Modest Needs is an award-winning public charity with a simple but critical mission: we work to stop the cycle of poverty BEFORE it starts for the low-income workers whom conventional philanthropy has forgotten.
Modest Needs exists:
- To prevent otherwise financially self-sufficient individuals and families from entering the cycle of poverty, when this might be avoided with a small amount of well-timed financial assistance;
- To restore the financial self-sufficiency of individuals who are willing to work but are temporarily unable to do so because they do not have the means to remit payment for a work-related expense;
- To empower permanently disadvantaged individuals who otherwise live within their limited means to continue to live independently, despite a temporary, unexpected financial set-back; and
- To strengthen small non-profit organizations by providing a forum whereby such organizations can apply directly to the general public for the help they need to complete the relatively inexpensive projects that will allow them to better serve their clients and the communities they exist to serve.
In keeping with its mission, Modest Needs offers the following four types of grants:
Modest Needs makes Self-Sufficiency Grants by remitting payment to a creditor for an expense on behalf of an otherwise self-sufficient individual or family for a relatively small, emergency expense which the individual or family could not have anticipated or prepared for.
In making a Self-Sufficiency Grant, our goal is to prevent an otherwise self-sufficient individual or family from entering the cycle of poverty as a result of the financial burden posed by a relatively small emergency expense.
For example, we might make a Self-Sufficiency Grant to cover the cost of an emergency auto repair that must be made if an individual is to continue working.
Modest Needs makes Back-to-Work grants by remitting payment for a small work-related fee or expense on behalf of a temporarily unemployed individual.
In making a Back-to-Work grant, our goal is to provide a willing but temporarily unemployed individual with the means to return to work.
For example, we might make a Back to Work grant to cover the cost of a professional license renewal for a temporarily displaced worker.
Independent Living Grants
Modest Needs makes Independent Living Grants by remitting payment to a creditor for an expense on behalf of persons who are permanently unable to work but who nevertheless are living independently on the limited income to which they are entitled – their retirement income, or their permanent disability income, for example.
In making an Independent Living Grant, our goal is to empower financially responsible persons who cannot work to continue to live independently on their limited incomes, despite an unexpected expense which no conventional agency is prepared to address.
For example, we might make an Independent Living Grant to cover the cost of maintenance on a piece of accessibility equipment not covered by Medicaid, to cover an unexpectedly large prescription medication co-pay, or to assist with a large summer cooling bill.
Modest Needs makes Non-Profit Grants by remitting payment to a creditor for an expense incurred by a small non-profit organization that will demonstrably strengthen that organization’s ability to serve its clients and community.
In making Non-Profit Grants, our goal is to provide a forum whereby small non-profit organizations can apply directly to members of the public for the assistance they need to complete the small projects that will allow these organizations to more effectively carry out their missions, but which most larger grant makers would not generally consider a funding priority.
For example, we might make a Non-Profit Grant to cover the cost of a handful of new beds for a small but expanding women’s shelter or to assist with the creation of a basic website for a small non-profit with no ability to communicate directly with its own constituents.
Check Frequently Asked Questions for program information and program eligibility.