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Social Justice Fund

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits
for Grassroots Efforts to Promote Social Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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A.J. Muste Memorial Institute

Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA, Canada, and International nonprofit organizations for grassroots projects that promote social justice around the world. Applicants must submit a preliminary application in advance of a full proposal. Priority will be given to projects with small budgets that lack access to mainstream sources of funding.

Particular interest is given to funding efforts to:
- End the violence of borders and the criminalization of immigrants
- Abolish the death penalty, shut down the prison industrial complex, redefine criminal justice
- Confront institutionalized repression against racial, ethnic, gender-based, and LGBTQ communities
- Support progressive workers movements and the eradication of poverty
- Dismantle the war machine, end state-sponsored terrorism, expose the dangers of nuclear power

The Muste Institute's Social Justice Fund considers proposals:
- For new and ongoing projects or campaigns, or efforts to expand existing work
- For capacity building, leadership development, and resource sustainability
- For projects with expense budgets under $50,000

Due to administrative challenges, the Muste Institute is suspending its Social Justice Fund grants to international organizations for the remainder of 2019 and until further notice. New information will be posted once the situation is resolved. Thank you for your patience.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144400

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Social Justice Fund makes grants for grassroots activist projects in the US and around the world, giving priority to those with small budgets and little access to more mainstream funding sources.

The Muste Institute's Social Justice Fund considers proposals:
- From grassroots organizations with annual expenses of less than $500,000
- From groups with limited access to more mainstream funding sources
- From groups with or without 501(c)3 status or a fiscal sponsor*
- From groups which have not received Social Justice Fund grants in at least two years**

The Social Justice Fund’s priority is to support:
- Direct grassroots activism and organizing
- Groups with diverse, representative and democratic leadership structures
- Groups that have or can obtain sufficient economic and in-kind support to carry out their regular work, but need additional support to carry out a project or build capacity

Although the Fund values the work, it does not consider grant proposals for the following:
- General support of ongoing operations
- Individual efforts or scholarships
- Schools or universities; academic or research projects
- Organizations with access to government, corporate or mainstream charitable funding
- Art, theater, film or video projects that are not directly tied to activism or organizing
- Economic development projects
- Capital campaigns or expenses
- Direct social services
- Legal defense or litigation
- Lobbying or electoral campaigns
- Projects geared toward participants' personal improvement or business success
- Conflict resolution or violence reduction projects, unless they directly promote activism
- Projects that will have already taken place by the time the grant is received

* The Social Justice Fund only requires a fiscal sponsor if the group receiving the grant does not have its own bank accounts we cannot issue checks to individuals. If you cannot receive a grant check made out to the name of your organization, you will need a fiscal sponsor.

** The Social Justice and will not accept a new request from a previously funded group for two
years after a grant. If you are unsure about when you will qualify, check in with the office
before applying.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants should not submit a proposal to the Social Justice Fund unless they receive a response to their preliminary application.

2019 Application Deadlines (all Mondays):
July 8, 2019 (for September 12 decisions)
Oct. 14, 2019 (for December 7 decisions)

If your proposal is selected, you should expect a call or email from one of the grants researchers with any questions they might have. Final decisions on full proposals are expected about 10 weeks after the deadline date.

Grant Guidelines:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To begin an application:

AJ Muste Institute Memorial Institute
168 Canal Street, 6th Floor
New York, New York 10013


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.