Apply For Grant

Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program



People most affected by a problem are in the best position to determine the solutions. Therefore, leadership development is an essential component of social change work.

True change occurs only when underlying, systemic forces are understood and addressed.

Grassroots, constituent-led organizing is among the most effective means to create social change. We define organizing as collective action from the bottom up that challenges the status quo, demands changes in policy and practice, educates communities about root causes, and advocates and agitates for systemic and just solutions.

Lasting change occurs when Social Justice Movements are built from the ground up and grassroots groups come together across sectors and constituencies to work for the common principles of Human Rights and Justice for All.

The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change program supports organizations that share and embody this theory of change.




Familiarize yourself with what we fund, our priorities & restrictions, to ensure a
good fit



Review grant cycles.

Register or Log in to complete pre-application



If invited, submit full proposal by relevant deadline




The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program offers general support to non-profit organizations throughout the United States and is our most competitive grant program. 

We make one-year grants for up to $30,000, to organizations with budgets under $500,000. Only organizations with 501(c)3 status, or who have a fiscal agent with this status are eligible to apply.

While our broad goals are to further social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems, we focus on the types of activities and strategies an organization uses for creating social change rather than on the specific issues the organization is addressing.

We also recommend that you peruse our grantees lists as they will give a clearer idea of the types of organizations and programs the Ben & Jerry's Foundation supports.

We will only consider proposals from grassroots, constituent-led organizations that are using direct-action, community organizing, and base-building strategies to accomplish their goals.

Priority Strategies must include ALL:

    • Community & ally outreach

    • Leadership development

    • Constituent empowerment &

    • Popular education

    • Root cause analysis

    • Power analysis

    • Campaign development

    • Mobilizing constituents & allies

    • Coalition building

    • Direct action



 Areas not funded:

  • Direct services to individuals, families or communities

  • Internationally focused programs

  • Organizations with annual budget over $500,000

  • Discretionary or emergency requests

  • Schools or programs for schools

  • Colleges or universities

  • Individuals 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

  • Other foundations or regranting organizations

Applications are to be submitted through our online grant management system. To learn more about our online system, please click here for a tutorial. Please note that this tutorial does not include a review of the Eligibility Quiz, which appears on the Apply page. For questions regarding the Eligibility Quiz, please reach out to the Foundation. 


Organizations that have previously received a Grassroots Organizing for Social Change grant from The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation within the last three years may apply at any time using our on-line application system.

     Pre-Application Deadlines

Full Proposal Deadlines

Round 2 [2021]:

Full Proposal Reviews: Feb, Jun, Oct

[2]   Pre-App Deadline:  Opens May 1st, 2021  Deadline 4 pm ET Jun. 1st, 2021

[2]  Full Proposals Due:  Aug 16th, 2021

Renewal Reviews:  Mar, Apr, May, Jul, Aug, Nov, Dec

Renewal Pre-Applications are now included within grant reports. 

Renewal Applications have ongoing review dates. 




Arizona Site Visit

Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program

Each year the Foundation Employee Grantmaking Committee, Staff, and Trustees spend some time visiting with past grantees and others  in a region or city of particular interest to us. In late October  of 2013, we visited Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico...

Read Their Story

Street Vendor Project

Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program

The Street Vendor Project (SVP) is a grassroots, predominantly immigrant, vendor-led organization. SVP mobilizes the street vendor community in campaigns for social and economic justice in New York City. SVP recently achieved an historic victory with their "Lower the Fines" Campaign with legislation that reduces the high and discriminatory penalties vendors pay for minor violations. The learning that results from this achievement will help to propel SVP, and the national vendor network they are anchoring, to the next level.