Barbara McDowell Foundation: Social Justice Litigation Grants

Established in 2009 to honor and continue the work of social justice advocate, Barbara McDowell, the Barbara McDowell Foundation aims to improve the economic well-being, social conditions, and civil liberties of disadvantaged persons and groups in the United States.

To that end, the foundation will be accepting social justice litigation grant applications through its online application form from June 1 through August 1, 2021, for grants to be awarded for the following fiscal year of the foundation (October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022). The foundation anticipates making grants totaling $200,000 to $250,000 for the coming fiscal year.

The foundation works to advance its mission by making grants to organizations engaged in systemic, social justice litigation, with a focus on access to benefits, children’s rights, disability rights, discrimination, domestic violence, environmental justice, healthcare, homelessness, housing, Native American rights, prisoners’ rights, refugee and immigration rights, voting rights, and veteran’s rights.

A review of the foundation’s mission statement and its sixty grant awards over the last ten years to forty-five organizations provide insight as to the issues and problems that interest the foundation. Generally, the foundation funds litigation matters that are consistent with its namesake Barbara McDowell’s past legal efforts and her beliefs regarding social justice.

Interested applications should click on the “Grant Applications” link on the navigation bar of the foundation’s website to review each step in the application process.