Public Welfare

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Accordion - Process

  • Due to the high volume of requests, please allow at minimum 24 hours for a response.
  • We strongly encourage sending email requests for dates at least five weeks in advance of the desired date.
  • Please note the Foundation does not accept request forms that are not completed in full detail.

  • We’ll send you a Space Request Form if your requested date is available.
  • Fill out the Space Request Form and return it at least one month in advance of the requested date.

  • If approved, we’ll send an email acknowledgement that includes a request for your required documentation. Please send us the required documentation via email to spacerental@publicwelfare.org.
  • The required documentation includes:
    • A copy of the signed agreement
    • A copy of the organization’s 501(c)3 certification letter to waive rental fee
    • A check for any applicable fees (fees are only assessed to non-501(c)3 holders)
    • A Certificate of Insurance. The Certificate of Insurance must meet the Foundation’s requirements. For instructions on how to properly complete a Certificate of Insurance for an event at the True Reformer Building, please go here.
    • Government agencies must submit a “Statement of Self Insurance,” which can be acquired through the DC Office of Risk Management. This “Statement of Self Insurance” serves as a rental fee waiver and as a Certificate of Insurance.

  • Once we receive and approve the Required Documentation, we’ll issue a Space Agreement outlining the details and requirements for your use of the True Reformer Building space.
    • The Space Agreement may include costs associated with your event.
  • Please sign the Space Agreement and return it to Public Welfare Foundation, along with any additional required documentation or payment by the specified deadline.
    • Reservation dates are only complete once an agreement has been countersigned by the Foundation.

Email Signup

Grantee Spotlight

Advancing Sentencing Reform

Safe and Just Michigan

Working to reduce the harm caused by both crime and incarceration. They advance evidence-based reforms that improve public safety and eliminate unnecessary corrections spending.

American Friends Services Committee

Focusing exclusively on ending mass incarceration and reducing the number of people in Arizona prisons. Through research, documentation, media work, coalition building, and policy advocacy, AFSC-AZ challenges criminalization, opposes prison expansion, advocates for sentencing policy change, and works to shift public opinion from punitive and retributive approaches to crime towards a discussion of root causes, best practices, and inclusive and healing justice.

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Advancing a New Vision of Justice


For over seventy years, Public Welfare Foundation has supported efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. Today, our efforts focus on catalyzing a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just through investments in criminal justice and youth justice reforms. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being and fundamental fairness for all.

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Investing in Criminal Justice & Youth Justice Reforms


We look for strategic points where our funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change for those impacted by the justice system. We operationalize our investments in target locations, working with communities to drive transformation from multiple angles including policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, leadership development, and demonstration projects. We also prioritize investing in the leadership of those most proximate to the issues facing this nation, not because it is novel, but because it is necessary.

Statistics

The Incarceration Crisis

It is time to boldly reimagine our nation’s approach to criminal justice.

Number of people released from America’s state and federal prisons every week

People sitting in our nation’s jails and prisons

Children with incarcerated parents

People with prior felony convictions

People with a criminal record in the US

Amount lost in annual Gross Domestic Product

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Developing Alternatives that Empower Youth to Succeed

Today across the United States, thousands of children – disproportionately youth of color – languish in locked facilities. It is a sober reminder that our nation continues to choose to warehouse our most valuable asset: our children.

Children are too often referred to a punitive criminal justice system for misbehaviors that would more appropriately be handled within families, schools and communities. Despite research showing that incarceration leads to high youth recidivism rates, as well as poor education, employment, and health outcomes, prosecutors and the courts often fail to use alternatives to incarceration that have been shown to be more effective at rehabilitating young people. Youth of color are disproportionately likely to suffer the harms of these failed policies and practices.

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America’s Crisis of Incarceration

It’s time to catalyze a transformative approach to justice.

Charles Edward Marsh founded the Public Welfare Foundation in 1947 with an intentionally vague name to give the Foundation the ability to evolve with time. For more than 70 years, Public Welfare Foundation has adapted to meet the challenges of changing times through its mission – to advance justice and opportunity for people in need.

With over 2.3 million people in America’s jails and prisons, another 18 million with a felony conviction, and an estimated 70 million people with criminal justice contact, the scale and severity of the nation’s criminal justice system is a uniquely American problem unmatched by any other developed nation. At this critical moment in history, Public Welfare Foundation is focusing on catalyzing a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just.

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How to Book the True Reformer Building

Overview

We share our space with the nonprofit community who are looking for event spaces at low or no cost. That said, there are some logistical costs – such as catering and use of AV – that may apply for nonprofits depending on the organization’s needs, such as catering and AV support. Individuals or for-profit organizations may rent the space for four hours at a total cost of $250 per event space, or for eight hours at a total cost of $500 per event space.

Event space can be reserved Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. These times are fixed and reflect both the earliest and latest times a group is permitted to occupy the space. Please allow for setup and breakdown times when calculating space reservation time periods. If you would like to visit the space, please email spacerental@publicwelfare.org to schedule a walkthrough.

Process

  1. Complete and submit the online request form.
    1. Due to the high volume of requests, please allow at minimum 24 hours for a response.
    2. We strongly encourage sending email requests for dates at least five weeks in advance of the desired date.
    3. Please note the Foundation does not accept request forms that are not completed in full detail.
  2. We’ll send you a Space Request Form if your requested date is available. Fill out the Space Request Form and return it at least one month in advance of the requested date.
    1. The Space Request Form includes details on room reconfiguration and Catering, A/V needs.
  3. If approved, we’ll send an email acknowledgement that includes a request for your required documentation. Please send us the required documentation via email to spacerental@publicwelfare.org.
    1. The required documentation includes:
      1. A copy of the signed agreement
      2. A copy of the organization’s 501(c)3 certification letter to waive rental fee
      3. A Certificate of Insurance. The Certificate of Insurance must meet the Foundation’s requirements. For instructions on how to properly complete a Certificate of Insurance for an event at the True Reformer Building, please click here.
      4. A check for any applicable fees (fees are only assessed to non 501(c)3 holders)
      5. Government agencies must submit a “Statement of Self Insurance,” which can be acquired through the DC Office of Risk Management. This “Statement of Self Insurance” serves as a rental fee waiver and as a Certificate of Insurance.
  4. Once we receive and approved the Required Documentation, we’ll issue a Space Agreement outlining the details and requirements for your use of the True Reformer Building space.
    1. The Space Agreement may include costs associated with your event.
  5. Please sign the Space Agreement and return it to Public Welfare Foundation, along with any additional required documentation or payment by the specified deadline.
    1. Reservation dates are only complete once an agreement has been countersigned by the Foundation.

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Focus Areas for DC Grantmaking:

The Foundation will apply the learnings from the DC program to develop an ecosystem model that can then be used as a framework in other parts of the country.

  • Building a coalition of partners to shape and implement an agenda that reimagines what is possible for youth and young adults who come in contact with the justice system.
  • Investing in community-centered models of support that reflect the needs and dreams of young people and their families.
  • Increasing capacity among proximate organizations in the most affected neighborhoods.

To view a list of grantees, visit www.publicwelfare.org/grants and select Local: District of Columbia in the Topics dropdown menu of the grants database.

Timeline

Timeline

1947

PWF Incorporates

Public Welfare Foundation incorporates in the State of Texas.

1948

PWF Makes 1st Grant

Grant is for 28 sewing machines for an organization of Jamaican women so that children could be clothed and sent to school.

1949

PWF Gains Tax Exempt Status

Charles Marsh’s protégé, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, conveys the news that the foundation is officially tax exempt.

1951

PWF is Reincorporated

Public Welfare Foundation reincorporates as a nonprofit in the state of Delaware.

 

1964

Charles Marsh Dies

PWF Founder Charles Marsh Dies.

1982

Grantee Spotlight: PWF Supports Those With Incarcerated Loved Ones

Matthew 25:36 House helps families and friends of prisoners at Washington State Prison in a variety of ways in Monroe, Washington.

1983

Grantee Spotlight: PWF Invests in DC

The Family Place assists young, low-income, inner city parents and their children in Washington, DC.

1988

Grantee Spotlight: PWF Supports Alternatives to Incarceration

Associated Marine Institutes provides an alternative to incarceration for youth, including marine and earth sciences, seamanship, aquatics, physical education, ad academic, and vocational education programming.

1989

Grantee Spotlight: PWF Supports Investing in Reentry Services

The Linking Offenders and Neighborhoods of the Rehab Project in Ohio, a grantee of PWF, trains incarcerated women in construction skills, while providing housing renovation in the community.

1999

PWF Purchases the True Reformer Building

PWF hires architecture firm of Sorg & Associates designed a renovation to preserve the character of the building while adapting the building for use as the Foundation’s headquarters.

2018

PWF Launches Race, Redemption and Restoration Initiative

PWF launches a focus on Race, Redemption, and Restoration under the Special Opportunities program.

2019

PWF Announces New Strategic Framework

Public Welfare Foundation announces a deepened focus on Criminal and Youth Justice reforms.