Skip to main content

Philadelphia’s participation in the Safety and Justice Challenge

Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund

The City’s Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund will award and distribute $240,000 in grants in winter 2024.


About the fund

The Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund provides resources to community-based organizations doing innovative work on criminal justice reform. This work must further the goals of the City’s participation in the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge. The fund is a collaboration between the City and its criminal justice and community partners.

The fund aims to support projects that:

  • Develop new and creative approaches to criminal justice reform in Philadelphia.
  • Engage communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system in the reform effort.
  • Provide services to individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
  • Are BIPOC-led organizations seeking general operating support.

Award categories

The Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund will award and distribute six Individual Organization grants for $20,000 each, and two Collaborative Community Partnership grants (where up to three organizations apply together and share a grant) for $60,000 each.

Application review process

All applications will be reviewed by the Criminal Justice Grantmaking Committee. The Grantmaking Committee will include members of the Community Advisory Committee and partners from local government. The Grantmaking Committee’s recommendations will be presented to the full MacArthur Implementation Team for final funding decisions.


To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must have valid 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, or partner with a nonprofit organization that can serve as a fiscal sponsor.
  • Programming must be based in Philadelphia.
  • Projects must advance criminal justice reform through policy change, community engagement, or programming.
  • Funding can be expended in one year.
  • Applicant can complete an end-of-year report and present to the Grantmaking Committee members.

Criminal Justice Microgrant funds will not support:

  • Individuals.
  • Projects or programs located outside the City of Philadelphia.
  • Units of government or governmental departments.
  • Multi-year requests.
  • One-time events (unless tied to an ongoing program or service).

Selection criteria

The committee will use the criteria below to evaluate all proposals.

  • Is the proposal compelling? Does it advance criminal justice reform through policy change, community engagement, or programming?
  • Does the project meet the priorities of criminal justice reform and the Safety and Justice Challenge?
  • Does the project use or create unique and meaningful partnerships between organizations or the community?
  • Is the proposal realistic and well thought out?
  • Is the project financially feasible? Does the budget support the proposed activities?
  • Does the evaluation plan describe useful measurements?
  • If the requested funds do not cover all project expenses, is there a plan to raise the additional funds?

How to apply

Applications for the Criminal Justice Microgrant Fund are now closed. For questions about your submitted application, email us at