Advocacy Grants Program: Special Opportunities Fund Proposal Guidelines


Deadline: 8:00pm (Eastern) on the first business day of the month
Frequency: No more than one application every 6 months
Please submit application materials and queries grants [at] drugpolicy [dot] org

Through the Special Opportunities fund, we will provide roughly $400,000 in strategic grants to organizations whose projects aim to achieve maximum impact on drug policy reform. Joint letters will be accepted. Proposals for the Special Opportunities fund are accepted on a rolling basis until funds are expended. Decisions will be made within 6 to 8 weeks. The maximum request is $25,000, though generally grant awards range from $10,000 to $15,000. Organizations may only submit one proposal within a six month period. Only in exceptional circumstances will organizations receive two Special Opportunity Fund grants in a single year. Additionally, organizations that receive PPC funds will be subject to an even higher level of review.

Modest funds are available through this program to make grants to support drug policy reform efforts that seek to influence local, state and/or national legislation. Requests for such funding are likely to be highly competitive given the limited amount of funds available.

The Special Opportunities 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.

Application Process

To apply, please email your proposal to grants [at] drugpolicy [dot] org. Proposal guidelines are detailed in the application linked below. Proposals are due by 8pm (Eastern) on the first business day of the month.

Awards are usually made within six to eight weeks, and due to the volume of requests, there are occasions when it will certainly take as long as eight weeks to assess whether or not we are able to fund a proposal. During this time, please feel free to reach out to grants director, asha bandele at abandele [at] drugpolicy [dot] org with any questions.

Grant funds are generally received within 15 days from the notification date and completion of paper work. Note that the maximum request is $25,000, but generally grant awards will range from $10,000 to $15,000.

Special Opportunities Proposal Guidelines

Guidelines can be found in the application linked below.

The following must be included with your proposal:

  1. Organizational Cover Sheet & Proposal Instructions
  2. Copies of your current project budget (including income and expenses), and your organization’s overall budget for the current and previous year.