Racial Justice Grants for Confronting Structural Inequality

To meaningfully advance racial equity, grant funders and nonprofits alike must address systemic racism. In recent weeks, a greater number of foundations are awarding racial justice grants to nonprofits on a national and local level. Our team at Grants Plus is committing our expertise to research and compile these opportunities as they are announced.

Navigate to our racial justice grant resources:

Webinar Recording: Securing Racial Justice Grants

What you'll gain from this recording: Foundations are making grants to address racism, inequality, and injustice. How can your organization find these funding opportunities and make the most compelling case in grant proposals for your work to advance racial equity? View the webinar recording to learn how funders are supporting this work, what they expect of grantees, and how your organization can successfully compete for funding.

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This listing includes responsive grant programs open nationally and in select states. Please contact us if you are seeking help to find grant funding opportunities in states not included here. Please also contact us if you are a foundation and would like to add a relevant opportunity to this list.

National

Arca Foundation

The Foundation supports initiatives that advance racial justice and an inclusive democracy, especially those that "put people on the front lines of change," educate the public about policies that advance the greater good, and strive for "structural, game-changing reforms."  Submissions are by invitation only in 2020, but may be open again in 2021.

Open application process:  Yes

Borealis Philanthropy

This organization hosts a number of funds concerned with racial and social justice. The Black-Led Movement Fund provides general operating support to efforts that "advance the vision of young, Black, queer, feminist, and immigrant leaders." The Communities Transforming Policing Fund supports police reform work. The Spark Justice Fund seeks to transform the nation's criminal justice system. At this time, the funds are not accepting applications.

Open application process:  No

Ford Foundation

Challenging inequality through gender, racial, and ethnic justice is a core function of the Ford Foundation. The focus of this work in the US is mass-incarceration reform, immigrant and migrant rights, and reproductive and gender justice. The Foundation is open to letters of inquiry at any time.

Open application process:  Yes

Hill-Snowdon Foundation

The Foundation seeks to address "growing economic, racial, and social injustices, as well as the decreasing role and influence that middle and working class people have in the daily practice of democracy in this country" with a focus on grassroots organizations in the southeastern US. Grants support youth and economic justice organizing, the Making Black Lives Matter initiative, and the Defending the Dream Fund to ensure fair democratic participation. Although the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, it is open to inquiry emails from organizations that closely match its priorities.

Open application process:  Yes

The JPB Foundation

The Foundation's "poverty" funding priority seeks to expand civic engagement and voting rights of "traditionally disenfranchised communities, and protecting the rights and full participation of immigrants in society." All grants are made proactively, and the Foundation does not accept proposals or inquires.

Open application process:  No

Marguerite Casey Foundation

The Casey Foundation made $600,000 in rapid-response grants to black-led organizations in Minneapolis, Tallahassee, and Louisville in response to the killing of George Floyd. Its grants are generally multi-year commitments to grassroots organizations that seek to end poverty in underserved communities in the Southeast, Southwest, California, and Illinois; with a focus on racism, police brutality, and economic inequity. The Foundation does not accept inquiries or proposals.

Open application process:  No

Nathan Cummings Foundation

This foundation's mission is to pursue justice for people and the planet. Grants in the Racial and Economic Justice program area are designated to "challenge policies that criminalize low-income people and people of color." The Foundation also awards 18-month fellowships to turn ideas that advance social justice into reality. Prospective grantees should complete an online eligibility quiz.

Open application process:  Yes

Open Society Foundations

Open Society Foundations has announced a $220 million investment in emerging organizations and leaders building power in Black communities across the country. $150 million will go to Black-led justice organizations that helped to create and now sustain the momentum towards racial equality, with the remaining $70 million immediate efforts to advance racial justice.

Open application process:  No

Proteus Fund

The Proteus Fund builds collaboratives of donors and organizations to "achieve collective goals, build collaborative strategies for change, and bolster the field through grantmaking, leadership development, and other forms of support." The Fund supports multiple collaboratives and funds dedicated to racial justice, and accepts email inquiries from interested organizations.

Open application process:  Yes

Public Welfare Foundation

The Foundation is focused on "catalyzing a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just through investments in criminal justice and youth justice reforms." It accepts LOIs from interested organizations, although it is not accepting LOIs for the remainder of 2020.

Open application process:  No

Surdna Foundation

Surdna's Thriving Cultures program focuses on "radical imagination for racial justice" and funds "artists of color who work with communities of color to imagine and build racially just systems and structures at a local scale," research and criticism of art by artists of color, and advancing the role of artists of color in "shaping public policy, narrative change, and philanthropic practices that advance racial justice." Thriving Cultures grants are currently by invitation only.

Open application process:  No

Tides Foundation

Tides Foundation acts as a funder, collaborator, and infrastructure provider for those working to create social change. Focus areas include social justice, equity, and human rights. Interested organizations can submit an electronic inquiry.

Open application process:  Yes

General Service Fund

The Fund's "Building Voice and Power" program supports organizations that "contribute to an intersectional movement for racial and gender justice through work that builds the power of communities most impacted by injustice to win change," and is a funder of the Defending the Dream fund. It has an open grant process but is not accepting applications in 2020.

Open application process:  Yes

McArthur Foundation

Racial justice is a major theme of the Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge within its criminal justice reform priority. The challenge invests in "local reform, research, experimentation, and communications intended to increase national demand for local justice reform." Applications for the challenge are closed, but the Foundation is open to email inquiries from organizations with unique approaches and perspectives.

Open application process:  Yes

The Libra Foundation

The Foundation supports organizations "led by those most impacted by systemic oppression" and focuses on criminal justice and social policy, environmental and climate justice, and gender justice. Grants are generally for organizing, coalition-building, advocacy, and communications. The Foundation is currently not accepting new applications.

Open application process:  No

The Emergent Fund

The Emergent Fund supports grassroots organizing and power building in communities of color throughout the United States who are facing injustice based on racial, ethnic, religious, and other forms of discrimination. Grants focus on efforts that help communities respond to new or amplified threats, and those that seek long-term social and economic justice. Applications are accepted at any time.

Open application process:  Yes

Solidaire Network

Solidaire "moves money to the front lines of social change in order to fund urgent needs, support bold and innovative ideas that others may not fund and help build long term infrastructure for the movement" with a focus on Black and Indigenous led organizations. Its rapid response funding seeks to provide rapid support to those on the front lines of social justice, and accepts applications at any time.

Open application process:  Yes

The Kroger Foundation

The Foundation created a $5 million fund for organizations that improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the areas Kroger serves. Applicants can submit an application for the diversity and inclusion category online.

Open application process: Yes

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation

The Foundation is providing $6.5M in grants up to $500,000 to any chapters affiliated with the BLM Global network to support local outreach efforts. Chapters can apply for funding beginning July 1, 2020. Reach out to the press contact for more information: Jordan Jackson, press@blacklivesmatter.com

Open application process:  Yes

Equality Can't Wait Challenge

The challenge, supported by Melinda Gates's Pivotal Ventures will award $30 million to help expand women's power and influence in the United States by 2030, especially focused on women of color. Interested organizations can take an online assessment to determine eligibility and fit.

Open application process: Yes

Universal Music Group

UMG has established a Task Force for Meaningful Change. Part of its charge will be to direct charitable dollars to areas such as: economic empowerment and business development; housing; legal services and bail; mental health services; legislative reform; physical health services; and voting resources and education. Applications details and grant making cycles have not yet been announced.

Open application process:  No

U.S. Bank Foundation

U.S. Bank Foundation plans to implement at $15M fund to award grants addressing systemic economic and racial inequities in small business, affordable housing and workplace development for people of color. Grants will be made nationwide, with some emphasis on Minneapolis, MN, and will be awarded by invitation only. The Foundation also addresses issues of inequality through its Community Possible grant platform.

Open application process: No

PNC

PNC Bank has announced a $1B commitment to supporting programs that address systemic racism and spur economic development. These funds will be allocated by PNC Foundation’s board of directors, PNC’s regional presidents, and its Community Development Banking teams. Potential applications should contact their region's representative.

Open application process: Yes

Northern Trust

Based in Chicago, Northern Trust has committed $20M to address inequality worldwide, focusing on increasing access to food, housing, healthcare, and education. Grants will be made to advance specific goals in select cities and regions across the globe.

Open application process: No

PayPal

This company has announced a significant investment in advancing diversity and inclusion internally and supporting black-owned businesses and economic justice. The emergency fund for black-owned businesses is not currently accepting applications, and PayPal has yet to share an application process for other minority-owned business grants.

Open application process: No

Goldman Sachs

The Goldman Sachs Fund for Racial Equity was created to support leading organizations addressing racial injustice, structural inequity, and economic disparity. To this point, the Fund has contributed only to pre-selected organizations working at a national level, but its focus may change over time.

Open application process: No

Rockefeller Brothers Fund

The Fund has announced a new $10 million racial justice initiative that will build on its Democracy practice and work with institutions of justice, governance, and civic culture to "identify systemic advances, fundamental changes in policy, and other pathways to dismantle structural racism in America." Application details and grant making cycles will be announced later this summer.

Open application process: No

Pepsico

As part of a $400 million, 5-year effort to "lift up Black communities and Black representation," Pepsico announced $6.5 million in grants to address systemic racism and an increase in its Food for Good initiative to provide more jobs and access to nutrition in Black communities. Application details and grant making cycles have not yet been announced.

Open application process: No

CitiBank

The Citi Foundation has issued a $15 million open request for proposals (RFP) aimed at supporting Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serving small businesses owned by people of color and low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. The Citi Foundation seeks to award unrestricted grant support of up to $500,000 to select CDFIs working in the following geographies: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Open application process: Yes - Due July 31, 2020 at 4pm

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

NEW YORK, June 30, 2020 – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced a major strategic evolution for its organization, prioritizing social justice in all of its grantmaking. The Foundation’s board has resoundingly endorsed a refined mission statement and updated program areas. While Mellon’s strategic shift—under the leadership of Mellon President Elizabeth Alexander— has been two years in the making, current events make the Foundation’s new social justice lens even more relevant to Mellon’s philanthropic efforts supporting the arts and humanities.

Since its founding, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has sought to strengthen, promote, and defend the arts and humanities as essential to democratic societies. An increased focus on just communities comes at a moment in which a national spotlight is shining on widespread—and longstanding—social and racial injustice. The new mission notes that the Foundation’s focus will be on building “just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking where ideas and imagination can thrive” and animated by a belief that “the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity.”

Open application process: Yes, inquiries are accepted at any time

NEO Philanthropy

NEO pledges to continue to critically engage in its own antiracism and equity work as an organization to ensure our decision-making, practices, and systems are aligned with the values central to our mission. As we continue on this journey toward equity, justice, and accountability, we hope to join with others who share these values.

Open application process: Contact Foundation for more information

Salesforce

Salesforce is committing $200 million and 1 million volunteer hours globally to organizations working to advance racial equality and justice at the global, national, and local level. Half of this funding will be to organizations focused on closing the educational achievement gap for Black and minority students.

Open application process: No

Ohio

Greater Cincinnati Foundation

The Foundation has established the Fund for Racial Justice with an initial investment of $5M over five years. Grants will "advance justice and fairness" in the region. Application details are not yet available.

Open application process: Unknown

George Gund Foundation

The Gund Foundation seeks to address inequality and racial equity through all of its grantmaking, including funding for "growth and development opportunities for historically marginalized people," public policy advocacy, and programs that reduce barriers to opportunity through "collaborative economic and community development efforts, including advocacy for policy change."

Open application process: Yes

The Dayton Foundation

The Foundation announced the launch of its Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities, a collaboration of philanthropy, business, nonprofits, and government to "work together to create an equitable, age-friendly and livable community for all." Application details are not yet available.

Open application process: Yes

Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation

Dominion has pledged $5M over the next two years to support racial justice and community rebuilding efforts. Grants will also be designated to help minority-owned and small businesses experiencing disruptions in operations due to COVID-19. Applications are being accepted online.

Open application process: Yes

The Akron Community Foundation

The Foundation is expanding its Community Response Fund for Nonprofits to include diversity, equity and inclusion grants. This funding can include projects such as racial healing activities, solutions to race-related challenges, systems change to address racial inequalities, and storytelling initiatives to help understand marginalized experiences.

Open application process: Yes

Duke Energy

Duke Energy has pledged $1 million to nonprofit organizations committed to social justice and racial equity. The company will not accept applications but is seeking input from employees to identify opportunities and direct grants to their local communities.

Open application process: No

Illinois

Chicago Community Trust

As part of its Growing Household Wealth strategy, the Trust aims to support efforts to advance and protect corrective policies and systems reforms that address inequities in wealth creation for African American, Latinx, and other racial and ethnic populations that have been negatively impacted by discriminatory and racist policies and practices.

Open application process: No

Chicago Community Trust Pt.2 

To support our strategy of Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment, the Trust has issued an open call for ideas to bring financial capital to underinvested communities.

Open application process: Open since January - inquiries accepted

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Our Program Mission: Make Chicago a place where everyone feels safe, can thrive, and is treated fairly. Our goals: To create the conditions for a safe, peaceful, and more just city, the Community Justice Initiative focuses on three areas:

  • Reduce gun violence on the west and south sides of Chicago
  • Create positive connections for youth most vulnerable to exposure and engagement in violence
  • Reform the criminal justice system to improve public safety, reduce undue incarceration, and improve outcomes for justice-involved individuals and their communities

Open application process: Applications by invitation only: https://donate.mccormickfoundation.org/community-justice/apply-for-a-grant#LOI

Joyce Foundation

Issues of equity are at the core of our mission to improve quality of life, promote safe and healthy communities, and build a just society in the Great Lakes region. We focus specifically on advancing racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. We concentrate on initiatives that promise to have an impact across the region and/or within the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Open application process:Yes, the next deadline is August 5, 2020

Woods Fund Chicago

The Woods Fund is a bold grant maker that draws on the power of communities to fight the brutality of poverty and structural racism. Woods Fund Chicago seeks to help create a society where people of all racial and ethnic groups — across all levels of social and economic status — are empowered and have a voice to influence policies that impact their daily lives, and where all communities are free of poverty and racism. Woods Fund Chicago is not accepting LOIs for the 2020 fall grantmaking cycle as we are undergoing a strategic planning process.

Open application process: No

Indiana

The Indianapolis Foundation, Central Indiana Community Foundation, Hamilton County Community Foundation

These three funders have "committed our time, talents and resources to convene, educate and fund partners willing to confront the inequities in our communities" but have not announced the details on what this will mean for funding or other support.

Open application process: No

Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation

Dominion has pledged $5M over the next two years to support racial justice and community rebuilding efforts. Grants will also be designated to help minority-owned and small businesses experiencing disruptions in operations due to COVID-19. Applications are being accepted online.

Open application process: Yes

Anthem Foundation

Along with its Foundation, Anthem has announced a new $50M commitment to addressing racial injustice, health disparities, economic development, and job creation. Community building grants will focus on the Indianapolis region, with additional funding awarded elsewhere. The Anthem Foundation accepts applications year-round; no specific plans for racial justice grants have been announced.

Open application process: Yes

Eli Lilly Foundation

Lilly's corporate foundation has announced a $25 million commitment to "decrease the burden of racial injustice and its effects on local and national communities of color." The funding is intended to develop and support effective solutions to racial inequity and social injustice primarily in Indianapolis and its surrounding counties and will make grants to improve educational, health, criminal justice, and social mobility outcomes for people of color. Grant requests are currently not being accepted.

Open application process: No

Jrue and Lauren Holiday Fund

This new fund, created by NBA player Jrue Holiday, will support Black-led nonprofit organizations and city-wide initiatives that seek to "bring about equitable outcomes for Black and Brown Communities" in three cities, including Indianapolis. $1 million of the fund's $5 million is pledged to Indianapolis. 

Open application process: Yes - Applications are accepted online and due August 1st: https://www.jlhfund.org/nonprofit-grant-application

Kentucky

Community Foundation of Louisville

The Foundation is committed to use its resources and relationships to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is "exploring strategies to advance systems-level change." It has not announced the details on what this will mean for funding or other support.

Open application process: No

The Rockefeller Foundation

Louisville is one of 10 cities in the Foundation's Opportunity Collective, which "aims to catalyze public and private sector investment in places to promote more inclusive growth, both in the post-pandemic recovery and over the long term." The Collective will invest in projects that protect community residents from displacement and eliminating barriers to accessing capital and credit among low-wage workers and small businesses operated by women, black and Latinx owners. Application details are not yet available.

Open application process: No

Other Resources: 

The Racial Equity Institute

  • REI's Groundwater training provides training that helps individuals and organizations identify structural racism.

Harvard University's Project Implicit

  • Project Implicit provides a variety of tests that allow individuals to assess their own internal biases on race, gender, age, and other factors. Recognizing one's own biases can be a first step toward addressing them personally and in our work.

Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

  • The Initiative's Grantmaking With a Racial Justice Lens guide provides useful tools for funders that are interested in implementing structural changes that lead to racial equity.

Philanthropy Ohio's Putting Racism on the Table Series

  • This series helps philanthropists (including foundations) explore the role they can play in addressing racial inequity.

Visit our other emergency grant seeking resources:

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