The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to ensure fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need. We look for carefully defined points where our funds can make a difference in bringing about systemic changes that can improve the lives of countless people.
The Foundation has an endowment of $450 million and, in its 65 year history, has distributed over $500 million in grants to more than 4600 organizations. We are proud of the achievements of our grantees in a broad spectrum of worthy endeavors. Time and again, when an issue has appeared no larger than a dot on the horizon, Public Welfare Foundation grantees have been there, from educational television to environmental activism and advocacy against weapons proliferation.
As a mid-size foundation, we are keenly aware that we must target our finite resources at points where we believe, with some degree of confidence, that an infusion of energy, expertise and funds can make a decisive impact and lead to far-ranging reforms.
To that end, we now focus our grantmaking on three areas where we believe the Foundation’s grantmaking can serve as a catalyst for reforms that can make dramatic differences in the lives of countless Americans.
These areas are:
To bolster our grantees’ staying power and concentrate their energies on their work, the Foundation considers multi-year grants and grants of varying amounts.
We make a small number of grants under our Special Opportunities category reflecting the Foundation’s mission and underlying values, including its longstanding commitment to racial equity and justice. 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. Relatively few of these grants are given. The Foundation is unable to support unsolicited applications in this program area.
Under the Special Opportunities program, we have undertaken a time-limited Special Initiative (approved by the Board in 2011) to advance Civil Legal Aid for the Poor.
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.