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Community Organizing Grant

Grants to USA, Mexico, and Haiti
Nonprofits to Promote Social Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Peace Development Fund (PDF)

Deadline Date:

12/28/18 5:00 PM PST


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Grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to USA and territories, Mexico, and Haiti nonprofit community-centric organizations to promote social justice. The following funding priorities have been identified by the Funding Source: building movements toward social change, organizing to shift power, creating new structures, and dismantling oppression.

The Foundation believes that the change in values needed to establish a more just and peaceful world can come about only if it is strongly rooted in local communities that value the importance of building movements to create systemic social change. These are communities that view everyone, especially young people, as a vital force in the transformation of society. The Foundation recognizes young people’s ability to reshape society, not only politically, but also spiritually and culturally.

The Peace Development Fund is committed to supporting organizations and projects that recognize that peace will never be sustained unless it is based on justice and an appreciation of both the diversity and unity of the human family. The Foundation understands peace to be a consequence of equitable relationships - with fellow human beings and with the natural environment.

Funding Priorities

Organizing to Shift Power:
-Groups that are creating a power base that can hold leaders accountable to the people who are affected by their decisions.
-Groups that let their membership or constituents take the lead in collective action-planning and decision-making.
-Groups whose leadership comes directly from the people who are most affected by the issues you are organizing around.

Working to Build a Movement:
-Groups that organize in the local community, but make connections between local issues and a broader need for systemic change.
-Groups that provide a space for members to develop their political analyses at the same time as taking action for change.
-Groups that break down barriers within the progressive movement, by building strategic alliances between groups of different cultural or class backgrounds or different issue areas.
-Groups that explore the root causes of injustice and have a long-term vision for the kind of social change they are working for.

Dismantling Oppression:
-Groups and projects that are proactively engaged in a process of dismantling oppression, confronting privilege and challenging institutional structures that perpetuate oppression (both internal and external to the organization).
-Groups that are proactively making connections between the different forms of oppression (racism, heterosexism, sexism, ageism, classism, ableism, etc.), and its connections with injustice.

Creating New Structures:
-Groups that have alternative organizational structures that allow power to flow “from the bottom up.”
-Efforts to create new, community-based alternative systems and structures (economic, political, cultural, religious, etc.) that are liberating, democratic, and environmentally sustainable and which promote healthy, sustainable communities.

Other Funding Priorities:
-New or emerging organizations;
-Efforts that have difficulty securing funds from other sources;
-Community organizations working on climate change issues at the local policy level;
-Groups that have a genesis in Occupy, Me Too, or Movement for Black Lives;
-Collaborative peace initiatives led by women; or
- Issues that are not yet recognized by progressive funders.

General Support vs. Project Support:

The majority of grants awarded by PDF are for general support. The Foundation believes that the people on the ground know how best to spend the money. However, if an organization’s mission is not within PDF’s priorities but the organization has a program or project that is within the priorities, i.e. if the organization is a direct service organization, but has an organizing component, then the Foundation would recommend that groups apply for a specific program or project.

The Foundation recommends that groups request the full amount that the organization needs, since the grant size may be reduced from your initial request. Grant size may be determined by using the following criteria:
-Financial need and access to other sources
-Resources available to PDF Numbers of proposals received
-Current PDF funding priorities

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176939

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Grant Range: $2,500 - $10,000
-Average Grant: $5,000

Term of Contract:

PDF typically does not provide multi-year grants or commitments. PDF grants are one-time grants without any guarantee of renewal. If a group has received three, sequential Community Organizing Grants, they must wait at least two years before receiving another grant from this fund.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

It is not necessary to have tax-exempt status to apply for a PDF grant. However, all funds provided by the Peace Development Fund must be used only to support activities that further the exempt purposes and activities of PDF, and grant recipients must submit reports to PDF as required by the grant contract.

Not Funded:
-Programs with a primary geographic focus outside of the United States, U.S. Territories, Mexico and Haiti. If an organization is U.S.-based but works mostly outside of these areas, it should consider filling out an LOI for a Donor Advised Fund grant, which are reviewed on a rolling basis.
-Social services that are not linked to a clear organizing strategy. (PDF does fund organizations whose organizing work has a social service component.)
-Individuals, or organizations with strong leadership from only one individual.
-Conferences and other one-time events.
-Audio-visual productions and distribution - TV, radio, publications, films, etc. (PDF does fund media work or audio-visual production as part of the general expenses of groups engaged in grassroots organizing).
-Research that is not directly linked to an organizing strategy (PDF does fund research as part of the general expenses of groups engaged in grassroots organizing).
-Academic institutions and scholarships.
-Other grantmaking organizations (unless they are your fiscal sponsor).
-Organizations with budgets larger than $250,000.
- Lobbying activities.

The Board will not approve funding for a project that has already been completed or is nearly over by the time the grant award is considered. Applicants should keep this in mind when describing their programs.

Pre-Application Information:

PDF’s 2019 Community Organizing Grant cycle will open on November 30, 2018. At that time, you may access an online portal from a link on the Foundation's website to complete your application. Applications are due December 28, 2018 at 5:00 PM PST.

PDF will not consider applications that are received more than 60 days before any given deadline. Applications must be submitted online no later than 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time on the day of the deadline. If the deadline falls on a weekend or public holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next business day.

Community Organizing Grants are reviewed by a Screening Committee, who decides which applications will be invited into the grantmaking docket. This decision is generally made within six weeks of the deadline, and all applicants will receive a notice at this time regarding the decision.

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Ciara Crowley, Foundation Associate
413-256-8306 x102

Peace Development Fund
P.O. Box 40250
San Francisco, CA 94140-0250


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

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.