Bellows Fund

View Memo Regarding Bellows Fund Awards (Feb 2018)

The Bellows Fund Guidelines

The UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund is a national program operated by UCP that provides funds to individuals with disabilities for assistive technology equipment. UCP affiliates submit an application on behalf of an individual to the UCP national office. Applications are reviewed for funding by the Bellows Committee.


Q: What is the amount of funding available to UCP affiliates?
A: Each fiscal year, the total available is derived from the income of the fund and the total number of affiliates eligible to participate. Each UCP affiliate in good standing is eligible to receive funding from the UCP-Elsie S. Bellows Fund based on a formula established by the Board of Trustees.


Q: When will UCP affiliates get information on their specific allotment for the Bellows Fund?
A: Each year (usually in January), this information will be distributed to UCP affiliate executive directors.


Q: How can I receive information about the program or a Bellows Fund application and guidelines?
A: The Bellows Fund application is available to UCP affiliates at any time . UCP affiliates may simply download an application from the secure affiliate page of the website or send an email to for more information.

The Bellows Fund Application can be found below:

Bellows Fund Application

Bellows Fund Fillable Application (please note that this is a fillable fields doc)

Bellows Fund Guidelines


Q: Who reviews Bellows Fund applications?

A: All applications are reviewed and approved by the Bellows Fund Committee.  UCP is grateful for the volunteer leadership of the Bellows Fund Committee members (Mark Boles, Chair; Rick Fleetwood; Peter Keiser and Ruth Gullerud).

Q: How do I submit a Bellows Fund application?
A: After completing the application, UCP affiliates can e-mail the application to (noted on the application). Each application submitted must contain the signature of the UCP executive director/CEO. Applications are only accepted electronically.


Q: Is there a deadline for applications?
A: There is no deadline to submit an application. However, it would be wise to submit an application by the end of the fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). Any funds unspent at the end of the first fiscal year may be carried over for one additional year only. After that, the remaining allocation funds are forfeited and returned to the general Bellows Fund.


Q: What is the approximate turnaround time for Bellows Fund grants?
A: When an application is submitted it will be shared with the Bellows Committee for review. If approved, it will go to Finance for payment processing and will take approximately 10–15 working days. If the committee has questions about the application there will be contact from the Bellows Committee Chair.


Q: How can I get confirmation that my application has been approved?
A: UCP affiliates having submitted an application should contact


Q: Can an affiliate submit more than one application during the year that adds up to the total available annual allocation?
A: Yes, an affiliate may submit unlimited applications that collectively total the available annual allocation for that year. For example, an affiliate eligible for an allocation of $2,250 may submit three applications in the amount of $700 each for a total of $2,100. However, any remaining funds from the first year ($150 in the above example) will be carried over for only one additional fiscal year.


Q: Can an affiliate use these funds to match dollars from another program?
A: Yes, an affiliate can use Bellows Fund monies as a match for other programs so long as the Bellows Fund monies are used to purchase assistive technology equipment for a particular client.


Q: Are individuals with disabilities who are NOT represented by a UCP affiliate able to participate in the program?
A: No, only individuals with disabilities who are represented by a UCP affiliate can participate. This is because the “certification” that the individual receiving the grant meets the Bellows Fund Guidelines can be accomplished most efficiently through a direct relationship with a UCP affiliate.


Q: I understand that the Bellows Fund applicant must be in financial need. What are the parameters for “financial need?”
A: UCP is entrusting the UCP affiliate with certifying that the individual or family is in financial need. UCP believes the affiliate staff is in the best position to judge “financial need.”


Q: Are the Bellows Fund grants given only to individuals with cerebral palsy?
A: No, the Bellows Fund award can be given to any individual with a disability.


Q: Is it appropriate to request assistive technology that will be used by more than one individual at the UCP affiliate?
A: No. The assistive technology equipment must be owned by an individual meeting the requirements established by the bequest (an individual with disabilities who is in financial need).


Q: Can the funds be utilized to repair assistive technology equipment?
A: Yes, that is an allowable cost.


Q: Will the check for the Bellows Fund grant be made payable to the individual or to the UCP affiliate?
A: The check will be made payable to the affiliate. It will contain the information that it is a Bellows grant and will list the last name(s) of the nominee(s).


Q: Does the assistive technology equipment have to be from a vendor? My UCP affiliate produces assistive technology equipment that our consumers use and the Bellows Fund grant would go to the UCP affiliate to purchase the assistive technology. Is this appropriate?
A: As long as the funds are used to purchase assistive technology equipment that will be owned by an individual it is allowable. It does not matter that the UCP affiliate would be the vendor in this scenario.


Revised January 2018