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
- Ann Arbor, MI // 2020
Michigan Center for Youth JusticeSupport to advance youth decarceration and reform Michigan’s youth justice system.Awarded$415,000Term24 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- San Jose, CA // 2020
Silicon Valley De-BugSupport to build and support participatory defense hubs in Michigan.Awarded$145,000Term18 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- New Orleans, LA // 2020
Loyola University New OrleansSupport to Loyola University's College of Law for a data landscape analysis on Louisiana’s adult and youth justice systems.Awarded$60,000Term6 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- New York, NY // 2020
Columbia UniversitySupport to the Justice Lab for technical assistance to Milwaukee’s juvenile justice system leaders to end Milwaukee’s use of state custody for youth.Awarded$150,000Term12 monthsProgramYouth Justice
- Madison, WI // 2020
University of Wisconsin FoundationSupport to the UW Justice Lab for a data landscape analysis on Milwaukee’s adult and youth justice systems and public safety efforts.Awarded$71,000Term12 monthsProgramSpecial Opportunities
- Detroit, MI // 2020
Wayne State UniversitySupport to the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice for a data landscape report on Michigan's adult and youth justice systems.Awarded$75,000Term12 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Athens, GA // 2020
University of Georgia FoundationSupport to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government for a data landscape report on Georgia's adult and youth justice systems.Awarded$75,000Term12 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Santa Barbara, CA // 2020
Latino Coalition for Community LeadershipSupport to assist community reinvestment partners strengthen organizational capacity and to commission a landscape analysis on Colorado’s justice systems.Awarded$175,000Term12 monthsProgramCriminal Justice
- Ocean Springs, MS // 2020
Mississippi Rising CoalitionSupport for Mississippi Prison Reform Coalition to end mass incarceration and lead efforts to build a more just and humane system in Mississippi.Awarded$100,000Term24 monthsProgramSpecial Opportunities
- New Orleans, LA // 2020
Promise of Justice InitiativeSupport for Participatory Defense Movement in New Orleans.Awarded$95,000Term12 monthsProgramYouth Justice