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Pillars Fund

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Schools, and Religious Centers
to Strengthen and Build the American Muslim Community

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to USA nonprofits, religious centers, mosques, and schools for efforts to build and strengthen the American Muslim community. Eligible proposals are those that address the areas of civil and human rights, community wellness, understanding, and building strong leadership and institutions.

Pillars invests in opportunities to elevate and amplify the leadership and talents of American Muslims in civil society. Through its funding programs, campaigns, and initiatives, Pillar supports a vibrant and growing nonprofit sector, which has been under immense pressure to protect and defend against imminent threats to the lives and livelihoods of American Muslims. Since 2010, Pillars has been committed to harnessing collective resources to serve its own communities and contribute broadly to the world around us.

Pillar helps community members invest in opportunities for American Muslims to engage in civil society, the media, and in the realm of public discourse. Pillar partners with organizations who are driven by and accountable to the communities they serve and those who take intersectional approaches that lead with inquiry, bridge-building, and innovation.

The community infrastructure fund makes grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to advance the following priorities:

Rights: Pillar supports social and policy change efforts that allow American Muslims to live and thrive with dignity and that protect and expand the human and civil rights of us all. This includes but is not limited to:

Opportunity and accessibility
- Grassroots organizing and activism rooted in American Muslim community and priorities
- Local, state, and federal policy advocacy
- Eradicating inequity/injustice
- Awareness and advocacy to increase accessibility to public spaces and civic participation

Civic participation and engagement
- Non-partisan outreach and political accountability
- Get out the vote campaigns
- Know Your Rights trainings
- Public forums and debate

Counteracting bias, discrimination, hate speech and violence
- Tracking and documenting incidents and purveyors of anti-Muslim discrimination
- Awareness and solidarity campaigns to challenge bigotry and discrimination

Wellness: Pillar supports the growth and nurturing of whole, healthy American Muslim communities that are equipped to serve those nearest to them and society at-large. This includes but is not limited to:

Healthy individuals
- Spiritual growth and religious education
- Mental and behavioral health education and support
- Access to other medical care and basic needs

Healthy communities
- Institution building
- Community development initiatives
- Campaigns to expand food access and protect the environment

Intra-community relations
- Physical and virtual space for difficult but important community conversations
- Educational and learning opportunities

Understanding: Pillar supports a range of approaches to amplify American Muslim voices, create a deeper understanding of American Muslims and American society, and encourage people to learn more and take action. This includes but is not limited to:

Arts, Media, and Culture
- Visual, literary, performing, and multidisciplinary arts designed to inspire social change
- Innovative approaches to news media outreach and engagement

- Inquiry and data cultivation that informs strategy and solutions
- Increased public awareness of major issues and findings
- Scholarship and thought-leadership on critical social issues

- Interfaith and inter-community alliance building
- Seminarian/chaplain enrichment

Strong Leadership and Institutions: Pillar recognizes that leadership development and strong institutions are key to advancing rights, nurturing wellness, and expanding understanding. In addition to investing in those key areas, Pillar invests in leadership development and institutions to strengthen the American Muslim civic engagement community as a whole. This includes but is not limited to:

Leadership development
- Unique opportunities for American Muslims to expand individual capacity to lead and serve others
- Programs tailored to underserved and/or underrepresented segments of community

- Intra-community and inter-community meetings and retreats to set priorities, advance strategy, and strengthen networking around critical social and community issues

Skill-building opportunities
- Media trainings
- Nonprofit 101 courses
- Webinars

Capacity building
- Strategic planning
- General operating funds

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183746

Estimated Size of Grant:

Typical Pillars grants range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Pillars generally awards grants to nonprofit organizations working in or closely alongside Muslim communities in the United States. Prospective grantees must have 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status.

While the building or maintenance of mosques, religious centers, or schools is not funded, Pillars grants may be used to support programs based in those institutions.

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates for 2018-19 Consideration:

- January 1: Accepting LOIs on a rolling basis.
- July 20: LOI deadline for Fall 2018-19 grant consideration.
- September 14: Letter of Inquiry response date

Contact Information:

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

Online application:

Kalia Abiade

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