Advocacy Grants Program: Promoting Policy Change Guidelines


Deadline for Letter of Intent: Midnight (Eastern), Monday May 12th, 2014
Deadline for Proposals: 8pm (Eastern), Thursday June 26th, 2014

Official documents, including letters of intent, proposals, and supporting documents must be emailed to grants [at] drugpolicy [dot] org to be considered received.

The Drug Policy Alliance will allocate roughly $750,000 during the 2014/2015 Promoting Policy Change grant cycle. Promoting Policy Change is a fund that has a two-tier application process.

  1. We require a letter of intent to initiate the relationship. The deadline for the letter is Monday May 12th, 2014 at midnight (Eastern). The letter should consist of no more than two pages that include your organization’s name and all contact information; IRS status; a brief description of how your proposal is aligned with DPA’s priorities as described below; your funding request; and the organization’s specific drug policy goals and deliverables during the fiscal year covered.
  2. If you are invited to apply following submission of your letter of intent, you will be notified on or about Thursday May 29th, 2014. The deadline for requested proposals is Thursday June 26th, 2014 by 8pm (Eastern).  Please note that being asked to apply is NOT a guarantee of an award being made.  Awards are made mid-September of the granting year. No early decisions are made.

The annual Promoting Policy Change grant cycle seeks to broaden public support for drug policy reform and will fund organizations who have consistently demonstrated success utilizing strategic and innovative approaches to increase such support. We invite proposals designed to educate the public and policymakers about the negative consequences of current local, state or national drug policies, to promote better awareness and understanding of alternatives to current drug policies, and to broaden understanding of the extent to which punitive prohibitionist policies are responsible for most drug-related problems.

The program provides both general operating support and project-specific grants. All grants are made to organizations working within the United States (although in rare exceptions we will consider proposals from Canada), with particular emphasis on state-based efforts. Strategic, geographic or thematic collaborations are strongly encouraged. Generally, the cap on grants awarded during the Promoting Policy Change annual cycle is $50,000, although most grants average between $15,000 and $25,000.

The Program will make grants to organizations that have been invited to apply and who demonstrate a clear ability and commitment to educate the public about the need for broad drug policy reform. This grants fund prioritizes organizations focused on one or more of the following:

  • Public education campaigns and litigation to raise awareness of the negative consequences of current local, state and national drug policies.
  • Organizing and mobilizing constituencies that raise awareness about the negative consequences of local, state or national drug policies.
  • We favor public education efforts that speak to: (1) the failures and consequences of drug polices in the U.S. and the potential benefits of alternatives to prohibition; (2) reducing over-reliance on the criminal justice system by raising awareness of the need for alternatives to incarceration and/or health-based approaches to drug use; (3) discrimination in employment, housing, student loans and other benefits against those who use drugs or who have been convicted of drug law violations; (4) the negative consequences of current drug policies on human rights; and (5) efforts that mobilize people around the disproportionate impact of the drug war on communities of color and youth.

Decisions are made in mid to late September. No early decisions are ever made.