Racial Justice Grants for Confronting Structural Inequality

To meaningfully advance racial equity, funders and nonprofits alike must address the systemic racism that is the cause of inequality and injustice. In the midst of protests and calls for reform following the death of George Floyd and countless others, many funders are making grants to organizations tackling structural equality nationally, regionally, and locally. 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:

Topic: Securing Racial Justice Grants

Date: Wednesday, July 15

Time: 12-12:30 PM ET/ 9-9:30 AM PT

Description: A growing number of foundations are making grants to address the systemic racism that is the root cause of inequality and injustice. How can your organization find these funding opportunities and make the most compelling case for your work to advance racial equity? How can you make sure your grant proposals reflect your commitment to racial equality? Join Grants Plus to learn how funders are supporting this work, what they expect of grantees, and how your organization can be part of the solution

This listing includes responsive grant programs open nationally and in states with the largest concentration of Grants Plus client organizations: Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Please contact us if your state is not represented and you are seeking help to find grant funding opportunities.

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 imitative, 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

Through its Democratic Participation priority, Open Society focuses on strategies that increase access to voting and civic participation for African American communities. The Foundations' grants are largely staff-directed, and there is no application process.

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. Application details are not yet available.

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.

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

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

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

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

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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