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Smith Richardson Foundation Accepting Applications for Domestic Public Policy Program

The Domestic Public Policy Program supports projects that will help the public and policy makers understand and address critical challenges facing the United States.  To that end, the Foundation supports research on and evaluation of existing public policies and programs, as well as projects that inject new ideas into public debates. 

The Foundation believes that policy makers face a series of challenges that need to be met if the United States is going to continue to prosper and provide opportunity to all of its citizens.  Even as public finances begin to recover in the wake of the financial crisis and recession, officials are confronting difficult choices that will have to be made in order to restore long-term fiscal balances while maintaining essential public services.  These choices will include decisions regarding how best to raise revenues while also creating an environment conducive to economic growth.  Policy makers are also looking for strategies that can deliver key public services, such as education and criminal justice, in an effective and efficient manner.  There is also a need to develop strategies to improve the long-term growth rate of the U.S. economy and strengthen economic opportunity.  Doing so will require a combination of more effective strategies to develop human capital and establishing an economic climate hospitable to entrepreneurship and growth.

To meet these broad objectives, the Foundation has developed a number of grant making portfolios.  A group of grants is focused on the challenges of identifying mechanisms that can inform thinking on fiscal practices at the national, state, and municipal levels.  In terms of human capital development, the Foundation has been supporting work to identify how schools can become more productive by, for example, increasing the quality of the teacher workforce or adopting more effective curricula.  Because success in the contemporary economy requires individuals to acquire education and training beyond high school, the Foundation is building a portfolio of projects on post-secondary education.  Finally, the Foundation is supporting work on the criminal justice system that will examine whether costs can be lowered while still protecting public safety.

Application Process

The Foundation has a two-stage application process. Initial inquiries should be submitted by mail in the form of the concept paper. Foundation staff will review the concept paper and, if the project is determined to be a good candidate for a grant, will ask an applicant to prepare a full-length proposal.

Concept papers should be addressed to:

Smith Richardson Foundation
60 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880

The website is https://www.srf.org/programs/domestic-public-policy/

Ben & Jerry's Foundation Seeks Proposals for Social and Environmental Justice Projects
Deadline: April 15, 2019 (Pre-applications)

The Ben & Jerry's Foundation supports organizations that work to bring about progressive social change by addressing the underlying conditions of societal and environmental problems.

To that end, one-year grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to nonprofit, grassroots community-organizing groups in the United States working to advance social and environmental justice and create sustainable and just-food systems. Grants can be used to support both program and operational costs.

The foundation will only consider proposals from grassroots, constituent-led organizations with annual budgets under $500,000 that are using direct action, grassroots, and community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals.

Pre-proposals may be submitted starting February 1, 2019, and must be received no later than April 15, 2019. Upon review, select applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.

See the Ben & Jerry's Foundation website for complete eligibility and application guidelines as well as descriptions of grant recipient projects from previous years.

Link to Complete RFP: https://benandjerrysfoundation.org/the-grassroots-organizing-for-social-change-program/

​Unitarian Universalist Association Accepting Grants for Social Responsibility Fund
Deadline: March 15, 2019

The Unitarian Universalist Association is accepting applications for the spring 2019 cycle of its Fund for UU Social Responsibility.

As part of the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program, the fund awards grant of up to $20,000 (average amount is $8,800) to UU organizations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for projects that increase the direct involvement of UUs in service, advocacy and/or community organizing that creates justice in the larger community; link Unitarian Universalists with the community; and foster a generosity of spirit and action in all aspects of UU communities.

Priority will be given to new programs and those on the threshold of significant growth. Additional preference will be given to work that creates social and economic justice.

To be eligible, applicants must be a UU organization based in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico

See the Unitarian Universalist Association website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Link to Complete RFP: https://www.uufunding.org/fund-for-uu-social-responsibility.html

​Retirement Research Foundation Accepting Applications for Capacity Building Grants
Deadline: February 1, 2019

The Retirement Research Foundation is accepting applications for its Standard OCB Grants program.

The program supports nonprofits looking to make long-term improvements in their management, governance, and/or organizational capacity. OCB grants may be used to support capacity-building activities that include (but are not limited to) strategic planning; financial management, including cash flow analysis, budget development, and financial controls; program evaluation planning; communications and marketing, including website development, public relations, and use of social media; resource development and fundraising; human resources, including professional development, succession planning, staffing structure, assessment, and retention; information systems management, including technology enhancements; board development, including assessment, recruitment, training, and structuring; and restructuring and collaborations with other nonprofits with the goal of strengthening service delivery, reducing costs, and sharing resources.

Grants generally support consulting, training fees, information technology, staffing, and other costs directly related to capacity-building activities. Additional funding is available to OCB grantees for technical assistance support in the form of seminars, workshops, short-term courses, publications, or other training related to organizational capacity building.

To be eligible, organizations must be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; have been in operation for at least three years and have annual revenue of at least $75,000; be located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, or McHenry counties in Illinois; and place a high priority on providing services to the elderly.

See the Retirement Research Funding website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Russell Sage Foundation Seeks Letters of Inquiry for Social Inequality Research
Deadline: May 23, 2019 (Letters of Inquiry)

One of the oldest American foundations, the Russell Sage Foundation was established by Mrs. Margaret Olivia Sage in 1907 for "the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States." In pursuit of this mission, the foundation now dedicates itself to strengthening the methods, data, knowledge, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies.

The foundation's program on Social Inequality supports research on the social, economic, political, and labor market consequences of rising economic inequalities in the United States. The program seeks Letters of Inquiry for investigator-initiated research projects that will broaden current understanding of the causes and consequences of rising economic inequality. Priority will be given to projects that use innovative data or methodologies to address important questions about inequality.

Examples of the kinds of topics that are of interest include but are not limited to economic well-being, equality of opportunity, and intergenerational mobility; the political process and resulting policies; psychological and/or cultural change; education; labor markets; child development and child outcomes; neighborhoods and communities; families, family structure, and family formation; and other forms of inequality.

Two-year grants of up to $150,000 will be awarded to qualified organizations.

To be eligible, organizations must be considered a monprofit under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Review Code.

The foundation encourages methodological variety, but all proposals should have well-developed conceptual frameworks and research designs. Analytical models should be specified and research questions and hypotheses should be clearly stated. Awards are available for research assistance, data acquisition, data analysis, and investigator time for conducting research and writing up results.

Letters of Inquiry must be received no later than November 30. Upon review, select applicants will be invited to submit a complete proposal by March 4, 2019.

For complete program guidelines, application instructions, information about previous grant recipients, and an FAQ, see the RFP guidelines on the Russell Sage Foundation website at 


Legal Forum Grant Writing

     The Legal Forum offers free or discounted grant writing services to qualified nonprofit organizations. The services include anything required to respond to Requests for Proposals as well as legal representation if a problem arises.

     The grant writer is an award-winning journalist, an author and a lawyer who has won a decision allowing nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area to share monetary awards when their clients win court cases.

     For more information, contact The Legal Forum at email: tramstack@gmail.com or phone: 202-479-7240.