Grant Process

The Diverse City Fund challenges the traditional model of philanthropy in which wealthy donors typically make funding decisions.

Instead our grantmaking decisions are made by a diverse group of community organizers, activists and cultural workers who live in or near DC and identify as people of the global majority known as the Grantmaking Team.


In partnership with the Board of Instigators, the DC Fund Team organizes and follows this grantmaking process to transfer decision-making to the Grantmaking Team:

  1. Once a timeline is established, the DC Fund team announces the opening of the cycle at least one month in advance to give applicants time to prepare.
  2. The cycle opens and accepts applications for a minimum of six weeks.
  3. The DC Fund Team and Board of Instigators offer bilingual informational sessions (virtual and in person) and provide support to applicants as needed.
  4. The DC Fund Team provides applicants with educational information about What We Fund, including a webinar to better understand the work of systems change.
  5. Staff checks fully submitted applications for basic eligibility based on What We Fund. If the staff is unsure about an application’s basic eligibility, the application is sent to the Grantmaking Team.
  6. A Grantmaking Team of 20 community leaders/organizers is assembled to review and collectively make grantmaking decisions.
  7. Applications that meet basic eligibility are sent to the Grantmaking Team for review.
  8. The Grantmaking Team meets for two consecutive weeks to review applications. The Grantmaking Team may ask follow-up questions from applicants during the review period.
  9. After careful consideration, the Grantmaking Team awards grants.
  10. Staff notifies grantees and starts the grant disbursement process.
  11. The DC Fund Team offers check-in spaces for grantee partners to update the DC Fund on their progress within a 12-month period.

DC Fund typically notifies grantees 2 months after the application due date and then initiates the grant disbursement process. This process generally takes three weeks once the awardee has provided the necessary information to receive the funds.