COVID-19 Response from the Neilsen Foundation


Valued Friends, Colleagues and Grantees,

From all of us at the Neilsen Foundation, we hope you are staying safe, protecting your health and finding ways to support those around you.  The Coronavirus has created a fluid and dynamic environment that is unsettling for all of us.  Although the long-term impact on our communities is still unknown, we are committed to working with our grantees to understand their needs.

  • For research projects, we understand that key components of the work have been put on hold.
  • For students and junior faculty, we hear the concern and potential impact on a degree program and career advancement.
  • For those of you working in the community, we know much of your programming has been shut down and your fundraising efforts thwarted, which can destabilize your continuing operation.

We will continue to move forward thoughtfully and, given the duration and likely trickle-down effect of the crisis, our responses will continue to evolve.  The deeper our understanding, the better positioned we’ll be to shape our approach.

What is the Neilsen Foundation doing today?
Supporting the immediate needs of individuals with SCI is our central focus.

  • On March 31st, we launched Neilsen Emergency Support Grants, inviting grantee organizations around the country to respond. 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.  Only invitees may apply.  If you received an invitation and have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email at  In the first ten days, we approved close to $250,000 in grant funds.
  • All active CO&I Project Grantees were informed that they can use remaining funds as general operating support or any other purpose the organization prioritizes, provided it is in the best interest of its core constituency. The needs of the three-year SIP grantees will be responded to on a case-by-case basis.  The Non-Profit Finance Fund has valuable information and resources on their website that may help smaller organizations navigate assistance programs.
  • All SCIRTS and PSR portfolio grantees 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.

We are all in this together.  Please do what you can to help.  Thank you for your continued dedication to the world of SCI.

Kym Eisner
Executive Director
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

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