The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy change and system reform.
In its 65-year history, the Foundation has distributed more than $530 million in grants to more than 4,700 organizations. With current assets of $500 million, Public Welfare focuses its grant making where it believes it can serve as a catalyst for reform.
To bolster grantees' staying power, the Foundation often gives multi-year and general support grants. In its program areas, the Foundation clusters grants under targeted strategies to achieve longer term goals and to create lasting change.
Its main programs are Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, and Workers' Rights, with a special initiative on Civil Legal Aid for the poor.
A small number of grants are provided under the Special Opportunities category, reflecting the foundation’s mission and underlying values. These are one-time only grants that are especially timely and compelling. At times, this kind of grant serves as a laboratory for new ideas. The foundation is unable to support unsolicited applications in this program area.
In 2011, the Board approved a time-limited Special Initiative to advance Civil Legal Aid for the Poor under the Special Opportunities program.
The President’s Discretionary Fund offers very small grants to advance the foundation’s mission. Relatively few of these grants are given. The foundation is unable to support unsolicited applications in this program area.
The foundation does not fund individuals, scholarships, direct services, or international projects.