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
- Lansing, MI // 2022
Safe & Just MichiganSupport to advance policies to decrease prison population, increase public investment in services, and decrease collateral consequences of criminal convictions.Awarded$400,000Term24 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Washington, DC // 2021
The Sentencing ProjectSupport for advocacy work in DC and Michigan.Awarded$100,000Term12 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Lansing, MI // 2021
Safe & Just MichiganSupport to Nation Outside, a statewide grassroots organization led by formerly incarcerated people.Awarded$100,000Term24 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Detroit, MI // 2021
Mothering JusticeSupport for Michigan Liberation Education Fund to increase the leadership of formerly incarcerated people in Michigan.Awarded$100,000Term24 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Kalamazoo, MI // 2021
Western Michigan University FoundationSupport for the Lewis Walker Institute to develop an advocacy and organizing training program for system-impacted youth in Michigan.Awarded$100,000Term12 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Ann Arbor, MI // 2021
Regents of the University of MichiganSupport for Michigan Radio to expand adult and youth justice reporting in Michigan.Awarded$100,000Term12 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Detroit, MI // 2021
Community Foundation for Southeast MichiganSupport for the Michigan Justice Fund, an initiative to coordinate justice reform efforts in Michigan.Awarded$1,000,000Term24 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- Detroit, MI // 2020
Detroit Justice CenterGeneral support to reform and reimagine the justice systems in Detroit and Michigan.Awarded$300,000Term24 monthsProgramJustice Reform
- 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