Racial Justice Grant Resource Center

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:

Upcoming Webinar: September 30, 2020 @ 12 PM ET

Check your labels: Race, gender, and power in grant writing

With special guest, Carlton Ford, author of “Careless labels like ‘underserved’ ignore the richness, diversity among Blacks,” which appeared in the Miami Herald.

Description: Grant writing requires making choices about language. How do the labels we choose either empower or disempower the individuals and groups our institutions serve? In a widely-circulated recent Op-Ed, nonprofit fundraiser Carlton Ford calls on us to find alternatives to terms like “underserved” and “underrepresented,” which can too often be our shorthand in grant proposals for talking about minority communities – but, Mr. Ford asks, “Whom do we serve by labeling an entire community as ‘under’ anything?” It’s time we examine and challenge the common tendency in grant writing to rely on ubiquitous phrases and careless jargon that fails to honor the complexity and diversity of people. Join our team at Grants Plus—and our special guest Mr. Ford—for a spirited exploration of language at the intersection of race and gender. Together we will discover new terminology that will uplift our grant writing and each other.

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. Application details and grant making cycles have not yet been announced, although the fund made an initial round of grants to pre-selected organizations.

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, but is working through at least one bank (Optus Bank of South Carolina) to distribute funds.

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

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced that it will now prioritize social justice in all of its grantmaking, and will focus on building “just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking where ideas and imagination can thrive" through a belief that “the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity.” Inquires are accepted at any time.

Open application process: Yes

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

Life Comes From It

This giving circle supports projects and collaborations from organizations working on restorative and transformative justice (including racial justice) and indigenous peacemaking. Grants range up to $25,000 and are generally one-time support. Applications are reviewed from August to December.

Open application process: Yes

Hewlett Foundation

The Foundation has announced that it will provide $18 million to organizations working on systemic racism, and especially anti-Black racism this year, and is currently developing a 10-year $150 million racial justice initiative. Details are yet to be announced but the imitative will seek to "provide sustained support to nonprofits that are committed to addressing racism and advancing racial justice."

Open application process: No

Girl Rising My Story Award

This program will award $500 grants to 15 winners who have shared their stories of how individuals, groups, and organizations are working to support racial justice, gender justice, or access to education. Stories can be about individuals or groups creating change, or about how change is happening in the community. Beyond the financial award, winners will be featured in the Girl Rising International Day of the Girl celebration in October 2020. Stories must be submitted by September 8th, 2020.

Open application process: Yes

Chronus Mentoring for Racial Equity Program

The company's Mentoring for Racial Equity Grant Program is providing a three-year mentoring software contract and a $7,500 grant to one organization each year with a mission centered around racial equity for Black, Indigenous, and/or other communities of color. This year's applications are due September 30th.

Open application process: Yes

Resist

Resist is a funder that supports "people's movements for justice and liberation" including anti-racism projects. Other funding areas include community organizing, economic justice, environmental protection, LGBTQ rights, labor organizing, and Native American organizing. Resist provides general operating funding grants of up to $4,000. Requests are reviewed four times per year, and the next deadline is December 4th.

Open application process: Yes

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, but the Foundation is open to funding inquires at any time.

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

Community Foundation of Lorain County

The Foundation's Racial Equity Fund seeks to support efforts to "strengthen relationships between marginalized communities and law enforcement with the goal to improve policing policies and procedures" or to "build the capacity of nonprofits and community organizations to bring about impactful measurable improvements in racial equity." The first round of submissions is due 10/1/2020.

Open application process: Yes

The Cleveland Foundation

The Cleveland Foundation's $2.5 million Black Futures Fund will invest in and strengthen Black-led and Black-serving social change organizations in Greater Cleveland. The Foundation will provide more information on application requirements and deadlines soon, and recommends subscribing to the Fund's email list for more information.

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 the Foundation's mission to improve quality of life, promote safe and healthy communities, and build a just society in the Great Lakes region, specifically focusing on advancing racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. Grantees should have an impact across the region and/or within the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The next submission deadline is December 2nd.

Open application process: Yes 

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

The Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund supports "organizations focused on having difficult conversations about Indiana’s and the Nation’s complicated past; building additional capacity within the nonprofit sector to address issues of inequality, in particular relating to the criminal justice system; and advancing effective, data-driven solutions at the local level." Applications are currently not being accepted.

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 funds $5 million is pledged to Indianapolis. Applications were due August 1st, and a future deadline has not been announced. https://www.jlhfund.org/nonprofit-grant-application.

Open application process: Yes 

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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