National Grant Program
The National Grassroots Organizing Program offers two-year flexible, general operating support grants of up to $30,000 per year, with an average grant size of $20,000 per year, to small, non-profit grassroots constituent-led organizations throughout the United States and its territories and that are not located in the state of Vermont.
The guiding principle behind this program is our belief that people most affected by a problem are in the best position to determine the solutions. We will consider proposals from grassroots, base-building organizations that are working to help themselves and their communities create broad systems change through community organizing campaigns and movement-building efforts.
We prioritize organizations that are led by and center the leadership and agency of Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color that approach their work using anti-oppression values – consciously striving to dismantle systems of oppression and the legacies of white supremacy culture in this country while working toward a more just and equitable society.
We define grassroots organizing as building people power to confront entrenched power. It involves collective action from the bottom up. It challenges the status quo, demands changes in policy and practice, educates communities about root causes of their problems, and advocates and agitates for systemic and just solutions. True progressive change occurs only when underlying, systemic forces are understood and addressed. We firmly believe that grassroots, constituent-led organizing is among the most effective means to create social change.
PRE-APPLICATIONS FOR 2023
Pre-Application process has closed for 2023.
TO BE CONSIDERED FOR FUNDING, EACH APPLICANT ORGANIZATION MUST:
- Have an annual operating budget under $350,000
- Use grassroots, base-building organizing campaigns as the primary strategy for creating social change
- Be a non-profit 501(c)3 status, or have a fiscal agent with this status
- Be U.S.-based and U.S.-focused
- Utilize the Organizing Strategies listed below
While our broad goals are to further racial equity, social justice, and environmental justice, our primary purpose is to support the grassroots organizing strategies and activities of our grant partners, rather than any specific issues the organizations are addressing.
GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING Strategies
WE RECOGNIZE THE FOLLOWING PRACTICES TO BE IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF EFFECTIVE GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING EFFORTS
Note: Successful applications will deeply embody all of these strategies. Definitions expand for more detail.
Areas Not funded
Unfortunately, we cannot consider requests for:
- Direct services to individuals, i.e. food pantries, job training programs
- Internationally oriented programs
- Organizations with annual budget over $350,000
- Discretionary or emergency support
- Donations or sponsorships
- Public or private schools, colleges or universities
- Activities to elect specific candidates for public office
- Individuals, fellowships or scholarship programs
- Research, litigation or legal expenses
- Capital or endowment campaigns
- State agencies or government programs
- Businesses or business associations
- Religious activities
- Arts or Media programs that are not linked to a clear grassroots organizing campaign
- Other foundations or regranting organizations
- Organizations based in Vermont should apply under our Vermont grant programs
The grant program process has followed these steps, when open:
CAREFULLY REVIEW THE
TAKE NOTE OF ALL THE ITEMS LISTED ABOVE
CREATE AN ACCOUNT
OR LOGIN TO YOUR EXISTING ACCOUNT (bottom, left)
When invited, a specific deadline is indicated in the invitation email.
The Pre-Application Process for 2023 has closed for the year.
Due to high demand, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation funding allocation for New Applications has reached capacity for 2023. We apologize for any disappointment or inconvenience.
We are currently undergoing a strategic planning process. Please check back in 2024 to learn more about how our grant programs are evolving.
Frequently asked Questions
Grant Partner Highlights
The documents below feature lists, by year, of the organizations we’ve funded in the past. Not only is it inspiring to see all of the impactful work happening all over the country, reading through these brief descriptions is a great way to better understand the types of organizations we support.