About Us


The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need.  These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change.

In its 70-year history, the Foundation has distributed more than $570 million in grants to more than 4,800 organizations. With current assets of more than $480 million, Public Welfare makes grants nationwide and focuses its grant making in some difficult, and often overlooked, social justice areas 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 that can be sustained over time.

Its main programs are Criminal Justice, Youth Justice, and Workers’ Rights.

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. To apply for a grant under the Special Opportunities Program, please submit a Letter of Inquiry

In 2018, the Foundation launched a time-limited focus on Race, Redemption and Restoration 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.

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