Innovation and Impact Grants Program

Donate Life Wisconsin (DLW) furthers its mission of increasing donated organs, eyes and tissues to save and heal lives through its Innovation and Impact Grants Program.

Each year, DLW makes funds available to nonprofit organizations to support projects, programs or research which supports the mission.

Grant funding is made possible from the purchase of Donate Life license plates and the $2 donation check-off option offered to customers as they visit the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to renew or obtain a license.

The LOI submission period has closed.


What is the DLW grants program?

DLW is authorized to provide funds to organizations to promote the donation of organs and tissue, to promote organ and tissue transplant research, and to advance patient services involving organ and tissue transplants in Wisconsin.

Who can apply for an impact grant?

Organizations that are eligible to apply or serve as the lead organization for a DLW grant-funded project must be recognized as exempt for federal taxation under Section 501 (c)3 of the IRS Code, be able to provide proof of charitable status in Wisconsin (if applicable) and be able to submit an externally audited financial statement at the conclusion of the grant.

May organizations collaborate on a proposed project?

Organizations proposing to collaborate on a project must include at least one organization that meets all eligibility criteria. This organization will be considered the primary (lead) organization . The lead organization will sign the Grant Agreement, serve as the fiscal agent and assume responsibility to meet all reporting requirements.

Can an organization that provides services in states other than Wisconsin be eligible?

If an organization performs its programs in states in addition to Wisconsin, the Grantee must limit any funding that it receives from DLW to its Wisconsin activities.

Can an individual apply for a DLW grant to encourage organ and tissue donation?

Individuals are not eligible to receive grants.

What are permitted use of funds?

Permitted use of grant funds is defined in the DLW Grants policy and outlined in the Request for Proposal document.

Examples of allowable expenses include consultant, contract or staff time to implement the project; office supplies, postage, copying related to the project; meeting expenses related to the project.

What are examples of expenses not permitted?

Non-allowable use of DLW grant funding:

  • Expenses billed to/reimbursed from federal/state agencies or other entities e.g., CMS
  • Personal expenses, e.g., cost of living, fines, damages
  • Clinical care or other costs associated with treatment or direct care
  • Direct or indirect lobbying activities or legal fees
  • Financial gifts, e.g., scholarships, endowments, aid, gift cards
  • Entertainment or alcoholic beverages
  • Costs or activities not directly related to the project implementation

What components should be included in proposals?

Eligible organizations interested in being considered for DLW grant funding must initially complete an online Letter of Intent (LOI).

The components of the LOI include:

  • Applicant organization’s information
  • Project contact’s information
  • Project name
  • Type  and focus of the project
  • Need/problem project will address
  • Data substantiating the need/problem
  • Project overview and anticipated outcomes
  • Impact statement
  • Amount of funding request

How can an organization apply for a DLW grant?

Eligible organizations complete and submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by the deadline.  Organizations may be invited to submit a full proposal after review.

What are the largest and smallest amounts that an organization may request?

Each year, the Donate Life Wisconsin Board of Directors establishes the budget allocation for the Grants program.

What are the reporting requirements?

The Grantee will submit monthly updates, a project mid-point report and a final report. Grantees are required to keep a record of all receipts and expenditures relating to the grant. These reports will describe progress, outcomes, learnings.

Additionally, Grantees must submit an audited financial statement detailing the use of the grant funds. Statements should be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

What is the timeline?

The 2023 Innovations & Impact Grant program timeline:

  • Letters of Intent online application accepted (June 1-30,2022)
  • Grants (virtual) Information session (June 7, 2022, 9:00am; registration required)
  • Grants Sub-committee reviews Letters of Intent (July 8-18, 2022)
  • Eligible organizations invited to develop full grant proposals (July 18, 2022)
  • Organizations write/submit full detailed RFPs (July 18-August 12, 2022)
  • Grants Sub-committee reviews RFPs (August 12-September 19, 2022)
  • Grants Sub-committee makes recommendation to DLW Executive Committee (September 19)
  • Finalists provide project overview to DLW Board of Directors (October 5, 2022)
  • DLW Board selects (votes) projects to be funded in 2023 (October 5-14, 2022)
  • Grants orientation session held for grant project leads (November 2, 2022)
  • Grant projects begin (January, 2023)