The Elton John AIDS Foundation is accepting Letters of Intent for its 2011 open call for grant proposals.

For this funding round, as in previous years, EJAF invites LOIs from any proposed project that is aligned with EJAF grantmaking priorities including HIV programs focused on gay men’s health and rights, African American health and rights, youth mobilization for sexual health and rights, syringe access and harm reduction, prisoner re-entry, and scale-up of quality HIV programming in the southern United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Any nonprofit organization located in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Central and South America may apply for funding.

Unsolicited proposals should request no more than $50,000 during the calendar year of 2011.

Organizations must complete the online LOI by June 1, 2011. Organizations approved to submit a full application will be notified by July 15, 2011, with full online applications due by September 1, 2011.

Visit the EJAF Web site for complete program guidelines and the online LOI form:  http://www.ejaf.org/pages/grants/eligibility/index.html

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Be Free Global is inviting applications for grants of $1,000 as part of its second annual micro-grant campaign. Be Free Global’s mission is to link action and ideas for children by providing alternative funding opportunities for creative projects worldwide that work to improve the lives of children of diverse backgrounds.

Each year, Be Free Global will select nonprofit organizations whose work positively impacts children in their immediate communities around the world to receive a micro-grant to fund a specific initiative.

As a start-up foundation, Be Free Global’s first initiative is to identify small and rising nonprofit organizations and encourage their participation in the foundation’s micro-grant program. The foundation’s vision is to link doers for children around the globe in a global conversation where ideas are exchanged and cross-cultural dialogue is fostered around shared solutions to common issues. Financial support for the grant program is provided through charitable donations and fundraising events.

In this grantmaking cycle, Be Free Global is seeking to fund a select group of not-for-profit organizations on several continents that focus on providing educational resources to displaced children and children otherwise disconnected from traditional public and private resources. Grant applications are invited from organizations that use innovation, creativity, and direct solutions to overcome the challenges facing children in their community.

Complete program information and the grant application form are available at the Be Free Global Web site.

Echoing Green will award twelve to twenty two-year fellowships to social entrepreneurs in 2011. The fellowships provide start-up capital and technical assistance to social entrepreneurs around the world working to turn their ideas into sustainable social change organizations.

Echoing Green seeks individuals or partnerships (organizations led by two people) with innovative solutions to significant social problems, strategies designed to create high-impact and sustainable change in people’s lives, and the ability to grow and lead a new organization.

The application process is open to citizens of all nationalities working in any country. Applicants must be fluent enough in English to participate in interviews and Echoing Green events, and must be 18 years of age or older.

Organizations seeking support must be the original idea of the applicant and must be independent, autonomous, and in a start-up phase, which means the applicant may have been running the organization full-time for up to two years, with Echoing Green’s financial support constituting its major/primary early funding. Applicants who have only worked on their organization on a part-time basis or have yet to start an organization are generally considered eligible. Applicants must make a full-time commitment to their organization’s development.

Fellows receive up to $60,000 ($90,000 for partnerships of two people) in seed funding over two years.

Visit the Echoing Green Web site for complete eligibility information, application materials, and profiles of fellows and their projects: http://www.echoinggreen.org/

The National AIDS Fund, with support from the Social Innovation Fund, has announced the opportunity for grant support through its Access to Care (A2C) initiative.

The goal of A2C is to increase the access and consistent utilization of effective HIV healthcare by People Living With HIV/AIDS, particularly those living in poverty, who know their HIV status but are not receiving HIV-specific care or support. Over the next three to five years, NAF will support approximately eight to twelve states, regions, and communities with high rates of infection to facilitate access to healthcare by strengthening support and service systems and addressing barriers that affect people’s readiness or ability to participate in HIV healthcare.

Grantseekers are encouraged to focus their applications on marginalized populations that traditionally have less access to, and retention within, medical care. Additionally, NAF seeks to spur innovative solutions to problems that have existed for PLWHA since the beginning of the epidemic — intersecting structural barriers to HIV care that include systems of care that do not address health needs with cultural competency, a lack of quality HIV care in rural or impoverished areas, lack of treatment self-efficacy among PLWHA, stigma and its impact on prevention, care and treatment deficiencies, and the individual-level dynamic that is the result of HIV infection being only one of many competing health and well-being challenges.

Applications should be coordinated by a lead entity for each project; priority will be given to efforts that share resources and involve multiple community partners that together have the trust of populations that experience the greatest challenges accessing healthcare.

Grantees must provide a local 1:1 dollar match toward their awards. NAF recognizes that communities will require assistance in identifying and accessing additional resources and will work with grantee communities in an effort to facilitate the process. Grant amounts are expected to fall into a range of $200,000 to $800,000 each annually, depending on the scope, scale, and numbers of individuals being reached in the proposed project. This range includes the local match amounts that grantees will be responsible for raising with NAF’s assistance.

Visit the National AIDS Fund Web site for complete grant guidelines and application materials: http://www.aidsfund.org/2010/09/20/national-aids-fund-with-support-from-the-social-innovation-fund-announces-availability-of-grant-resources-for-access-to-care-a2c-initiative/

Microsoft Corporation has announced the launch of the Elevate America community initiative, a new grant program to support nonprofit organizations offering employment services, including technology skills training and job placement, in local communities across the United States. The initiative is the latest extension of Elevate America, which was launched in 2009 to provide people across the country with no-and low-cost access to the technology skills they need to find employment.

To support the initiative, Microsoft is committing a total of $4 million in cash and $6 million in software and technology skills training curriculum over the next two years.

Grants will be allocated through a Request for Proposal process which invites nonprofits to share their plans for partnering with Microsoft on creating successful, scalable programs that respond to the twenty-first century skills training and employment needs of people across the U.S. For this initiative, the company has a particular but not exclusive interest in working with partners focused on the needs of women and young workers (ages 18-25).

Successful grant recipients will be funded to provide individuals with the support they need to find employment. The services provided by grant recipients to ensure a fully supportive experience for participants must include technology skills training, job placement, and strong employer connections and may also include career counseling and other support services such as childcare, transportation, and housing.

Grant applicants must be U.S.-based tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and their partner organizations, which may include workforce agencies, community colleges, labor organizations, and other nonprofit organizations.

Complete grant program guidelines and an eligibility survey for nonprofit organizations are available at the Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/community-tools/job-skills/Community-Initiative/

VSA, an international nonprofit that works to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts, and the MetLife Foundation have designed the Arts Connect All funding opportunity to encourage arts organizations in select metropolitan areas of the United States to create or enhance multi-session, inclusive education programs by strengthening partnerships with local K-12 public schools.

The Arts Connect All program is designed to enable more students with disabilities to experience social, cognitive, and cultural development through arts learning alongside their peers without disabilities; create educational access and inclusion in the arts for students with disabilities; and document the contributions that arts organizations make to inclusive education in public schools. Inclusive programs are those which have students with and without disabilities interacting in activities together to create awareness, understanding, and respect.

VSA and MetLife Foundation invite proposals from arts organizations working to create or enhance inclusive educational programs that incorporate inclusive teaching practices; provide access to students with all types of disabilities; develop social, cognitive, and artistic skills; involve people with disabilities in planning and implementation; build staff, teacher, and/or artist knowledge and skill of inclusive practices; and collaborate with public schools, actively engaging students, parents, and school administrators.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) performing and/or exhibiting arts organizations — including museums, theaters, and multidisciplinary arts presenters —that are creating or have an established educational program are eligible to apply. Organizations must have as their primary mission the goal of advancing the arts and/or a specific art form.

Only arts organizations located in and partnering with public schools in the following metropolitan areas are eligible: Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Hartford, Connecticut; Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Charlotte, North Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; and Seattle, Washington.

Eligible programs (existing or newly developed) must have students with disabilities and without disabilities learning together at the same time and place; must involve K-12 public school students in the target audience; must be ongoing or have multiple sessions; may take place during school hours or after school; and may receive awards in a maximum of three grant cycles. Second- and third-year grants must expand or enhance programs funded in a previous cycle.

A maximum of ten grants of up to $15,000 each will be awarded.

Guidelines and application instructions are available at the VSA Web site.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service have announced the first Request for Proposals from their Diversity and Innovation Fund. The fund seeks proposals to provide the National Programming Service with a new, weekly, primetime series that will expand viewership and usage and reach an adult audience on-air and online that reflects the diversity of the 40-to-64-year-old demographic.

Specifically, the DI Fund seeks to diversify the NPS by attracting more racially and ethnically diverse viewers and Web visitors within the target demographic; expand the current NPS audience through the increased use of content created by a diverse group of producers and through the effective use of new and emerging technologies; leverage the talent and creativity of executive producers and producers from minority and underserved communities; build capacity for the public media system from within those communities; and encourage innovation in the planning, production, and distribution of public media content.

The content should be conceived and budgeted with multiple-platform use (broadcast, VOD, Internet, mobile, DVD, etc.) in mind from the outset.

The RFP encourages proposals for a variety of popular genres, including science, history, travel, natural history, and exploration. This RFP is not seeking children’s, drama, or news and public affairs content, as these subject areas are being addressed via other initiatives and/or existing properties.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for a series of ten episodes that can be produced for $375,000 per hour (or less), with attendant rights that allow for the efficient use of the content on all distribution platforms. The intent is to “pilot” several projects. One or more will then be selected for series production.

PBS will begin accepting proposals on July 26, 2010. Visit the PBS Web site for complete program information and application procedures at http://www.pbs.org/difund/