Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Accepting Applications Now

Well known for their delectable frozen treats, you may not know that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has a foundation with a social justice mission.  The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, founded in 1985, funds grassroots organizations committed to social change.  The Foundation’s focus areas are social justice, environment and food sustainability.  Its investment policy mirrors the mission. The Foundation only invests its funds in Community Development Financial Institutions. These include community development banks, credit unions and loan companies with missions to meet the needs of low-income communities.

The Foundation makes one-year grants of up to $25,000.  Applicants must be 501(c)3 organizations or have a fiscal agent with the status. Annual budgets cannot exceed $500,000.


To be considered, organizations will need to prove they are using community-organizing and base-building strategies.  The pre-application round began on February 1st and the deadline is April 14th.  If your organization is selected, the full proposal is due October 19th.


Here’s a sample of 2016 grants recipients from large metropolitan areas and small communities.

One Step a la Vez, Fillmore, CA

Power River Basin Resource Council, Sheridan, WY

Amos Institute of Public Life, Des Moines, IA

Freedom University, Atlanta, GA

Blocks Together, Chicago, IL

Youth Art and Self-Empowerment Project, Philadelphia, PA

Louisiana Bucket Brigade, New Orleans, LA

Workers’ Dignity Project, Nashville, TN

Dakota Rural Action, Brookings, SD