PLOUGHSHARES FUND 2022 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Ploughshares Fund is pleased to announce a $1 million request for proposals (RFP) as part of its expanded diversity and equity initiative, Equity Rises. Equity Rises aims to increase equity and justice in nuclear policies and institutions by empowering diverse voices, cultivating inclusive spaces (across identity, sector, and geography), and collaborating with new partners both inside and outside the nuclear field. This RFP is being conducted with support from a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Submissions for this RFP are due by February 15, 2022 and should be submitted through our online portal hereSee below for instructions on how and what to submit.

Please review the goals and guidelines listed below closely. We know that many people will not apply for fear that they do not belong or do not meet every criteria listed. The point of this RFP, however, is to meet, learn from, and invest in exactly such people. If you have questions about your eligibility or fit for this RFP, please contact us at programsupport@ploughshares.org and we’ll be happy to discuss them with you. No phone calls please.

During the RFP submission window, Ploughshares Fund will hold three 1-hour webinars on funding processes and funder relations for anyone who wants to learn more about applying for grants and working with foundations, which will include a Q&A about Ploughshares Fund and this RFP. Please join us and register here for one of the three options held December 1, January 14, and February 7.

GOALS

Through this RFP we hope to identify and foster transformational ideas, encourage exploration and bold thinking, and build a stronger community of advocates, activists, researchers, and creative thinkers that can affect change to reduce nuclear threats and ultimately eliminate the threat posed by nuclear weapons. To achieve these goals, we believe it is imperative to address the racism, inequity, exclusion, greed, corruption, and injustice that perpetuate the existence of nuclear weapons, position nuclear deterrence as a central tenant of global security policy, and favor military force over diplomacy globally. Ploughshares Fund’s mission is to eliminate nuclear weapons. In this RFP we are looking for any project that makes progress on nuclear issues toward eventual elimination. Projects can cover a wide range of subjects and produce varying outputs.

To improve the long-term health of the nuclear policy community, this RFP also seeks to support a stronger and more diverse pipeline of leaders who are new in their careers and/or new to the nuclear field. Additionally, this RFP seeks to widen the network of voices working together to eliminate nuclear weapons, with an emphasis on supporting grassroots and frontline community leaders. Through partnerships with nuclear- and non-nuclear-focused organizations and individuals, we aim to make nuclear weapons issues politically and culturally salient. We also aim to fuel a power base to generate the necessary public pressure to aid policy change that is rooted in an intersectional approach.

CRITERIA

Projects submitted for consideration should meet the following criteria:

1.     The project should demonstrate a connection to or rationale for how it either:

·       Advances nuclear weapons issues (such as but not limited to arms control, disarmament, the impact of nuclear weapons production or use on Indigenous and other frontline communities, environmental impact, current nuclear policies or posture, or nonproliferation). OR

·       Changes the environment surrounding nuclear weapons issues (such as the internal transformation of nuclear policy civil society institutions).

2.     The project should fit within one or more of the following areas of focus:

·       Challenging racism and white supremacy in nuclear policies and institutions.

·       Building actionable connections between nuclear weapons issues and other issue areas (such as climate, labor, immigration) to address militarism’s influence on foreign and domestic policies, globally.

·       Examining and dismantling the military-industrial complex.

3.     The project should contribute to addressing the current diversity and equity imbalance in the nuclear field and amplifying and expanding the use of an intersectional lens in nuclear issues. This can be demonstrated through project staff composition or through the project goals.

Grants made under this RFP will be for $10,000-$75,000 and up to 1-year-long grant periods (12 months). Please note: Ploughshares Fund does not make multi-year grants. A percentage of grants awarded under this RFP will be made to emerging voices in nuclear policy. These are considered, and we encourage to apply, individuals who have either 1) never been a project lead on a foundation grant or 2) never led a nuclear-specific project before. Deep knowledge of the issues and language used within nuclear weapons and/or policy fields is not required to apply. Support for skills-building as a distinct part of conducting these projects is welcome.

PROJECT TYPES AND FUNCTIONS

There are few limitations on the type of, or functions within, projects that are eligible. We support most forms of work including but not limited to organizing, movement and community building, advocacy and lobbying, research, writing and publication, media work, and creative projects. We encourage processes that deepen research or communicate the subject matter and findings in non-traditional forms, and which infuse creative approaches into addressing policy challenges. In this RFP, we are looking to invest in a diversity of project outcomes. Joint projects between multiple organizations and/or individuals are eligible and welcome to apply.

We also recognize that what it means to carry out projects such as those solicited under this RFP is evolving both long-term and at present given the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects conducted from one’s home, completely virtually, in-person or as a hybrid are all acceptable formats and environments.

Ploughshares Fund is not able to:

·       Support the cost of production (meaning the cost of materials, product creation costs like printing, or display/exhibition venue fees) of feature-length films, videos, books, or art projects. However, Ploughshares Fund can support the research costs, distribution costs, relationship-building, and costs of educational or policy-related activities associated with creative projects.

·       Provide scholarships or tuition for academic programs.

·       Fund the research or writing of academic dissertations.

·       Support overhead at academic institutions (overhead/indirect expenses at non-university organizations is permitted).

·       Support electioneering activities as defined by the US Internal Revenue Service.

ABOUT THE APPLICANT

·       As long as the project fits the guidelines outlined above, everyone is welcome to apply. This RFP is open to new applicants as well as current or former grantees of Ploughshares Fund.

·       Both organizations and individuals can apply.

·       People of color, disabled people, women, and those that identify as LGBTQAI+, as well as those working at organizations led by Black, Indigenous, LGBTQAI+, disabled people, and women are particularly encouraged to apply.

·       We encourage individuals working at any entity or as independent individuals who have either 1) never been a project lead on a foundation grant or 2) never led on a nuclear-specific project before, to apply.

·       There are no limitations on the ages, positions (including students), or job titles that may apply. Applicants do not need to be a career professional or nuclear expert to apply.

·       Applicants and projects may be based in the United States or internationally.

We encourage all organizations and individuals to review the RFP and apply if they feel they meet some or all of the criteria. Please contact us at programsupport@ploughshares.org with any questions or concerns that you may have about your eligibility or ability to apply. Or consider attending one of the three scheduled informational webinars held December 1January 14, and February 7 to ask us your questions.

SUBMISSION PROCESS AND TIMELINE

Applicants should complete and submit a concept note for their proposed project. This note should include: 1) the project description, timeline, and connection to this RFP and Equity Rises, 2) amount requested, 3) a brief project budget, and 4) project leads / staff information. We recognize the value of diverse mediums beyond written text to convey information. As such, we have also included space in the form to list links to or upload other products that represent and are relevant to your submission, for those who wish to do so. This is optional and not required.

Submissions are due by February 15, 2022. Ploughshares Fund program staff will be reviewing all concept notes after the close of the submission deadline. The top 15-20 submissions as determined by Ploughshares Fund staff will be asked to submit a full proposal for consideration in the spring. We expect to award grants in June 2022.

All submissions will only be accepted through our online portal. Follow these steps to access the concept note form:

·       To access the online portal with an existing login or to register a new account, please visit: https://pfapplications.force.comTo register a new account, please click “New User?” under the sign in button.

·       Once you have registered or logged in, please click this link.

·       As long as you are signed into your portal account, this second link will take you directly to the RFP concept note form, where you will be able to create and submit a project for consideration. Alternatively, once you are logged into your portal account, you will see a link to the RFP concept note form at the top of your homepage that you may follow.

·       Please ensure you follow the correct link and DO NOT complete a full board-level application. Please read and follow all instructions and deadlines closely and confirm you are completing the correct form. We have distinct forms for different funding mechanisms, which may be open at the same time, and it is important that you complete the correct form.

If you are unsure about the correct form, are having trouble with the portal, or need accommodations, please contact us at programsupport@ploughshares.org.

During the RFP submission window, Ploughshares Fund will hold three 1-hour webinars on funding processes and funder relations for anyone who wants to learn more about applying for grants and working with foundations. There will be a presentation followed by a Q&A period about the presentation, Ploughshares Fund, and the RFP.

·       Please register  for one of the three options held December 1January 14, and February 7.

·       Ploughshares Fund staff are also available to conduct private briefings to your network/group upon request if none of the three webinar dates work for you.

If you have any issues with the online portal, forms, or have general RFP questions, please contact us at programsupport@ploughshares.org. No phone calls please.

ABOUT PLOUGHSHARES FUND

OUR MISSION: Ploughshares Fund is a global peace and security foundation that believes everyone has the right to a safe and secure future. Every day we work to reduce and eventually eliminate the threat posed by nuclear weapons, to stop their spread and to build peace in regions of conflict where nuclear weapons exist.

Equity Rises aims to increase equity and justice in nuclear policies and institutions by empowering diverse voices, cultivating inclusive spaces (across identity, sector, and geography), and collaborating with new partners both inside and outside the nuclear field.

If you have questions, please consult the 

If your question is not answered in the FAQ, contact us at programsupport@ploughshares.org.

If you would like to apply to our normal board or discretionary funding cycle, please refer to the Applying for a Grant page here for information and instructions.