The Public Welfare Foundation has a two-step application process that includes both a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and a full proposal. We invite full proposals after reviewing letters of inquiry. We only consider full proposals we have invited that fit within the program guidelines and available resources.
Current focus areas include:
- Organizations developing innovative, transformative approaches to youth and adult criminal justice reform in: Oklahoma; Michigan; Georgia; Colorado; Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Washington, DC.
- Until We are All Free: Dismantling the structures that have caused generations of harm to people of color in the United States; local community members of color that build cross racial solidarity and community power; and/or communities who bear the brunt of the mass incarceration crisis and advance efforts to reinvest back into those communities.
- Organizations and projects focused on investing in community-based solutions that reduce the over-reliance on mass incarceration
- Reframing the narrative and fostering greater transparency and urgency around the U.S. criminal justice system through storytelling, journalism and other targeted efforts.
How to apply:
- Step 1: Submit a LOI.
- Step 2: If invited, submit a full proposal.
Submit a Letter of Inquiry
We accept inquiries throughout the year. Letters of Inquiry are accepted on a rolling basis. Please note that the Foundation does not fund individuals, scholarships, or international projects. Organizations applying for funding must hold a 501c3 IRS status. Organizations that do not have this status may apply with a fiscal sponsor. Please visit and review the Foundation’s grant areas before submitting an LOI.
Applicants must submit letters of inquiry through the Foundation’s online application system. Letters of inquiry that are not submitted through the online application system will not be considered.
Letter of Inquiry Content Guide
Each letter of inquiry should include the following information:
- The organization’s official name and contact information
- A proposal title
- Total organization budget
- Request amount
- A narrative description (4,500 characters or less) of your organization and work proposed, which should include the following: a) your organization’s mission and work; b) the problem(s) to be addressed by the proposal; c) the work to be performed; and d) the specific goals sought.
Please email email@example.com for any other questions about applying that are not answered here.