General Questions

What are the goals of the Art for Justice Fund?

The Art for Justice Fund is disrupting mass incarceration by funding artists and advocates working together to reform our criminal justice system. We’re a five-year catalytic fund that invests in the people and organizations focused on:

  • Safely reducing the prison populations in priority states by 20% by 2022.
  • Justice reinvestment – reallocating government funding from prisons to tangible  investments in communities hit hardest by poverty, violence and incarceration.
  • Showing the human impact of mass incarceration and telling the stories of the mothers, 
 fathers, spouses, friends and students who are caught behind bars.
How is the Art for Justice Fund governed?

All activities of the Art for Justice Fund are guided by a Governing Board, whose duties include:

  • Approving and monitoring the Fund’s overall strategy.
  • Approving grantmaking guidelines.
  • Approving grant dockets.
  • Reviewing annual progress reports


The Governing Board’s work is informed by the Advisory Council, a group of exemplary, justice-focused artists and leaders in criminal justice reform.

Who determines the Art for Justice Fund’s grantee partners?

The Governing Board establishes program guidelines, determines eligibility and application processes, and selects the Fund’s grantee partners, all with advice from the Art for Justice staff. The Fund is intentional about ensuring that its grantee partners are diverse with respect to lived experience, gender and race.

What is the Art for Justice Fund’s timeline for investment?

The Art for Justice Fund is a five-year catalytic fund that invests in the people and organizations deep in the work of reform. From its launch in 2017 through 2019, the Fund has invested more than $58.4 million across 141 grants and aims to invest a total of at least $100 million by 2022.

Who manages the Art for Justice Fund?

The Fund is managed by a dedicated team committed to ending mass incarceration through the arts. Art for Justice is jointly administered by the Ford Foundation manager in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Learn more here.

How are the Art for Justice Fund’s funds aggregated?

The Ford Foundation partners with Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors to manage the grantmaking of the Art for Justice Fund. Because Ford covers all operating costs of the Fund, 100 percent of donations are allocated directly to grants and program-related contracts.

Grant Seekers

What types of organizations are likely recipients of grants from the Art for Justice Fund?

At this time, we are not accepting unsolicited funding requests. Our grants to nonprofit 501(c)3 social justice, advocacy, educational, and arts organizations that align with our grantmaking strategies are invitation only. See our list of current grantees.

What will Art for Justice Fund not fund?

While we are grateful for all the work being done to shift policy and perception around mass incarceration, the Art for Justice Fund does not accept unsolicited proposals and will not presently make grants to:

  • Individual social service and alternative to incarceration programs that do not engage policy reforms or structural change.
  • Individual college in-prison or re-entry programs, outside of a larger public/private initiative.
  • Academic research not connected to specific public policy campaigns or model programs.
  • Film or photography projects that do not emerge from specific public policy campaigns or model programs.
  • Art or writing projects that are not solicited or commissioned by Art for Justice.
How can an organization apply?

Proposals are considered by invitation only. If you’d like to share your work with us for awareness, kindly do so through the Contact Us form.


How may I contribute to the Fund?

Donors to the Art for Justice Fund may choose one of three ways to participate:

  • Donate funds to RPA that will be used for program grantmaking overseen by the Fund’s Governing Board; or
  • Donate stocks or securities that can be sold, converted to their market value and used for program grantmaking overseen by the Fund’s Governing Board; or
  • Donate works of arts (or other tangible assets) to the Art for Justice Fund at RPA, which in turn will convert their value into funds for program grantmaking in keeping with explicit guidelines overseen by the Art for Justice Fund Governing Board.
Is there a minimum donation?

There is no minimum donation through our secure online portal.  However, as a general guide, the minimum donation for art, jewelry, non-marketable securities or other non-cash assets or is $100,000. Costs associated with the storage and disposition of art make it cost-prohibitive for the Fund to accept gifts valued below $100,000.

Will I be able to get a charitable deduction for my gift?

RPA is a 501(c)3 public charity, donations to which are generally deductible for income tax purposes to the maximum extent allowed by law. Donors’ personal circumstances will dictate the amount of deduction they may take or use. Donations of works of tangible personal property, including art, are subject to complex tax rules. RPA strongly urges donors to work with their tax advisors with regard to contributions and applicable tax reporting or appraisal requirements. RPA retains the right to refuse a contribution.

May I restrict my gift?

The full potential of the Art for Justice Fund will be realized through the pooling of resources by generous, like-minded donors and the use of those combined funds to advance strategies informed by the expertise and experience of the Ford Foundation, the Art for Justice Fund Council, and the Governing Board. All gifts made to the Art for Justice Fund must be unrestricted.

How will a sale of art be handled?

In compliance with IRS rules, RPA will maintain complete control over the decision and timing of any sale of art work donated to RPA to support the Art for Justice Fund, and will manage any such sale and conversion of art into funds. It is the policy of RPA’s board to sell assets as soon as feasible.

  • Gifts of fine art and other non-liquid assets require special treatment and supervision. RPA will work with donors to ensure the efficient and appropriate handling of contributions and dispositions of fine art. Donors will have a single point of contact at RPA to oversee the process.
  • RPA will work with the donor’s representatives, including attorneys, appraisers and recommended dealers to plan and oversee any sale.
  • RPA will manage the relationship with the designated dealer(s) and ensure works of art are appropriately stored, safeguarded and insured until their final disposition.
  • Donors will receive an acknowledgement letter and RPA will cooperate with donors with regard to applicable income tax reporting requirements arising from their contributions.
Are there special considerations with donations of fine art?

Fine art and collectibles are considered tangible personal property. Complicated income tax rules apply to contributions of tangible personal property. RPA strongly urges donors to work with their tax advisor with regard to contributions and claiming and using a charitable deduction for such contributions. Depending on the donor’s individual income tax circumstances, a charitable deduction may be of limited benefit.

Who will cover the costs of appraisal, sale fees, insurance, and related costs associated with a sal

RPA will charge donors a flat $10,000 handling fee on contributions of non-liquid assets that will cover legal review, management and disposition of asset contributed. For certain contributions, donors may be required to obtain a qualified appraisal in order to claim an income tax deduction. RPA strongly encourages donors to work with their tax advisors in planning their contributions. Fees charged for appraisal and commissions to auction houses or dealers are not included in RPA fee.

Is there a date limit to gifts (i.e., gifts will not be accepted after certain date)?

RPA will accept gifts to the Fund throughout its five-year timeframe. Gifts will be used for grants to the selected recipients.

What recognition and/or other benefits will I receive for my donation?

Donors will receive an acknowledgement letter, and RPA will cooperate with regard to applicable income tax reporting requirements that may arise from the contribution.

Will I receive regular reports about the work of the Fund?

RPA will produce a mid-year briefing report in the first year of the Fund and a final report at the end of that year.

May I propose organizations to be considered for grants?

While donors may recommend organizations to the Fund for consideration, all grants will be made in keeping with the guidelines and application procedures laid out for the Fund, and all grant decisions will be made by the Governing Board.

May I contribute directly to Fund grantees?

Donors may contribute directly to Fund grantees, independent of the Fund. Art for Justice Fund grantees are published on the website. While donors may contribute directly to a Fund grantee, they may achieve greater impact by learning about criminal justice reform through Art for Justice Fund donor briefings and events, and pooling their contributions with other donors under the auspices of the Fund. In addition, by supporting the Fund donors will save time and resources because the organizations will have been vetted by people with expertise in the criminal justice field.

How else can I help?

We welcome and are grateful to all donors who share information about this initiative with their friends and colleagues, and encourage others to contribute.

For more information, contact the Art For Justice Fund team.