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Access to Care

The ADA Foundation provides grants and awards related to access to care through grants to nonprofit organizations working in alignment with the ADA Foundation's mission; through awards to dental school student groups that provide care to underserved populations in their own communities and around the world; and through Give Kids A Smile-related efforts. Please see the below program descriptions and guidelines for complete information, and check this website for updates.

Access to Oral Health Care for People with Special Needs Grant

Purpose: The goal of the grant initiative is to provide funding to nonprofit organizations that provide oral health services to people with physical and/or mental conditions that prohibit/complicate the provision of dental care in the routine setting. Funding will support U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that utilize innovative methods to provide oral health care services to people with special needs. 

Application Period: The ADA Foundation accepted letters of intent through Friday, November 30. The ADA Foundation will review these LOIs and then invite selected organizations to submit a complete application.

Eligibility Requirements: Any U.S.-based nonprofit organization that currently provides oral health care to people with special needs is eligible to apply. A U.S. licensed dentist must oversee the program. Only one application per organization will be considered.

Dollar Amount: Each applicant is invited to apply for funding up to $80,000.

Give Kids A Smile® Continuity of Care Grants

  • ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Continuity of Care Grants recipients 2019 (PDF)
  • ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Continuity of Care Grants recipients 2018 (PDF)

    Purpose: The ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Continuity of Care Grants will assist GKAS programs that offer continuity of dental care to underserved children after their initial GKAS visit, because a major goal of any GKAS program is to establish a process by which a child can get continued care over several years.

    Application Period: The last Friday in August (RFA open) through the first Monday in November.
  • Eligibility Requirements:

    • GKAS program coordinators MUST register their GKAS program through the ADA Foundation’s GKAS sign up system between Monday, Oct. 1 and Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 in order to be eligible. (You may submit your application prior to completing your GKAS registration, but your registration must be complete by Nov. 9.) 

    • Community services MUST target children from underserved communities who did not have their treatment needs completed during the initial GKAS event.

    • Applying organizations must be U.S.-based nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, whose charitable activities are within the U.S.

    Dollar Amount and Number of Awards: Grant awards will be up to, but not exceeding, fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). The ADA Foundation will award up to $50,000 in GKAS Continuity of Care grants for 2019.

    The E. "Bud" Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award

    Purpose: The ADA Foundation E. "Bud" Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award annually highlights significant dental student outreach to vulnerable communities within the U.S. 

    Application Period: ​The 2019 application period will be announced by May, 2019. Please visit this website for more information.

    Eligibility Requirements: Dental student groups enrolled in a predoctoral dental education program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, which are involved in an outreach program to vulnerable communities within the U.S. The ADA Foundation accepts one application from each dental school.

    Dollar Amount and Number of Awards: At least one award of up to $5,000 will be made to a dental school/college in honor of the outreach program. Award funds must be expressly used to enhance student service learning and outreach to underserved populations.

    Senior American Access to Care Grant

    Eligibility Requirements: To be considered for support, applicants must:

    • Be a U.S.-based organization exempt from taxation under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue code.
    • Have a U.S. licensed dentist oversee the grant project.
    • Provide licensed oral health services with a goal of providing a dental home to senior Americans (age 62 plus).
    • Have the ability to track specific indicators while achieving long-term success.
    • Complete an application by the stated deadline of September 7, 2018. Organizations are limited to one application per grant cycle.
    • Grantees will be required to sign a grant agreement upon approval.
    • Grantees will be required to submit a report at the end of the grant period describing outcomes, impact, and how the funds were used.

    Dollar Amount and Number of Awards: Grant awards are up to, but not exceeding, twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) per organization. 

    ADA Foundation Grant for International Volunteer Dental Projects

    To Apply: Apply online. The application deadline is April 26, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. (You will be taken to a third party website to complete the application.)

    Purpose: To support U.S. based organizations that are working to improve access to oral health care in underserved communities outside of the U.S.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • All projects must be themselves, or associated with, a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or foundation. Awards will be made to the 501(c)(3) organization, not to individual applicants.
    • All projects must have a demonstrable current three-year history of activity (2015-2018). The recipient organization must lead dental trips of at least one week duration per year and may be service oriented, dental education/oral health oriented, or a combination project.
    • All awardees agree to provide reporting as stipulated in the application process and be willing for the ADAF to use appropriate photos (with signed ADAF release forms from volunteers and patients identifiable in the photos) along with other project information from the awarded project, for informational and promotional purposes.

    Dollar Amount and Number of Awards: Four grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded in 2019.