non-profit, or for-profit entities.

What types of Small Grant activities will the Council consider supporting with a Small Grant?

All activities must further inclusion as defined above.

  • Educating and informing policymakers about issues of importance to people with developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Supporting people with developmental disabilities and their family members to develop advocacy and leadership skills.
  • Empowering people with developmental disabilities and their family members to help shape policies, programs, and services that impact them.
  • Demonstrating new and innovative approaches to supporting people to live, learn, work and enjoy community life alongside people without disabilities.
  • Advocating for the elimination of barriers to full inclusion and community participation.
  • Raising public awareness about people’s contributions and capabilities so differences are respected and attitudes change.
  • Other activities that advance the empowerment, self-determination, and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Engaging in the activities noted above in ways that intentionally target or include people with developmental disabilities and/or family members for whom English is a second language.

How much funding can be requested?

Small Grants may not exceed $5000. Small grants may not be used to replace other sources of funding. No more than 75% of the total cost of the project/activity may be paid for with Council funds (10% if activities are solely in Baltimore City or Somerset County). The other 25% (10% in Baltimore City or Somerset County) is considered a match that must be provided by the grantee. The match may be “cash” (grant-related costs paid by the grantee with non-federal funding) or “in-kind” (for example, donated meeting space, donated supplies and equipment, volunteer time).

Please see the Council’s How to Calculate Match form for guidance.

What can the funds NOT be used for?

  • Activities that are inconsistent with the Council’s mission.
  • Activities that only benefit one individual or family.
  • Programs and activities that focus only on people with disabilities, unless it is in support of a self-advocacy group.
  • Services for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Food, unless it is for lunch for a full day or multi-day event. Council funds cannot pay for breakfast. Council funds cannot pay for lunch unless the event is a full day and lunch is an integral and necessary part of the training or conference (e.g. when work is done during lunch or the event is a full day and crosses lunchtime).
  • T-shirts, buttons or similar items.
  • Social activities or events.
  • Fundraising.
  • The Council typically does not fund equipment. To find out where you might get assistance with equipment, contact the Department of Disabilities–Constituent Services at 410-767-3660 or 1-800-637-4113.
  • For sponsorship of conferences and other training in Maryland refer to the Council’s Education and Training Event Sponsorship.
  • For support to attend out-of-state conferences, refer to the Council’s Conference Participation Fund.

When should Small Grant Applications be submitted?

Small Grant applications may be submitted at any time but they should be submitted well in advance of the start date of the proposed activities.

To ensure that you allow adequate time please contact Brian Miller, Director of Grants and Information Management, to obtain current information about when the review committee meets and related deadlines. Brian can be reached by email at or by calling him directly at 410-767-3669 or 1-800-305-6441 ext. 4.

How do you submit a Small Grant request?

Complete the Council’s Small Grant Application and  Small Grant Budget Form and submit both as follows:

Email both to

If it is not possible for you to send an electronic copy, contact the MDDC Director or Grants and Information Management at the numbers listed above to make other arrangements.

PLEASE NOTE:  All applicants will be notified by email when the electronic version of their proposal is received by the Council. If you have not received confirmation within five (5) working days, it is your responsibility to contact Brian Miller, Director of Grants and Information Management, at the phone numbers listed above to ensure that your proposal was received.

en Español

Pequeña Subvención Solicitud

Política de Pequeñas Subvenciones

Propuesta de Pequeñas Subvenciones – Presupuesto

Guía Para Calcular Financiación – Pequeñas Subvenciones

How will you be notified about the Council’s decision?

Applicants will be notified in writing within two weeks of final funding decisions. Decisions are made by the Council’s Executive Committee and are final.

Reporting Requirements

All grant recipients are required to submit a written report on the outcomes and impact of the grant. Specific requirements for each grantee are described in the award letter.

A man with a developmental disability petting a dog

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