Apply for a Grant

Grants Process

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 and projects with a focus on structural and systemic changes in the U.S. criminal justice system. The Foundation does not typically fund direct service work (ex. individual support services, case management). However, the Foundation will consider initiatives that aim to further a demonstration project to make the case for non-carceral alternatives and transformative approaches to justice reform.
  • Organizations developing innovative, transformative approaches to youth and adult criminal justice reform with an eye toward supporting impacted leaders in: Oklahoma; Michigan; Georgia; Colorado; Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Tennessee, and Washington, DC.
  • Organizations, projects, or special initiatives with a focus on reducing harm and violence using community-centered interventions.
  • Reframing the narrative and fostering greater transparency and urgency around the U.S. criminal justice system through storytelling, journalism and other targeted efforts.

  • Access our grants management system here.
  • If you are first-time user click “create an account” under the Sign In portal. Follow the prompts to create an account.
  • If you have started an LOI or proposal and wish to return to it, log into our grants management system here. This will take you to your account homepage where you can access all LOIs and/or proposals you have created using the system.
  • Please note that Google Chrome is the preferred web browser to complete an LOI. If you are having issues signing in, please email

  • The Letter of Inquiry should contain facts and figures about the organization, describe its mission, and explain the purpose of the request, including the Foundation program under which a grant is being requested. For more information, visit the LOI Content Guide.

  • Once a Letter of Inquiry arrives at the Foundation, our staff determines whether the proposed project fits the Foundation’s funding guidelines and available resources.
  • Our staff responds to letters of inquiry within 60 business days.

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.

Additional Questions?

Please email for any other questions about applying that are not answered here.