Community-Led Grantmaking

How HFJ Makes Grants

The people who are most affected by socitey's injustice hold the wisdom and power to heal society. Headwaters makes grants to organizations that prioritize community organizing as a core strategy to get at the root causes of the most pressing issues of our time.

We know that the journey toward justice and equity takes time. It can take years or even decades for communities and systems to change. Please tell us what you hope to achieve and how you will get there. We want to learn about you, your community, and the people who lead your work.

Community-led Grantmaking

Headwaters centers community leadership in all of our grantmaking work. Program staff invite and train people from the community to become volunteer social justice grantmakers. 

Our Process

  • Step One – Eligibility: Program staff read proposals to make sure that organizations meet our eligibility requirements and that application materials are complete.
  • Step Two – Review: Our community grantmakers use program-specific criteria to review proposals and select applicants for site visits.
  • Step Three – Site Visit: Program staff and community grantmakers visit applicants to learn more about their work and community.
  • Step Four – Final Selection: Community grantmakers present what they learned during the site visit. The community-led grantmaking committee makes final recommendations to HFJ's Board of Directors.
  • Step Five – Board Approval: Program staff present the committee’s recommendations to the board for final approval.