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Building Bridges 2017-18 Grants Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Promote Understanding
Between Muslim and Non-Muslim Groups

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Doris Duke Charitable Foundation - Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (DDFIA)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/01/17 11:59 PM ET


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Grants starting at $25,000 to USA nonprofit organizations to plan and implement projects that engage non-Muslim and Muslim populations through arts and cultural experiences. LOIs are due September 8. The purpose of this program is to improve understanding and relationships between US-based populations. The program’s larger aim is to contribute toward a more just civil society and greater well-being among people.

Project Characteristics:

Proposed projects or programs should offer engaging, immersive and interactive experiences that may be conducted in collaboration with other organizations and are tailored to the needs and interests of the specific intended audience(s). There are many ways organizations might design, structure and implement programs or projects that engage U.S.-based Muslim and non-Muslim populations through literary-, media- and/or performing arts-based experiences to foster relationships and understanding between communities. Organizations are encouraged to draw upon their core capabilities, audience knowledge and resources in the creation of their proposals.

Competitive projects may include, but are not limited to:

-Development of new programs informed by past experience of successful artistic programming, including international programming;

-Expansion of existing programs that advance Building Bridges Grants Program goals.

Grantees will receive strategic communications support for the grant period from a Building Bridges-appointed consultant.

Projects must take place within the United States.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 143617

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants range in the amounts of $25,000 to $300,000.

Organizations that received a grant in the four previous funding cycles are eligible to apply again in this fifth cycle. However, if selected for funding again, cumulative grants may not exceed $300,000.

Nonprofit organizations with operating expense budgets greater than $100,000 and at least $25,000 in arts-related programming are eligible to apply as follows:

-Organizations with annual expense budgets between $100,000 and $500,000 may apply for grants of up to $125,000 or no more than 25 percent of the annual expense budget.

-Organizations with annual expense budgets greater than $500,000 may apply for grants up to $300,000 or no more than 25 percent of the annual expense budget.

Term of Contract:

Funded projects must have a start date between March 1, 2018 and December 1, 2018. Projects may take place over a period of one to three years from the start date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and publicly supported under IRC 509(a) or apply under a fiscal sponsor that has 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

Organizations may submit only one application in each grant-making round. Organizations that received a grant in the 2014-17 funding rounds are eligible to apply again in this round.

Organizations must have annual operating expenses greater than $100,000, of which at least $25,000 is dedicated to professional arts- or media arts-based programming. Organizations that do not meet the budget criteria may partner with another organization that does and can serve as the fiscal sponsor. Similarly, non-arts, social change-focused organizations may partner with arts organizations to apply and vice versa; however, only one organization may submit an application.

Organizations must have at least three years of professional experience producing or presenting literary-, media- and/or performing arts‐based programs.

Projects and Areas Not Funded
-Requests from individuals;
-The development, publication or distribution of books or reports;
-Initiatives based exclusively on scholarly research or scholarly presentations;
-Initiatives that focus solely on historical, as opposed to contemporary arts and cultures from Muslim-majority regions;
-Film production or distribution of a single film will generally not be competitive;
-Projects that support a performance by a single artist or single performance production will generally not be competitive;
-The program will not support direct costs for the development and installation of exhibitions. Public programs associated with exhibitions are eligible.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An online webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 for applicants invited to submit full proposals. These workshops will provide additional opportunities for applicants to learn more about the elements of the full proposals and ask any remaining questions they may have.

Pre-Application Information:

Grants may support up to 75 percent of the total program or project budget. The total grant requested may not exceed 25 percent of the organization’s annual expense budget.

Applicants must submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) by Friday, September 8, 2017, 11:59 PM ET.

Invitations to submit full proposals will be issued during the week of October 23, 2017 following review of the LOIs by a committee of experts.

The Full Proposal is due Friday, December 1, 2017, 11:59 PM ET.

Grants will be awarded in February 2018.


Goals and Strategies:

Applicants may wish to view the following video resources:

Informational Video:

Presentation by Andy Ackerman, Executive Director, Children’s Museum Manhattan (2013 and 2016 grantee):

Presentation by Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, Public Programs Director, PEN America (2016 grantee), audio only:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit a Letter of Intent online:

650 Fifth Avenue, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10019

P: (212) 974-7000
F: (212) 974-7590

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming