Arcus Foundation

Apply for a Grant

Thank you for your interest in the Arcus Foundation.  We are always looking for innovative ideas that advance informed and engaged communities. Launched in 2013, the Foundation’s social justice strategy targets specific cultural and policy changes in the United States and internationally.  Please select one of these three options to learn about Arcus’ specific funding areas:

- International Human Rights

- U.S. Social Justice

- Global Religions

If your organization is eligible to be funded by Arcus, the next step is to identify which specific program and funding area applies to your program.  The steps below describe the Arcus grantmaking process, and the estimated timeframes associated with each stage.  

How to apply for funding:

1. Submit an Initial Funding Concept (IFC) - The first step in submitting an initial request for funding or a concept is to use our online system. Clicking on the link at the bottom of this page will bring you to a short IFC form within our grantmaking portal.  Once received, it will be directed to the appropriate program staff for review and you can expect to hear from us within 3-4 weeks.

2. Submission of a Letter of Inquiry and full Proposal - If your organization’s work aligns with our values, strategic priorities and EEO requirement, your organization could be invited to submit a Letter of Inquiry, and a subsequent full Proposal, which includes the submission of additional organizational and project-specific documentation.   

3. Proposal review and funding determination - The LOI and Proposal review may include program officers, directors, vice presidents, the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees. The timeframe varies depending on the size and scope of the proposal. Arcus program and grants management staff will be in contact with you during this process and will notify you of the final decision.

Eligibility Considerations:

- Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Requirement -- We believe the organizations we fund should share our goals of inclusiveness, diversity and respect. We therefore require our partners to have an official, board approved EEO policy that specifically includes protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

What we fund

-   General operating support
-   Project support for specific programs
-   Public policy advocacy/organizing campaigns
-   Public policy research/dissemination
-   Capital projects
-   Capacity building
-   Multi-year support

Note: The Arcus Foundation does not fund individuals or support requests to pay off debts. In addition, the foundation does not support political activities or attempts to influence specific legislation.

If you wish to discuss an idea with an Arcus staff member prior to submitting an initial concept, as described above, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Submit Initial Funding Concept >>


The Arcus Foundation's social justice program focuses on maximizing impact in its three program areas: International Human Rights; United States; Global Religion.

The Foundation invites inquiries from organizations with projects falling under these areas. For more information on the submitting an inquiry, click the links below:

  1. Grant Forms
  2. Grantee Resources

Awarded Grants

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
New York, NY $680,000

See more >>

Global State-Sponsored Homophobia Interactive Map

Click here to explore the map

International LGBT Rights Map

Source © ILGA—International Lesbian and Gay Association—

Stories of Impact

Uniting for Social Change

Leaders from several Kalamazoo nonprofits have been given a unique opportunity to look beyond immediate needs and work for long-term change through the Arcus Foundation’s Michigan Racial and Economic Justice Initiative. Read more >>

Liberation through Religion: A Conversation with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum’s life traces the arc of the LGBT rights movement. Today, as the rabbi of the largest LGBT synagogue in the world, she is one of the country’s preeminent religious voices for progressive values. Read more >>