Emergency Support from the Neilsen Foundation


To the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Community,

On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, I want to express my ongoing gratitude to all of you that are working so hard to respond to our current health emergency.  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt around the world.  People with SCI are not only in a high risk group for the virus, but also for other health issues and the disruption of daily life, including the ability to access essential services and supplies.  Many of these needs are immediate, and some may have a significant long-term impact.

Our Grantmaking Programs Continue
The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is continuing with all of our normal business, although we’re all learning to do it from home in our remote locations.  With staff from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., ensuring the health and safety of the staff and doing our part to “flatten the curve” is a priority.  As I mentioned in a previous letter, some of our deadlines have been extended and we encourage you to visit our website to stay up to date on the portfolio deadlines.

For Our Valued Grantees
In this ever changing environment, we are continuously evaluating how we can respond to the situation, acknowledging there is still so much we don’t know.  We have heard from trusted advisors and identified several areas of immediate need that we can collectively address now.

  • All active CO&I Project Grants can use remaining funds as general operating support or any other purpose the organization determines, provided it is in the best interest of its core constituency.
  • All SCIRTS and PSR portfolio grants can use their grant funds to pay trainee stipends and staff salaries that were previously budgeted, even if progress on the project has been impacted by the current pandemic. In addition, the lengths of no-cost extensions will be adjusted or granted, as needed, for grantees affected by university or institutional closures.

Neilsen Emergency Support Grants
These grants are intended to directly support the provision of services to those living with SCI and their caretakers to relieve the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.  All organizations eligible for these grants will receive additional information and an invitation to apply in a follow-up email.  The application process is brief and meant to prioritize eligible nonprofit organizations that are ready to provide immediate services and needed materials, or can rapidly mobilize to do so.

Please sign up for our listserv to stay current on the Foundation’s general response to COVID-19.  We hope that you are all doing what you can to stay healthy and remain inspired to serve the SCI community.  We all need each other now more than ever.

Be well,

Kym Eisner
Executive Director

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