Public Welfare Foundation awards grants to nonprofits that 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.
The Foundation funds organizations that currently hold a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service working in the United States. Organizations that do not have this status can apply with a fiscal sponsor. The Foundation does not fund individuals, scholarships, direct services, or international projects.
Grant Types: How We Fund the Work
General Support Grants
General support grants are for day-to-day operating costs or to further the work of your organization. These grants are not earmarked for a particular program or project.
Program or Project Support Grants
Program or project support grants support a specific program or activity of the organization. These are restricted grants and must be used for that program or project.
Special Opportunities Grants
The Special Opportunities Program supports projects 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.
Public Welfare Foundation awards grants throughout the year. Please see our database below to see what we have funded. Filter grants by fiscal year and program area.
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- Closing Youth Prisons
- Community Reinvestment
- Criminal Justice
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Legacy Initiatives
- Local: District of Columbia
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Narrative Change
- President's Discretionary Fund
- Race, Redemption, and Restoration
- Racial Disparities
- Raising the Age
- Restorative Justice
- Sentencing Reform
- Special Initiative: Civil Legal Aid
- Special Opportunities
- Workers’ Rights
- Youth Justice
- Durham, NC // 2021
Forward JusticeSupport to advance narrative change strategies to usher a cultural shift that humanizes justice-involved people.Awarded$200,000Term12 monthsProgramSpecial Opportunities
- Charlotte, NC // 2020
Center for Death Penalty LitigationSupport to Wren Collective for a landscape analysis on indigent defense.Awarded$26,250Term6 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Atlanta, GA // 2019
Alternate Roots Inc.Support for SpiritHouse, an organization that uses culture, art and media to support the empowerment and transformation of communities most impacted by poverty, racism, gender inequity, criminalization and mass incarceration in North Carolina.Awarded$45,000Term12 monthsProgramYouth Justice
- Goldsboro, NC // 2018
Repairers of the BreachForward Justice to advance community-based justice reinvestment strategies, in partnership with system-impacted leaders in North Carolina.Awarded$200,000Term12 monthsProgramSpecial Opportunities
- Durham, NC // 2017
MDC, Inc.General support to assist with MDC Inc.'s 50th Anniversary Capacity Building Initiative.Awarded$25,000Term12 monthsProgramSpecial Opportunities
- Durham, NC // 2016
Southern Coalition for Social JusticeSupport for the Youth Justice Project.Awarded$100,000Term24 monthsProgramYouth Justice
- Carrboro, NC // 2013
National Health Law ProgramSupport to provide research and expert technical assistance in support of the development of a model pretrial program to divert pretrial defendants from incarceration using behavioral health treatment services available through the Affordable Care Act.Awarded$25,000Term12 monthsProgramCriminal Justice
- Raleigh, NC // 2013
NC ChildSupport for a campaign to end the automatic adult prosecution of 16- and 17-year olds and work to expand evidence-based alternatives to youth incarceration.Awarded$85,200Term12 monthsProgramYouth Justice
- Charlotte, NC // 2014
Grassroots LeadershipSupport to explore opportunities for reducing federal prison populations and racial disparities by decreasing criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses in border states.Awarded$100,000Term24 monthsProgramCriminal Justice