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Grants for Oral Health Access, Advocacy, Education, and Workforce Development

What We Fund

The DDF funds the people and programs that promote oral health equity and align with the five core pillars outlined in our strategic plan. We are especially interested in proposals that promote oral health equity for people with disabilities.

Grant Guidelines

The DDF evaluates each application on its own merits, and careful consideration is given to each request. Primary considerations include the program's alignment with our strategic plan; the people and communities who will be served; accountability and fundraising practices; clearly defined measures of success; availability of alternative sources of funding; and program sustainability.

We offer grants only to nonprofits, government agencies, schools, colleges and universities that serve Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina.

Measuring Success

In seeking to better understand the direct impact of our giving and programmatic work, we need information that goes beyond outputs—a shift from, “We did this” to “We did this, and here’s what happened.”

We recognize that data comes in many shapes and forms, and that numbers don’t always tell the full story. That’s why we’ll be looking for a “family of measures” that provide a fuller view of the overall system—from the outcomes to the processes to the unintended impacts. Doing so allows us to:

  • Measure the impact our grantmaking has on improving oral health equity.
  • Make strategic decisions about resource distribution and priority activities.
  • Create powerful external communication campaigns that drive awareness.
  • Explain our impact in a way that resonates with stakeholders.

Each project is unique, and we’re committed to helping each of our grantees develop measures that best define success.

Grant Limitations

The DDF does not normally provide grants for the following:

  • Building construction.
  • Normal overhead expenses.
  • Indirect costs. 
  • Individuals (with the exception of recipients of the DDF’s scholarships, research grants and community service awards).
  • Organizations that discriminate by race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status or national origin.
  • Political activities, organizations or campaigns.
  • Loans.
  • Projects developed for commercial or proprietary purposes.


Grants applications are evaluated quarterly and must be submitted by the below dates for consideration:

  • May 24, 2024
  • September 2, 2024
  • November 15, 2024

How to Apply

Empowered people and communities are critical to making creative solutions to systemic challenges possible—and that means supporting work by and for the communities being served. We are committed to continuing and establishing strong two-way relationships with the people and organizations aligned with our aims. Contact us at to ask questions or tell us more about your program before applying for a grant. You can preview the full grant application here

Apply for a Grant

Grant Reporting Form

Each grant recipient must complete and submit a grant reporting form within one year of receiving funds or prior to receiving additional funding, whichever comes first.

Download the Reporting Form


Advocating for oral health excellence and equity for those who need it most.

What We Do


Teaching the importance of good oral health across the lifespan.

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Funding the people and programs that make better oral health a reality.

Grant Opportunities