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Community Organizing Grant

Grants to USA, Mexico, and Haiti Community
Organizations to Promote Social Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Peace Development Fund (PDF)

Deadline Date:

12/30/19 5:00 PM PST


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Grants of up to $10,000 to USA and territories, Mexico, and Haiti community organizations for programs that promote social justice. While funding is primarily provided for general operating support to organizations with missions that align with the funding sources priorities, specific projects and programs will also be supported.

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 they 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 towards.

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 organizational structures that allow power to flow “from the bottom up,” or are exploring a new way of organizing.
  • Efforts to create new, community-based systems and structures (economic, political, cultural, religious, etc.) that are liberating, democratic and environmentally sustainable, and that promote healthy, sustainable communities.

Other Funding Priorities:

  • New or emerging organizations; efforts that have difficulty securing funds from other sources; organizing across national borders (Cross Border); climate change organizing at the local policy level; groups that have a genesis in Occupy, MeToo or Movement for Black Lives; collaborative peace and social justice initiatives led by women or youth; or issues that are not yet recognized by progressive funders.

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.

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 Community Organizing Grant cycle opens December 1, 2019. Applications will be due December 30, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. EST.

If the deadline falls on a weekend or public holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next business day.

If the application is accepted into the final round, PDF will notify by the end of February, and supplemental information plus references will be due by March 13th. Final grant decisions are made by the end of April.

The Foundation recommends that groups request the full amount that the organization needs, since the grant size may be reduced from the initial request.

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Peace Development Fund
413-256-8306 (East Coast)
415-642-0900 (West Coast)

Grant Coverage Areas:

The program must have a primary geographic focus inside the United States, U.S. Territories, Mexico, and Haiti.

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.