Deadline for the 2019-2020 funding cycle has passed.

Applications for funding are now being handled through a partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and their online grant application portal. To apply for 2020-2021 funding, check back here or contact our office for instructions in early 2020.

It is imperative that every applicant have a conversation with ESFA staff before grant submission, so that we may convey realistic expectations regarding our funding limitations and priorities going forward. 


Due to market challenges, ESFA is reducing its grant payout to protect our corpus so that funds will continue to be available to support our primary beneficiaries, the UAB Department of Ophthalmology and UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, as well as other community nonprofits throughout the state that provide eye health services.

Because we are tightening our belts, WE REQUIRE ALL APPLICANTS to have a conversation with ESFA staff before submitting a grant application. We will talk about your proposed project while conveying realistic expectations regarding our funding limitations and priorities going forward.

We welcome the opportunity to continue writing letters of support and making contacts with other funders, to help the worthy organizations we support find the funds they need.

The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, or ESFA, is a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to serve as a catalyst to improve eyesight through education, research and access to care.
Priority Areas of Interest:
ESFA seeks to maximize the impact of its funding by supporting organizations and programs that can effectively and efficiently address needs that fit our priority areas of interest, including but not limited to: 

  • Public education on preventive and routine eye care, and vision screening and referral
  • Eye care for the medically indigent
  • Low vision and rehabilitation services
  • Improved geographic access to general and specialty eye care services
  • Education and training of eye care professionals and scientific investigators
  • Research in the prevention and treatment of eye diseases, disabilities or impairment prevalent in Alabama and the development of effective methods of treatment, surgery or rehabilitation
  • Basic science and clinical research on eye diseases and the vision system. 

Funding Criteria:
ESFA gives funding preference to requests that meet the following criteria:

  • Address a critical eye care need (see the Eye Health Needs Assessment and the Census of Alabama Eye Care Providers on our website )
  • Avoid duplication of existing services unless they target a population not already being served
  • Involve collaboration and coordination with other organizations and agencies
  • Demonstrate a solid base of financial support for the requesting organization
  • Serve Alabamians, particularly in the service area of the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital
  • Expand our knowledge base in visual research
  • Include an effective approach for measuring results and the impact of ESFA’s investment.

Limitations & Restrictions
The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama considers funding applications only from nonprofit organizations that provide services in Alabama and have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code or are described as an appropriate beneficiary for a foundation under the Internal Revenue Service Code.

No funds are provided to or for: 

  • Individuals for personal needs
  • Indirect costs associated with a grant project
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Political organizations or candidates for public office.


We are no longer accepting applications for individual investigator-led research projects.
The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama has aligned with the leadership of the University of Alabama at Birmingham to leverage ESFA funds in support of collaborative vision science goals.
What does this mean to the research grant application process?
If you are an investigator within the UAB School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology or the UAB School of Optometry’s Department of Vision Sciences and are interested in ESFA support for your vision research, you should discuss your project with your chairman. Recommendations for the projects/programs toward which the funding will be directed will be made collaboratively to ESFA by the chairmen.  Matching funds will be provided by their respective schools.
If you are an investigator outside the Department of Ophthalmology and the Department of Vision Sciences you should contact our office to determine next steps if you have a proposal that fits within their collaborative research goals.
Contact Information
EyeSight Foundation of Alabama
700 South 18th Street, Suite 123
Birmingham, AL 35233
205/488-0771 Phone
205/325-8335 Fax

Torrey DeKeyser
Executive Director