Urgent Response Fund


Protesters at Logan International Airport in Boston. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

TSNE continues to look for ways to support nonprofits and community-based groups organizing urgent responses to policy shifts that threaten the civil liberties of immigrants and other vulnerable populations. Through our staff-led Innovation Fund,  TSNE is launching an Urgent Response Fund to provide small, one-time grants to help activists, advocates and communities meet their immediate organizing needs. Priority will be given to groups with annual budgets under $300,000. These grants were available through June 30, 2017.


Urgent Response Fund FAQ

Q: Who is eligible for funding?

A: Any organization with a 501(c)3 legal status (or a fiscally sponsored project or group under a 501(c)3) located in Massachusetts or Rhode Island is eligible to apply for funding including TSNE partners, NPC tenants, current or former Inclusion Initiative grantees, current or former fiscally sponsored projects. Any interested organization is encouraged to apply. Priority for funding is given to organizations with an annual budget of $300,000 or less. Funds cannot be used for regranting, staffing, general organizational operation, union organizing, nor can they be used for electioneering or lobbying. Grants are not to be used for ongoing program work or operational support. Organizations can only receive funds from the URF once every 12 months.

Q: What kinds of proposals does TSNE want to fund?

A: The Urgent Response Fund is for specific activities that take direct action to protect the rights and civil liberties of immigrants or other vulnerable populations served by organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Successful proposals will describe a timely, concrete activity that identifies a specific incident, threat or risk and outlines the need for urgent response. We will also give strong consideration to the organization’s position in its community, level of direct community engagement, and capacity to carry out this activity successfully. Proposed activities might include convenings of grassroots organizers and community leaders to address a specific need or threat, travel funds for community leaders to attend national days of action or trainings, funds to support pressing communications/advocacy needs or “Know Your Rights” campaigns, legal responses to address a crisis, creating safe spaces for community building and healing, new projects or coalitions to advance movement-building efforts, opportunities for youth engagement and outreach events, and other related activities.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Applications must be submitted using our online form, which is available here. You must also submit a brief budget for the activity you are proposing, which you can attach at the above link at the time you submit your application. More details are available on the application form.

Q: How much money should I ask for?

A: One-time grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis between now and June 30th, 2017. We have a pool of $20,000 available for this initiative. Please ask for what you need, and be clear about how funds from TSNE will be used in the budget you submit. Note that TSNE may also be able to contribute in-kind donations, such as promotional support and meeting space at the Nonprofit Center in Boston, so please include that in your proposal if it is something you’ll need.

Q: When will I find out if I’m funded?

A: Because the spirit of this initiative is to enable TSNE to respond rapidly to the emergent needs of our communities, we are aiming for a very quick turnaround for our funding decisions. Our goal is for no organization to have to wait more than 7-10 business days for a funding decision. Applicants will be notified via email.

Q: What are the requirements once I receive funds from TSNE?

A: We require only a brief written reflection on the event or activity (how it went, how the funds were used, what the community gained from this event, and any next steps that your organization may be taking). We also encourage you to send along photos of the event or activity after it is completed.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about eligibility, guidelines, or anything else related to the Urgent Response Fund?

A: Please feel free to reach out to us directly via email by contacting urgentresponsefund@tsne.org