The University of Iowa

Retirement Research Foundation (Foundation on Aging)

Employer Identification Number (EIN) 


Contact Name 
Mary O'Donnell
Contact Title 
Telephone Number 
8765 West Higgins Road
Suite 430
Chicago, IL 60631-4170
United States

Grant Information

Application Deadline 

During the last 43 years, RRF has awarded nearly 5,000 grants worth almost $255 million—all dedicated to improving the quality of life of older people. RRF focuses its grantmaking on four priority areas:

  • Caregiving
  • Economic Security in Later Life
  • Housing
  • Social and Intergenerational Connectedness

While the priority areas reflect RRF’s primary funding interests, the Foundation will consider compelling applications on other topics.

Proposals for direct service projects are considered from organizations based in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, or Florida. Advocacy, training, and research projects, all with national relevance, are considered from organizations in any state. Organizational capacity building requests are accepted from nonprofits located in Illinois.

RRF was one of the first private foundations to focus exclusively on aging issues, and it has always had a very integrated approach to its grantmaking. The Foundation continues to support advocacy, direct service, professional education/training, research, and organizational capacity building efforts.

Sample Grants 

For lists of grants awarded and related focus areas see Grant History on the RRF website. 

University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
A one-year grant to evaluate the impact of state paid family leave policies on informal caregiving and workforce participation.

University of Iowa, Optimizing Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids
A research project to improve the effectiveness of low-cost, over-the-counter hearing aids to address age-related hearing loss.

Elderbridge Agency on Aging, Mason City, Iowa, $50,000
A one-year grant to provide care transitions for older people who want to continue living in their community following a stay in a hospital or nursing home.

Iowa Legal Aid, Des Moines, Iowa, $64,191
A one-year grant to enhance services provided through the organization’s Legal Hotline and improve the delivery of legal services for older people.

Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa, $74,134
A one-year grant to support implementation of a new community para-medicine program for individuals over age 65 suffering from congestive heart failure.

Iowa CareGivers, West Des Moines, Iowa, $126,573
An 18-month grant to ensure that older Iowans receive access to good oral healthcare by maximizing the capacity, impact, and sustainability of a state-recognized, competency-based training program for direct care workers.

Application Information 

RRF offers an opportunity for applicants to submit a brief (1-3 pages) Letter of Inquiry (LOI) as part of its grantmaking process. While optional, submission of an LOI is strongly encouraged. Information about the LOI process can be found on RRF’s websiteSubmit LOIs online by March 15, 2021 for the May 1 deadline. For more information and to start the grant process, see Apply for a Grant.

Information can also be found on the What We Fund page. 

To learn more, please visit our website or email


Ruth Ann Watkins, Chair

Downey Varey, Treasurer

Michael Starshak, Secretary


Grant Sizes: 
$4,000, $127,000


Date of latest financial data 
Dec 2018
Grant Classification: