Grants

Investing in nonprofits that are advancing a new, transformative system of justice with the core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all.

Grants Overview


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.

Grants Awarded

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.

  • Washington, DC // 2020

    School Justice Project

    Support for policy advocacy efforts to promote decarceration, increase community-based alternatives to incarceration, and improve conditions of confinement for DC’s incarcerated young adults.
    Awarded
    $100,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Justice Reform
  • San Francisco, CA // 2020

    American University

    Support to the DCist to pursue community led reporting on criminal justice-related stories in D.C. wards east of the river grappling with incarceration and violence.
    Awarded
    $50,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Justice Reform
  • Washington, DC // 2020

    DC Justice Lab

    Support for research, coalition building, elevating the voices of those with lived experience, and policy advocacy to advance justice reform in the District. 
    Awarded
    $200,000
    Term
    24 months
    Program
    Justice Reform
  • Washington, DC // 2020

    Voices for a Second Chance

    Support for coalition-building expansion efforts to advance structural change in the District of Columbia’s criminal justice system.
    Awarded
    $200,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Justice Reform
  • Washington, DC // 2020

    Greater Washington Community Foundation

    Support for DC Fund for Just and Peaceful Neighborhoods.
    Awarded
    $200,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Justice Reform
  • Washington, DC // 2020

    Free Minds Book Club

    Support for the Book Club & Writing Workshops, and Emerging Leaders: On the Same Page, an initiative providing restorative, community-focused efforts to formerly incarcerated young adults in DC.
    Awarded
    $100,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Special Opportunities
  • Washington, DC // 2020

    Voices for a Second Chance

    Support for COVID-19 response efforts.
    Awarded
    $50,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Special Opportunities
  • Oakland, CA // 2020

    National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

    Support for policy and technical assistance for D.C.'s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Project.
    Awarded
    $150,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Special Opportunities
  • Washington, DC // 2020

    Greater Washington Community Foundation

    Support for COVID-19 response efforts.
    Awarded
    $100,000
    Term
    12 months
    Program
    Special Opportunities
  • Calabasas, CA //

    Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs

    Support to Women Involved in Reentry Efforts to mobilize formerly incarcerated women to lead criminal justice reform efforts in Washington, D.C.
    Awarded
    $25,000
    Term
    6 months
    Program
    Special Opportunities