Critical Response Fund

Protesters lock hands at an emergency action organized by Arab American Action Network (AAAN) at O’Hare International Airport after President Trump made an executive order banning people from 7 predominantly Muslim countries. Photo by Sarah-Ji

Download a full report on the impact of the Critical Response Fund.

Crossroads Fund and the nation are witnessing a tumultuous time in history – rising threats to values we hold dear, and social progress being undone. The struggle is urgent, and new fights are arising at the national, state and city level. To continue the legacy of responding quickly and nimbly, centering and following the leadership of people who are most directly impacted, including people of color, women, and the LGBT community, we are reviving our Critical Response Fund. The Fund was initially set up to support Arab, Muslim, and immigrant communities who faced a backlash following the September 11, 2001 attack. The Critical Response Fund will provide organizations with funding to protect, empower and support community members in this time of heightened racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism and xenophobia. In addition, we seek to support work that expands our notions of what is possible and is oriented towards building the world that we need, through new and unconventional movement collaborations and coalitions that bridge issues and sectors. 

Funding Criteria

Priority will be given to existing Crossroads Fund grantees that have a track record of working collaboratively with other organizations across issues, race and geographical location. If you have not received funding from Crossroads Fund previously, please contact Crossroads Fund staff to talk through eligibility and fit.

Funding requests can be for the following:

  • Unexpected policy changes that place community members in harm’s way, and that require an immediate response
  • Convening people to strategize, build their power, promote healing and create community solidarity
  • Forward-thinking initiatives focused on long-term transformation, new experiments in building the world that we want
  • Trainings
  • Building new coalitions and partnerships, and strategic base building that grows our organizing community
  • Shoring up organizational and digital security in this moment of increased oppositional attacks

Eligibility and Fund Information

  • Applicants may request between $3,000 - $10,000. Prioritization of organizations with budgets of $300,000 or less.
  • Grantees with budgets of over $300,000, please contact Crossroads Fund staff to discuss the request.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with a response time of 15 working days after grant submission. Applications may be submitted through May 31, 2019.
  • Grants to be used within 6 months.

Grantees receiving funding will be required to:

  • Fill out an online application, which requires basic organizational information and answers to the questions listed below.
  • Provide a simple project budget and current financial information (specifically, an annual budget that shows income and expenses, all formats accepted.)
  • Submit a final report after 6 months of the grant period.


Opens: August 5, 2019

Deadline: November 27, 2019

**If you are interested in applying, please send a brief paragraph description of your proposed project/funding need to Proposals that fit our funding criteria will then be given a code to apply through our new online grant application portal. **

Application Questions (FOR REFERENCE ONLY)

1. Briefly describe your organization's history, your geographic location and the community you work with.

2. What are the planned activities/strategies over the course of this request? What results do you hope to accomplish over this period? Provide a brief timeline for your project.

3. What, in this current political moment, does this new facet of your work address?

4. Please talk about how this Critical Response Fund request complements or affects your ongoing work.

5. How will you evaluate your progress in meeting the stated results?

6. Who are you partnering with in this work? How do you see this work connected to other struggles communities are facing in this moment?

7. What is your total budget for your project? Have you applied to any other funding sources? If so, where and how much?