US program

Mass-incarceration reform

The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world—mainly poor people and people of color. Our grants support public education and advocacy for sentencing reforms aimed at reducing prison populations and redirecting funds into crime prevention and other initiatives that foster the success of people in neighborhoods hardest hit by crime and incarceration. We also support the replication of a limited number of innovative alternative-to-incarceration models. And we support communications initiatives that push back against the narrative of incarceration as an answer to public safety, instead emphasizing the humanity of the people in the criminal justice system—and more rational and cost-effective approaches to addressing crime.

Anticipated Outcomes

Reduced incarceration

Jail and prison populations are reduced, as is racial disparity in the criminal justice system.

Alternatives to incarceration

There is an increase in government funding for prison diversion, drug treatment, restorative justice, and other alternatives to incarceration, as well as for community-based employment and crime prevention initiatives. 

Support for reform

A larger, stronger base of constituents actively supports reform on the local level—and includes greater numbers of people of color, formerly incarcerated people, crime survivors, law enforcement, and business leaders. 

Policy and practice

New policy and practice interventions reduce the criminal justice system’s disproportionate impact on people of color. 

Reproductive and gender justice

We seek to strengthen the base of visible, effective support for reproductive health and rights. We believe that rather than being divisive in our politics and culture, these issues are fundamental ones that can add momentum and energy to other efforts to disrupt inequality. At the federal and state levels, we work to ensure advocates’ and policymakers’ increased, consistent, and diverse support for reproductive justice, so that all women have autonomy over their bodies and lives. We test new models of support and organizing and invest in new leaders who can work across race and geography.

Anticipated Outcomes

Coordination and influence

Key organizations align to block harmful federal regulations and rollbacks. 

Effective alliances

In several critical states, innovative alliances advance laws and policies that strengthen reproductive and sexual rights. 

Centering sexual and reproductive justice

Organizations and networks that have not historically incorporated sexual and reproductive justice agendas into their ongoing work, do so.

Strong leadership

Leadership on these issues is more representative and includes women of color, low-income women, and gender non-conforming people who begin to influence the agenda of the larger movement. 

Immigrant and migrant rights

Our work supports efforts to advance more rational and humane immigration policy. We focus on addressing how immigration laws are enforced, and on curbing the use of criminal justice mechanisms for immigration matters—so that immigrant communities are no longer regular targets of punitive practices. We work to deepen existing alliances and build bridges to new partners.

Anticipated Outcomes

Federal policies and protections

At the federal level, immigration advocates help block or limit punitive enforcement efforts and new spending on enforcement. Where possible, they make progress toward proactive policies like improved due process protections, reinstating judicial review, eliminating mandatory detention, and universal access to counsel in deportation proceedings.

State and local policies and protections

In targeted states and localities, immigrant communities and their allies influence government and decision makers to create policies that protect immigrants, and overturn and prevent excessively punitive policies and practices.

Transparency and accountability

There is increased transparency and accountability from Customs and Border Patrol, and increased support for more effective investments in the border region.

Coordination and influence

Organizations working on immigration enforcement reform bring together and leverage a broad range of supporters to more effectively influence decision makers.

What we don’t fund

We know nonprofit staff’s time is valuable, so we discourage using it to submit proposals that don’t fall within funding guidelines. In this spirit, we aim to be transparent about what our grant making does not support.

Mass incarceration: We do not support work on juvenile justice, the school-to-prison pipeline, prisoner re-entry services, employment of formerly incarcerated people, indigent defense reform, civil access to justice, conditions of confinement, the death penalty, and wrongful convictions. We also do not fund direct services (legal or otherwise) except as connected to a larger systemic reform strategy.

Reproductive justice: We do not fund work on sexuality education, gender-based violence, human trafficking, and sex trafficking.

Immigrant rights: We do not make grants in support of broad-based strategies to achieve comprehensive immigration reform, immigrant labor issues, naturalization and civic engagement of immigrants, educational and health access for immigrants, refugee resettlement or refugee humanitarian assistance work, language access, spatial segregation, voting rights, employment inequality, the wealth gap, and educational attainment/affirmative action. We also do not fund direct services (legal or otherwise) except as connected to a larger systemic reform strategy.

We do not fund standalone conferences and individual research projects that are not linked to ongoing strategy support, and we do not fund individual degrees and fellowships.