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ABILIS FOUNDATION - Support for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

ABILIS Foundation is a development fund, founded by people with disabilities in Finland in 1998. Its mandate is to support the activities empowerment of disabled persons in the Global South (developing countries).

ABILIS Foundation supports activities that contribute toward equal opportunities for disabled people in society through human rights, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.

Special priority is given to projects on advocating for human rights of disabled people and to activities developed and implemented by disabled women.

ABILIS Foundation gives small grants ranging from 500 to 10.000 Euros to projects initiated by disabled persons.

If you live in one of the following countries

please contact our partner organisations for an application form.

If you live in a country not mentioned above, please contact our office.

Who can apply for a grant by Abilis?

We support organizations that include persons with disabilities in their leadership. We support organisations of people with mobility, visual, hearing or any other type of disability. We can also support organisations that are run by parents of children with disabilities.

You can apply for a grant from Abilis if the following is true for you:

How can we apply for a grant by Abilis?

ABILIS Foundation judges the applications according to the involvement of persons with disabilities, including their role in developing the project and in committing their own resources to the project (including time). The project must be realistic in its scope and expected results. The application must show how the project will continue to benefit the community once the projectís funding term has been completed.

A minimum of 10 % of the project budget should be a contribution of time, money or other resources from the applicant group.

For every project, two reference persons are required to provide an independent evaluation of the projectís feasibility. The reference persons should have thorough knowledge of the applicant organisation, of the project plan and of the general conditions existing in the project area. However, they should not personally directly benefit from the project. In other words, they should not be members or employees of the applicant organisation. There is a special form to be completed by reference persons.

If you wish to apply for funding, call a meeting of your friends and colleagues. Then think carefully about your current priorities and take time to make a good plan. We encourage you to use the Abilis manual designed to assist you in this process.

Contact us and we can send you the Abilis application form and guidelines for letters of recommendation. Please read them through carefully before applying.

Please note that we can start analysing your application only after we receive all the following documents:

  1. application form with signatures
  2. work plan
  3. budget
  4. two reference forms
  5. a copy of your certificate of registration (or an explanation why one is not available)

How are funding decisions made?

The Abilis board of directors determines which projects will receive support. Who are we?

The applications are first analysed by the office team who may ask the applicant to provide more information if necessary. Then they are discussed at the next meeting of the board of directors. The board may decide to accept or reject a project for funding, or possibly to request more information. In any case, the applicant is informed of the decision

How are the grants paid?

When a project has been accepted for funding, the foundation enters a formal agreement with the applicant. The applicant organisation commits in writing to spend the grant for the specific purpose stated in the application. Abilis transfers funds to the organisation only after the contractual agreement, with all the necessary signatures and attachments, have been received by our office in Finland. By following the necessary steps and including all the requested documentation, you ensure that the funds are sent to you without delay at every stage of the project.

The currency used to calculate and approve budgets is the euro (the currency of European Union).

The grants are paid to the bank account that belongs to the applicant organisation. If your organisation does not yet have a bank account, then you must first open a bank account in the name of your organisation before Abilis can transfer the funding.

The grants are paid in three instalments. The first instalment is 50 per cent of the total grant, and it is paid at the start of the project. When the first instalment has been spent, the applicant sends Abilis a mid-term report. The mid-term report has two parts: the first part is a narrative report which describes in words what happened during the project. The second part is a financial report with a list of project costs.

Abilis Foundation requires that the applicant organisation contributes towards the project. The value of this contribution must be 10 % of the total grant. Your contribution can be money, but it can also be your own work or materials. This contribution should be included and specified in the project budget.

The second instalment, 40 % of the total grant, will be paid after we approve the mid-term report.

When the project is over, the applicant organisation drafts a final report which consists of a narrative report and a financial report just like the mid-term report.

The last instalment which is 10% of the grant is transferred only once the ABILIS Foundation has approved the projects final report.

It is important to note that Abilis requires that an external and impartial auditor audit all the accounts of the organisation. The costs of the audit can be included in the project budget.

Can we submit another application?

Because Abilis receives far more applications than we can fund at any given time, it is highly unlikely that an organisation will be funded more than once, unless we have invited the application.

Each year Abilis selects a few outstanding organisations, which have fulfilled all aspects of their agreement with Abilis, including fulfilling work plans and meeting deadlines. These organizations are invited to submit a new project after a one year period has passed from the date on which the final report on the first project was accepted.