Supporting Nonviolence and Social Justice Since 1974.
339 Lafayette Street, New York, New York 10012 (212) 533-4335 Fax: (212) 228-6193 info@ajmuste.org

(updated July 3, 2015)

If supporting social justice activism is important to you, please DONATE NOW to help us expand this important grantmaking program.

Our Social Justice Fund currently makes 10 to 15 grants annually of up to $2,000 each for grassroots activist projects in the US and around the world, giving priority to those with small budgets and little access to more mainstream funding sources. Please read these guidelines carefully and review our rosters of past grants on our website before applying to the Muste Institute for funding.

Next application deadline: To be determined. Sign up for our email list to get notification of future deadlines.


The Muste Institute's Social Justice Fund considers proposals:

  • for new projects or campaigns, or efforts to expand existing work
  • for projects with expense budgets under $50,000
  • for projects which are local, regional, national or global in scope
  • from groups located anywhere in the world
  • from grassroots organizations with annual expenses of less than $500,000
  • from groups with limited or no access to more mainstream funding sources
  • from groups that may be unincorporated or incorporated*
  • from groups with or without 501(c)3 status or a fiscal sponsor*
  • from groups which have not received Social Justice Grants from us in at least two years**

The Social Justice Fund's priority is to support:

  • direct grassroots activism and organizing
  • groups with diverse, representative and democratic internal leadership structures
  • groups which have or can obtain sufficient economic and in-kind support from a diversity of sources to carry out their regular work, but need additional support for a particular project

Although we value the work, we do NOT consider grant proposals for the following:

  • general support of ongoing operations
  • individual efforts or scholarships
  • schools or universities
  • organizations with significant access to government, corporate or mainstream charitable funding
  • academic or research projects
  • art, theater, film or video projects which are not directly tied to activism or organizing
  • economic development projects
  • capital campaigns or expenses
  • direct social services
  • legal defense or litigation
  • lobbying or electoral campaigns
  • projects geared toward participants’ personal improvement or business success
  • conflict resolution or violence reduction projects, unless they directly promote activism
  • projects that will have already taken place by the time the grant is received (decisions take about 12 weeks--see timeline below)

* The Muste Institute's Social Justice Fund only requires a fiscal sponsor if the group receiving the grant does not have its own bank account; we cannot issue checks to individuals. If you cannot receive a grant check made out to the name of your organization, you will need a fiscal sponsor.

** The Social Justice Fund will not accept a new request from a previously funded group for two years after a grant. If you submitted a proposal in July 2013 and received a grant in September 2013, you will be eligible to apply again in June 2015 for grants made in September 2015. If you are unsure about when you will qualify, check in with our office before applying.


Next deadline: To be determined. Sign up for our email list to get notification of future deadlines. Preliminary applications must be received via email no later than the end of the day on the deadline date.


Submit a preliminary application via email to info@ajmuste.org. Download our preliminary application form here to fill out on your computer.

Format: We accept preliminary applications in files with *.doc, *.docx, *.odt, *.rtf or *.pdf file extensions. The preliminary application must include all required information in ONE document of two pages or less, with NO additional documents or attachments. Please do not include graphics.

Subject header: Email your application using the subject header: "SJF [deadline month] 2015:" (without brackets or quotes) followed by your organization's name. This will help us identify your message as a preliminary application, rather than a general inquiry. (Important: applications sent without "SJF" in the subject header may end up not being considered.)

Timeline: About three weeks after the deadline date, we will let you know whether your preliminary application has been accepted for further consideration. If so, you will then have two weeks to submit a full proposal and additional materials via email. To see what the full proposal must include, click here: http://ajmuste.org/sjf-full.htm. Please do NOT submit a full proposal unless invited to do so. Final decisions on full proposals are expected about 12 weeks after the deadline date.

If you receive a grant, you will have to provide a complete grant report and financial accounting, demonstrating that the grant money was used for the purpose intended. This report is due as soon as the money is spent or within six months, whichever comes first (until funds are spent, you must submit an updated report every six months).

If you are seeking funding for a film, video, theater, art or other media project, please click here — www.ajmuste.org/media.htm — to read our criteria for such proposals before applying.