Small Grants

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 time during which the grant is funded. The grants provide funding for a range of projects, from awareness campaigns and activities and needs assessments to training and workshops.

For more information, go to:

Submitting a Proposal

The Council welcomes proposals throughout the year.

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. The Council defines inclusion to mean that people with developmental disabilities live, learn, work, and participate in community life alongside people with and without disabilities.

  • 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 $5,000. They may not be used to replace other sources of funding. No more than 75 percent of the total cost of the project/activity may be paid for with Council funds (90 percent if activities are solely in Baltimore City or Somerset County). The other 25 percent (10 percent 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.

Please see the Council’s Match Instructions 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: Council funds cannot be used for meals except for lunch when 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 equipment: The Council does not typically fund equipment. To find out where you might get assistance with equipment, contact the Maryland Department of Disabilities–Constituent Services at 410-767-3660 or 1-800-637-4113.

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.

In general, applications should be submitted to the Council in advance of the following dates:

    1. July 28, 2021
    2. September 29, 2021
    3. October 27, 2021

Please contact Shawan Pearson with any questions related to the deadlines. You can reach her at, 410-767-6249.

How do I submit a small grant request?

Complete the Council’s Small Grant Application and Small Grant Budget form and email both to If it is not possible for you to send an electronic copy, contact Shawan Pearson at the number listed above to make other arrangements. All applicants will be notified by email when the Council receives the electronic version of their proposal. If you have not received confirmation within five working days, please contact Shawan Pearson 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 I 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.

More Information

Small Grants Policy

A man with a developmental disability laughing

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