Arcus to Unveil Social Justice Request for Concepts on Dec. 3

November 5, 2018
Albuquerque Pride Parade

©Terrance Siemon

Mounting pressures and threats have forced activists and funders alike to rethink how we work together more effectively. Like most in social justice philanthropy, we at Arcus have spent time to reassess and improve our capability to deliver support to grantee partners on the frontlines. This year, staff across the foundation have prepared for a new grantmaking process that aligns with our updated Social Justice Strategy announced earlier in the year.

On December 3, we will unveil a Request for Concepts, a streamlined application for international and U.S.-based organizations to submit a concept to support LGBTQ social justice work. We wanted to share some information in advance to prepare prospective applicants for this new process.

The shift from a rolling application process to an open call for concepts was driven by grantee feedback and by our commitment to improving access to our funding, not only for current and past grantees but also for groups that have had no previous connection with Arcus. We believe this new process will provide greater clarity and transparency about Arcus’ strategy and grantmaking decisions and result in more focused and long-term funding and collaboration.

Through this process, we aim to identify a group of long-term grantees who can contribute to advancing our shared goals and are willing to participate in informal and ongoing coordination with other grantees supported by Arcus.

What We Will Support
As announced in the first half of the year, our three goals are focused on increasing safety; increasing policy protections; and increasing acceptance and inclusion for LGBTQ people, including those who are most marginalized.

Since unveiling our refined Social Justice Strategy, we have developed a core focus to guide each strategy goal.

Safety: Supporting movements that can create strong public education and advocacy campaigns to build support for safe and inclusive LGBTQ communities; document rates and acts of violence; and build partnerships to advocate for community-led and/or government interventions.

Policy: Supporting movements that can strategize, pursue, and assess long-term legal and policy-change efforts that improve the lives of LGBTQ people; particularly efforts that build power by and for marginalized communities to advance self-determined agendas.

Inclusion & Acceptance: Supporting movements that can document and influence rates of acceptance; build collective faith and secular voices to advocate for inclusion; and build and coordinate long-term strategies to strengthen inclusion, especially for those most marginalized.

Geographic Focus Areas
Our refined Social Justice Strategy will geographically comprise the Southern United States, with a focus on Arizona, California’s Central Valley, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, and North Carolina; East and Southern Africa, with priority given to Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Uganda; and the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, with focus areas to be listed in the to-be-released Request for Concepts.

Albuquerque Pride Parade

©Terrance Siemon

Eligibility to Apply
In advance of the official release of the Request for Concepts, we wanted to provide prospective applicants with some general criteria on eligibility to participate. Specific guidelines (U.S.; International) will be included in application materials upon release on December 3.

  • Current and past Arcus grantees may apply, as well as first-time applicants or groups with whom Arcus has not had a previous relationship.

  • Applicants must be based and working in one or more of Arcus’ geographic focus areas. Organizations* based outside focus areas are also eligible if they can demonstrate both an authentic link to our geographic focus areas and a movement connection and impact. (*Eligible organizations may include local, national, regional, or international in geographic scope.)

  • All applicants must be registered legal entities with a charitable purpose.
    • U.S. applicants must be registered as non-profit, tax-exempt organizations per the guidelines set forth by the Internal Revenue Service with 501(c)(3) status. Alternatively, organizations may apply through fiscal sponsors with such status.
    • International applicants must submit at least five years of financial statements in order to be reviewed as equivalent to an “exempt organization.” Applicants with less than five years of financial records must request project support.

  • Organizations must maintain a board-approved internal Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories.

  • All organizations – either located in the Southern U.S. or based in the other geographic focus areas – must be able to demonstrate organizational track record and stability.

  • Collaborative proposals of two or more groups will be considered.

  • An organization may apply only once whether on its own or in collaboration with other groups.

Sign Up to Receive the Request for Concepts
On December 3, the Request for Concepts will be made available on the Arcus Foundation website. Between now and December 3, we will be unable to field additional inquiries regarding this open call. To ensure you receive the Request for Concepts, we encourage you to sign up to receive our email updates.