Bread & Roses Community Fund believes in change, not charity. We organize donors at all levels to support community-based groups in building movements for racial equity and economic opportunity. We support movements and their leaders through fundraising, grantmaking, capacity building, and convening.

Bread & Roses makes grants to organizations that use community organizing to create sustainable social change.

What is community organizing?

  • Civil disobedience
  • Mass protest
  • Mobilizing community members to voice community concerns by attending meetings with or writing letters, sending emails, and making phone calls to public officials
  • Mobilizing community members to pressure individual public officials to change their position on an issue
  • Hosting town hall meetings and listening projects or using other methods to gather community input on a particular issue
  • Training community members to disrupt harmful practices that government or corporate entities are using to maintain the existing system
  • Building alternatives to existing government or corporate practices that are harmful and making those alternatives available in ways that have a measurable impact on the larger community
  • Providing space for political education that builds the leadership and skills of members of an affected community, enabling them to analyze harmful systems and develop strategies for change

Who is eligible to receive a grant?

Groups must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Located in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Camden counties
  • Tax-exempt or have a fiscal sponsor that is tax-exempt or have a pending 501(c)3 application
  • Must have completed all progress reports from previous Bread & Roses grants. Failure to submit progress reports will disqualify organizations from future funding
  • Must submit a complete application
  • A focus on organizing and activism (not social service work)
  • A clear understanding of the root causes of the problem they are working to resolve
  • A strategy that includes collective action by the community and results in concrete outcomes
  • A vision that emphasizes changing the systems that create or perpetuate the problem being addressed
  • Leadership that is primarily composed of people affected by the problem that is being addressed
  • A priority for developing leadership from within the affected community

Additional eligibility criteria are listed within the description for each fund. Organizations can apply for a grant in every fund for which they are eligible. Organizations can receive up to $25,000 total in grants from Bread & Roses within a 12-month period.

Bread & Roses does not provide funding for:

  • Direct service work/social services
  • Research
  • Educational programs
  • Capital campaigns or building projects
  • Scholarships, fellowships, or grants to individuals (except through the Lax Scholarship Fund)

Our Grants and Scholarships

Special Funds

Opportunity Fund grants are intended for special projects or emergencies that are not part of an organization’s ongoing work. These activities are frequently in response to rapidly emerging issues and might include: demonstrations and rallies, coalition efforts, conferences, or forums.

The Opportunity Fund makes grants to groups that:

  • Meet all basic eligibility requirements and funding criteria
  • Are facing an emerging issue, project, or situation that is not part of the organization’s ongoing work
  • Have not received an Opportunity Fund grant within the past 12 months
Grants range from $50 to $500. Groups who have received grants from the Opportunity Fund in the past year may not reapply in the following grant cycle.

Basic Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be located in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Camden counties
  • Must have an organizational or a distinct project budget that is less than $300,000
  • Must be tax-exempt or have a fiscal sponsor that is tax-exempt or have a pending 501(c)3 application
  • Must have completed all progress reports from previous Bread & Roses grants. Failure to submit progress reports will disqualify organizations from future funding
  • Must submit a complete application

Funding Criteria:

Bread & Roses provides grants to groups that have a long-term vision and engage strategies that promote social justice, including:
  • A focus on organizing and activism (not social service work)
  • A clear understanding of the root causes of the problem they are working to resolve
  • A strategy that includes collective action by the community and results in concrete outcomes
  • A vision that emphasizes changing the systems that create or perpetuate the problem being addressed
  • Leadership that is primarily composed of people affected by the problem that is being addressed
  • A priority for developing leadership from within the affected community

The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative provides grants to organizations using community organizing for criminal justice reform. Grantees target issues that include (but are not limited to) police accountability, racially biased sentencing policies, growth of the for-profit prison industry, criminalization of youth, and the death penalty.

The Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative makes grants to community groups that are building a base for taking collective action against injustices within the criminal justice system and have a long-term vision and engage strategies that promote justice within the criminal justice system.

For more information about the criteria for this fund, visit our website. To download a Word version of the application for reference, click here.

Bread & Roses Community Fund