The Foundation awards about $1.8 million annually to eligible organizations across the country and in Vermont. Our philanthropy is employee-led by non-management, employee advisory groups who consider proposals and recommend grants. The Foundation administers five grant programs, listed below.
All of our grant programs utilize an on-line application process.
Click on the bars to learn about each program.
Purpose: The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program supports non-profit grassroots, constituent-led organizations across the country that are using direct action, grassroots community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals. We consider proposals that are aligned with the Foundation’s broad interests in social justice, environmental justice and sustainable food systems. Although we appreciate the value of direct service programs in meeting individual and family needs, we do not fund such programs.
Process: The process starts with the Letter of Interest (LOI). We fund organizations with budgets of $500,000 or less. Grant awards are up to $20,000 for a one-year period.
LOIs may be submitted July-September for consideration in our 1st Quarter 2013 grant cycle, and January 16th -March 15th for consideration in our 3rd Quarter 2013 grant cycle.
Renewal LOIs* may be submitted until January 15th, 2013, for consideration in our 2nd Quarter 2013 grant cycle.
Click here to find our application guidelines and process.
Purpose: The Movement Building Grant Program is a proactive grant program that supports national progressive movement-building efforts by identifying cross-sector alliances that can significantly advance the Foundation’s broad social justice, environmental protection and sustainable food systems goals. The program engages with initiatives that are working across sectors and implementing approaches, knowledge and models that build the movement and will lead to positive change. We look for efforts with a track record of success and the demonstrated leadership and multiple allies to be able to accomplish their goals. Grantees will have demonstrated results and a strategic plan that position them to play a significant role in mobilizing others and influencing decisionmakers.
We are currently developing relationships with organizations that are strategically building the movement to address immigrant and low-income workers rights issues nationally.
Process: Proposals are considered by invitation only. The grants are in the $25,000-$50,000 range and may involve a two year commitment.
We do not accept unsolicited grant proposals for this program.
Purpose: The Vermont Capacity Building Grant Program assists Vermont statewide organizations achieve greater organizational strength and sustainability. Organizations' goals should be aligned with the Foundation’s broad interests in social justice, environmental protection and sustainable food systems,
Process: The Employee Advisory Committee awards this multi-year grant of up to $25,000 per year in October. Filing deadline is June 1st. The highly competitive process includes a comprehensive review, a series of discussions and a site visit.
Each summer, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation offers competitive grants of up to $20,000 to Vermont-based, non-profit organizations working to address the economic, social and environmental impacts of poverty. Grant decisions are made by a team of Ben & Jerry's employees from all three of our Vermont sites.
We will seek out innovative programs that are taking a holistic approach in their work to create fundamental change for low-income Vermonters. Grant applicants should demonstrate that they approach their work through the lens of social justice and equity. We will prioritize programs that work to involve and give voice to constituents most impacted by the problem they seek to address.
This program is not intended to fund projects that solely provide direct services to individuals.
Areas of interest include:
Grant recipients will be invited to make a presentation to Ben & Jerry’s Employees at some time during the grant year.
Process: Proposals may be submitted through our on-line application process by June 30th for review in September.
The Vermont Economic Justice Program of the Ben & Jerry's Foundation does not fund:
Purpose: The Vermont Community Action Teams, comprised of non-management employees at each of Ben & Jerry’s three Vermont sites are at the heart of involving Ben & Jerry’s employees in philanthropy. On a monthly basis, these teams award small grants, mostly in the $500 to $1000 range to local Vermont organizations providing community services, activities and events. The CATs also plan and complete significant community service projects.
The Foundation supports employee generosity by matching donations, dollar for dollar, up to $2000 annually.