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J.M. Kaplan Fund Accepting Applications for 2019 J.M.K. Innovation Prize
Deadline: April 30, 2019

Founded in 1945, the J.M. Kaplan Fund is a family foundation with a longstanding history of advocacy for and support of social, artistic, and environmental causes. The fund’s current initiatives are dedicated to social justice, the environment, and historic conservation.

In honor of its history and mission, the fund is accepting applications for the 2019 J.M.K. Innovation Prize. Through the prize program, grants of up to $175,000 over three years will be awarded to ten early-stage innovators helming creative projects that stand to benefit numerous individuals, communities, and/or sectors. Project priorities include the preservation of natural resources and mitigation of the environmental impact of climate change; heritage conservation; and social justice-focused reforms of the criminal justice and immigration systems in the United States.

In addition to funding, the award includes significant in-kind support, including mentoring, community-driven learning experiences, media training, and resources for board/organizational development.

Application for the prize is a two-step process, with initial applications due by April 30, 2019. Applicants selected to move forward will be asked to submit additional information in the late spring, with finalists invited to present their ideas in person to the fund’s trustees in the fall. Awardees will be announced in November 2019.

See the J. M. Kaplan Fund website for detailed program guidelines, application instructions, and a list of previously funded projects. Here is the link: https://www.jmkfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/JMK-Innovation-Prize-2019.pdf

Impact Fund Offers Support for Litigation to Advance Social Justice
Deadline: April 9, 2019

The Impact Fund provides grants to nonprofit legal firms, private attorneys, and/or small law firms working to advance social justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and poverty law.

Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to legal services nonprofits, private attorneys, and/or small law firms who seek to advance justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and/or poverty law. Grants are usually awarded for a particular case, but occasionally the fund will support a series of cases bound by a common strategy. Most grants are for class actions, but multi-plaintiff and environmental justice cases that aim to significantly affect a larger system are encouraged.

Impact Fund grants may be used for out-of-pocket litigation expenses such as expert fees and discovery costs, but not for attorney's fees, staff, or other overhead.

Grants will be awarded to private attorneys, small legal firms, and nonprofit legal entities that do not have sufficient access to funding sources. Specifically, grants are intended to support cases that could not be effectively prosecuted and/or in which financial hardship would occur to the applicant if supplementary funding were not available. Grants may cover reasonable costs and out-of-pocket expenses (including non-recoverable costs) such as deposition expenses, expert fees, and investigation expenses.

For the 2019 summer grant cycle, Letters of Interest must be received no later than April 9. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application by May 7, 2019.

See the Impact Fund website for complete program guidelines at https://www.impactfund.org.

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

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 


William T. Grant Foundation Seeks Applications for Inequality Research Grants
Deadline: May 1, 2019

In recent years, inequality in the United States has become increasingly pervasive. At the same time, prospects for social mobility have decreased. The William T. Grant Foundation, which seeks to improve the lives of youth between the ages 5 and 25, believes that the research community can play a critical role in reversing this trend.

To that end, the foundation is accepting applications for research projects designed to advance understanding in the area of inequalities in youth development and/or to increase understanding of how research is acquired, understood, and used, as well as the circumstances that shape its use in decision making.

Through its Research program, the foundation will award grants of up to $600,000 in support of research that focuses on ways to reduce disparities in youth’s academic, behavioral, social, and economic outcomes. Priority will be given to projects related to inequality on the basis of economic, racial/ethnic, and language backgrounds; research that explores other areas of inequality also will be considered based on a compelling case for its impact.

To be eligible, organizations must be considered tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

See the William T. Grant Foundation website for complete program guidelines, application instructions, and an FAQ.

Link to Complete RFP: http://wtgrantfoundation.org/library/uploads/2018/11/2019-Research-Grants-App-Guide-_-RI.pdf

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.