Advocacy Grants Program- Promoting Policy Change

Drug Policy Alliance

Grant amount: US $15,000 - US $25,000

Next anticipated deadline: May 14, 2019 9:00pm PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Jun 26, 2019 5:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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Advocacy Grants Program

Through this $750,000 fund we seek to build strong, collaborative relationships between DPA and our funded partners. To that extent, we regularly engage grantees via monthly conference calls, an annual partners meeting, and at the biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference. For the latter two, additional resources are available to partners.

We require a letter of intent to initiate the process. Within about three weeks of the LOI’s due date, we will notify applicants whether or not to proceed with the proposal process. If you are invited to proceed, we will send you an application.


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 strategic grants to organizations whose projects aim to achieve maximum impact on broad drug policy reform. 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:
    • the failures and consequences of drug polices in the U.S. and the potential benefits of alternatives to prohibition
    • 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
    • discrimination in employment, housing, student loans and other benefits against those who use drugs or who have been convicted of drug law violations
    • the negative consequences of current drug policies on human rights
    • efforts that mobilize people around the disproportionate impact of the drug war on communities of color and youth

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • This fund is open only to organizations that have submitted a letter of intent and are subsequently invited to apply.


  • All applicants should be aware that the Drug Policy Alliance Advocacy Grants Program seeks to advance drug policy reform at the local, state, and national levels. While the program supports a range of drug policy reform work, we currently prioritize efforts that offer groundbreaking or far-reaching results in these areas:
    • Eliminating or reducing criminal penalties for drug possession, and reducing the role of the criminal justice system as a response to drug use. 
    • Promoting a health-based approach to drug use through innovative harm reduction projects – particularly overdose prevention and programs similar to those in Canada and parts of Europe.
    • Advancing marijuana policy reform, including, marijuana decriminalization, regulation to allow adults legal access to marijuana for personal use, and medical marijuana.
    • Informing and shaping public opinion across the political spectrum by utilizing cutting edge strategies to call attention to the failure of the drug war, provoke debate about the its role in the “New Jim Crow,” promote sensible alternatives, and/or give voice to drug policy reform advocates not traditionally heard from in the drug policy debate.
    • Organizing with groups who are affected by the drug war – including formerly incarcerated people, people of color, young people, women, LGBTQ people, low-income people and immigrants.

About this funder:

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