The Disability Participation and Awareness Fund is a €3 million, 1-year Fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY).
You can apply to the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund via the online portal from Monday, 20th February 2023 until Friday, 31st March 2023 at 1pm.
If you would like to access an Easy Read version of these Fund Guidelines, please click HERE
Please join us for our application clinics to find out more about the Fund and answer any questions that you have.
Application Clinic on Wednesday 8th March at 12 noon: Register
Application Clinic on Thursday 16th March at 12 noon: Register
Application Clinic on Friday 24th March at 1:00 pm: Register
On this page, we tell you about:
1. The Goal of the fund
2. General eligibility and criteria
3. Disability Participation and Awareness Fund – Its four strands – and what your organisation needs to apply for each
4. When can I apply?
5. When are the online help sessions if I have any questions I need answered?
6. How does the fund work?
7. Who can apply – and who should not apply?
8. What does the fund offer?
9. How to apply
10. Frequently asked questions
11. Terms and conditions
The goal of the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund is to support innovative projects or organisations across Ireland to:
Projects must meet both Rethink Ireland’s criteria and the specific criteria for the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund, as set out below:
Rethink Ireland criteria
The Fund has four strands. All four strands will support projects or organisations working directly with people with disabilities. A key criteria of the Fund is that project activities must be in addition to the usual business of the applicant organisation and should complement, but not duplicate, existing activities.
Each of the four strands has a different focus, and different application criteria. The areas of focus, and application criteria for each strand are:
To apply for funding under strand 1, your project or organisation must:
A person-centred approach means that the project or organisation must:
A human rights-based approach means that a project or organisation:
To apply for funding under strand 2, your project or organisation must:
To apply for funding under strand 3, your project or organisation must:
To apply for strand 4, your project or organisation must work to provide increased opportunities for:
Fund advantageous criteria (these advantageous criteria are common across all 4 strands) – This is not a requirement:
In addition to the above core criteria per strand, it would be an advantage if your project/organisation focuses on:
You can apply to the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund through our online portal from Monday, 20 February 2023 until Friday, 31st March 2023 at 1pm.
Please join us for our fund application outline and help sessions on 8th and 16th March to find out more and answer any questions that you have.
Register for our fund application outline and help session on Wednesday, 8 March at 12 pm here
Register for our fund application outline and help session on Thursday, 16 March at 12 pm here
There will be up to 16 awards available in total across four strands. Each successful applicant will receive:
*The maximum amount of funding per project for this fund is different for each strand.
|Building skills and removing barriers to help people with Down Syndrome take part in their communities.||up to €500,000|
|Social enterprise initiatives to provide valuable employment experience to people with disabilities.||up to €100,000|
||Arts and cultural activities, particularly those that promote awareness of the lived experiences of people with disabilities and that support the participation of people with disabilities in artistic, cultural and community life.||up to €100,000|
|Initiatives aimed at encouraging community participation and inclusion for people with disabilities, including sports and outdoor recreation, promotion of accessibility and accessible shared spaces.||up to €200,000|
This fund is open to organisations that have a not-for-profit legal form, for example:
Which projects cannot apply?
Projects that are not eligible to apply are:
Which applicants cannot apply?
Applicants cannot apply if they are:
What is involved in completing the application form?
The application form asks you for information about:
What kind of video do we need to submit?
Providing us with a video is optional. If you do not wish to provide a video you can move to the next question.
If you are providing a video, don’t worry – you don’t need to produce a high quality or expensive video. You can use a smartphone or tablet. We just want to hear you telling the story of your project in 2 – 3 mins max. Please tell us:
You can then upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.
Please do not password protect it. You can insert the URL link and the password in the application form.
What financial information do we need to submit with our application?
How do we upload our project budget (planned income and expenditure)?
In the relevant section of the application form you will be provided with a link to a budget template in excel. Please click on the link provided and DOWNLOAD this document to your computer. Then fill in your financial information and save the document with your project’s name and then upload it in the relevant section of the application form.
We have tried to make the application process as accessible as possible, but we understand that there may still be some difficulties for applicants.
If you have access needs or are struggling with the application form, please contact email@example.com
What can cash grants be spent on?
You may only spend the grant on the project which won the award. Rethink Ireland will agree on the specific use of the grant with you.
You cannot use the grant:
If my organisation has previously been in receipt of an award from Rethink Ireland, can I still apply?
Yes. If you have previously been funded by Rethink Ireland, you can still apply. Previous Awardees must be able to demonstrate they have performed well on a previous programme and capture in the application form how the new funding being applied for is a logical continuation from the original investment, fitting the new Fund criteria in particular.
If my organisation is currently in receipt of an award from Rethink Ireland, can I still apply?
Projects on one of our Funds that have cash grant payments remaining before the commencement of the new fund programme are not eligible to apply.
Organisations on one of our Funds that have cash grant payments remaining before the commencement of the new fund programme are still eligible to apply with a different project and different project lead.
What non-financial supports will be provided to successful applicants?
Rethink Ireland’s non-financial supports have been called our ‘secret sauce’ that help projects to really develop their capacity and sustainability, in addition to the benefit of the cash supports. Non-financial supports will include:
What is expected of Awardees?
The project lead will be expected to take part in the six-month Accelerator Programme, which includes attending approximately 6 workshops and spending time working 1:1 with a business/strategy consultant. Project leads will be expected to spend a minimum of two days per week working on the awarded project and working towards agreed goals.
Who will decide who wins the awards?
The Board of Rethink Ireland makes the final decisions.
What is the selection process?
The selection process includes the following steps:
Stage 1: Open call for applications
Stage 2: Review of the applications against general criteria, criteria for each strand and our terms and conditions
Stage 3: Shortlisted applicants invited to interview – week beginning 24 April
Stage 4: Interviews – 2–8 May
Stage 5: Final checks on short-listed applicants
Stage 6: Final decision by Rethink Ireland’s Board – June
Stage 7: Inform successful applicants – June/July
Can organisations make multiple applications?
Yes, organisations can make multiple applications. These applications must be for different projects.
If my organisation is funded by a government/state agency (HSE, TULSA and so on), are we eligible?
Yes, you can apply if you are in receipt of funding from a government or state agency. However, if your organisation is 100% funded through state sources, you cannot apply to the fund.
How can we find out where we are in the selection process?
We will contact all applicants by email to let them know whether or not they have been shortlisted and invited to interview. Interviews will be conducted via online video link. When final decisions have been made on the successful applicants, we will contact all shortlisted applicants by phone or email to let them know whether they have been successful.
Is this just for large-scale, national organisations?
No, it is not, and indeed we welcome applications from organisations of all sizes once it is a not-for-profit organisation with a legal form (see criteria above).
Can I apply for this funding even though I am still on the ideation stage?
Unfortunately no, this fund needs to see proof that the project is up and running or at least has been tested and shown results in some way.
Can our organisation make more than one application?
Yes, there is nothing stopping your organisation from making more than one application for separate projects. However, due to the competitive nature of this Fund and its selection process, it is very unlikely that we will fund more than one project from any organisation. We encourage organisations to submit one strong application rather than multiple applications.
Is it possible for organisations to collaborate in an application (e.g. a community development organisation and an educational provider)?
They can and one organisation should take the lead. Please refer to the eligibility criteria to ensure that your project is eligible for funding.
Can salary and management/overhead costs be applied for?
Your application may include costs for operations/staff, however, you must be able to demonstrate how this is facilitating you to run the project that you are applying for.
Any further questions?
You can contact the fund team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
By applying for the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund, you agree to the following terms and conditions.
You are 18 years of age or older.
You have given full and truthful information, both verbal and written, at all stages of the application and selection process.
Eligible to apply – and rights to apply
You are eligible to apply. This means that your organisation meets the criteria for Rethink Ireland.
You have the right to apply. This means that you hold the necessary rights to carry out the project.
Accept these terms and our Privacy Statement
By sending in your application, you accept these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement. If you do not comply with these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement, you may be disqualified and may have to return any award granted.
Rethink Ireland will hold the personal details which you submitted with your application form. We will only share this information with the third parties administering the application and selection process unless we agree otherwise with you. Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
Take part in publicity
The Awardees must take part in publicity about the grant. Rethink Ireland reserves the right to publish the names of organisations that are successful in their applications.
If an award is declined or taken back
If you decline an award or if the award is taken back because you did not comply with the terms and conditions, the Board of Rethink Ireland may select an alternative Awardee.
Rethink Ireland’s rights
Rethink Ireland reserves the right to disqualify any entrant, to change the terms and conditions without notice, or to cancel the application process at any stage.