The FreeHer Fund was established in 2020 in partnership between CJI and The National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. The FreeHer Circle works to support grassroots organizing that is based on the awareness of the current political environment’s hostility toward the rights of women and girls.
The CJI FreeHer Fund is an innovative, participatory grantmaking circle comprised of donors, and donor-activists, and community organizers, many of whom have experienced incarceration.
- Bail Moratorium, Sentencing Reform & Transformation of Systems Supervision.
- Conditions of Confinement.
- Restoration and Reunification.
- Economic Justice and Autonomy.
- Reproductive Justice.
- This year, CJI aims to grant at least $500,000 to grassroots organizations located nationwide.
- The maximum grant request amount is $25,000.
CJI General Funding Preferences
- Organizations operating in difficult political environments, e.g., in the presence of hostile political campaigns, antagonistic public figures, or repressive laws.
- Organizations that develop new leaders, especially Black and Brown people and those who are marginalized within their communities, e.g., poor, homeless, or young people; elders, queer or trans people; people with a different racial, religious, or ethnic heritage; people living with mental illness or physical disabilities.
- Leadership development that includes healing and/or personal transformation work, especially in communities that have endured generations of violence and trauma, and who may be currently enduring state violence.
- Work in underfunded communities, especially in the south, midwestern states, Indigenous communities, undocumented or immigrant communities.
- Organizations with a consensus or near consensus-inclusive decision-making process for their constituents, members, and communities.
CJI will ONLY fund the following:
- Organizations with a demonstrated commitment to the leadership of currently and formerly incarcerated women and girls, trans- and gender-nonconforming people; (incarcerated is defined as confinement in prison, jail, immigrant, juvenile or military detention, or a deportation facility);
- Organizations committed to achieving systems change through mobilization efforts and organizing, including changes in policies or institutions, such as parole, probation, or other systems of control; and
- Organizations with annual budgets of $750,000 or less. If you are under the umbrella of a larger organization, please define your relationship with that organization.
- CJI does not fund direct assistance programs. However, CJI may fund organizations that, as part of a larger organizing strategy and/or leadership development plan, help provide necessities to communities in desperate need, i.e., PPE to people in prison or those recently released, shelter to people recently released from detention, jail or prison or to trans community members suffering housing insecurity, etc.
- Organizations MUST meet the application deadline with all their required attachments. CJI will hold applicants strictly to the application deadline.
For more information, visit https://www.cjifund.org/apply-for-grants