Social Justice Grantmaking
Arcus approaches its social justice grantmaking in a manner that respects the wisdom, power, and self-determination of LGBTQ communities.
We distribute grants that build the long-term resilience of our partners so that they remain resolute in advancing justice, often in the face of ongoing violence, inequity, and exclusion.
Currently, Arcus’ Social Justice Program primarily makes grants through an invitation-only application process. Unsolicited requests for funding will not be considered at this time.
Organizations that are invited to apply for funding are done so based on their exceptional alignment with our goals and geographic priorities, and to address strategic opportunities. When applications have strong alignment with our strategy, we prioritize long-term grants in the form of general operating support over short-term, project-specific support.
Occasionally, and on an as-needed basis, Arcus’ Social Justice Program will issue public calls for applications (Requests for Concepts or RFC) through our website, social media, and email distribution lists. Any qualified organization may respond to an open call, including current and former Arcus grantees and organizations with whom we have not previously worked.
The most recent Social Justice RFC was closed in 2019. There are no current plans for the next RFC. To be notified of any future open calls and to receive periodic Arcus Foundation updates, please sign up below.
For further information or questions regarding Arcus’ Social Justice Program grantmaking, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
An organization may submit only one application in response to any open call or invitation, either on its own or in collaboration with other groups. The scope of work may be local, national, regional, or international. To be eligible for funding, applicants must meet the following criteria:
1. Geographic Focus
All applicants must be able to show the impact of intended work on one or more of Arcus’ 12 priority countries within focus areas of Africa and the Americas.
2. Legal Standing
United States-based applicants must have a non-profit, tax-exempt status recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Alternatively, organizations may apply through a fiscal sponsor with such a status.
Applicants outside the United States must be able to receive international funds through a registered entity in their home country.
3. Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
Applicants are required to maintain a board-approved internal Equal Employment Opportunity Policy including sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories.
4. Organizational Experience
Applicants must be able to demonstrate a minimum level and number of years of organizational operations.
The foundation’s grantmaking is managed through Fluxx, a secure, user-friendly, cloud-based system. The application process takes approximately two to six months and has three stages:
STAGE 1 – Application
Whether in response to a public call for concepts or an invitation to apply, all applications begin with applicants answering a set of questions.
STAGE 2 – Request for Proposals
Applicants considered most highly aligned with the guidelines and priorities of the program are asked to submit a proposal. Stage 2 involves an internal assessment and, when needed, dialogue with the applicant, taking into consideration a range of factors (see below).
STAGE 3 – Decision
Applicants are notified directly about the outcome of their proposal. Awards are shared publicly four times per year. We look for:
- Self-determination, demonstrated by initiatives led from within the society or community an applicant seeks to influence, devised in open consultation with, and with accountability to, local LGBTQ communities;
- Involvement of those most marginalized, including, for example:
o Leadership and decision-making by marginalized groups;
o Strong board representation of those most marginalized;
- Involvement by members of faith communities, transgender individuals, and other groups with less access to resources and who are marginalized within LGBTQ communities;
- Concepts related to one or more of the priority geographic focus areas;
- Cross-sector or cross-movement alliances working toward one or more of Arcus’ goals.