Grantmaking

Pop Culture Collaborative grants are awarded to United States–based nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, and individuals (with fiscal sponsorship) working to drive transformative experiences for mass audiences (i.e., more than 1 million people) through pop culture stories, media, and social networks. These include initiatives focused on the development and distribution of content, design of audience engagement strategies, and the creation of immersive narrative environments through cultural, narrative, and behavioral change approaches. 

As described in our vision statement, the Collaborative is working over the long-term to support the growth of a pop culture for social change field capable of building the yearning in most Americans (more than 150 million people) to actively co-create a just and pluralist culture in which everyone is perceived to belong, inherently, and is treated as such. 

The Collaborative defines “pluralist culture” as a culture in which the majority of people in a community or nation are actively engaged in the hard and delicate work of belonging together in a just society. Our grantmaking approach reflects our belief that pop culture stories and experiences have a critical role to play in helping people discover, experiment with, and embody pluralist behaviors and norms.

GRANT PROGRAMS

Our funding ranges from $5,000 for small, experimental projects to $200,000 for multi-year culture change programs. The Pop Culture Collaborative has four grantmaking areas:

Major Grants can support new and/or established initiatives, organizations, or companies that are working to advance long-term narrative change goals and/or to build the pop culture for social change field. Major Grants are approved twice a year, in the late Spring/Early Summer and in the late Fall. Major Grants range from $50,000-$100,000 over 12 months and $100,000-$200,000 for multi-year grants. Please read our Major Grants Guidelines.

Opportunity Grants support emerging and timely initiatives and/or experiments at the intersection of popular culture and social justice that can be made year-round. Opportunity grants are made for $50,000 and below. Please read our Opportunity and Rapid Response Grants Guidelines.

Rapid Response grants support projects that respond to and/or quickly anticipate an acute and timely political or cultural moment. Rapid response grants can be requested and are approved year-round. Rapid Response grants are made for $50,000 and below. Please read our Opportunity and Rapid Response Grants Guidelines.

The Becoming America Fund supports artists, creative companies, social justice organizations, cultural organizations, consumer researchers, and cultural strategists who are calling on Americans to reject the exclusionary systems that define our country’s past and present, and embrace the transformative ideas that can shape our future. Read more about the Becoming America Fund.

SUBMIT AN IDEA FOR CONSIDERATION

The Pop Culture Collaborative accepts proposals by invitation only. However, we have created a simple process for potential grantees to self-evaluate whether they are a match with the Collaborative’s goals and guidelines, and if so, to submit an idea for our consideration. It is important to note that an idea submission is not a proposal. The Collaborative will respond only to idea submissions that the staff team has reviewed and deem a potential match. 

STEP 1: Please read our grants overview page as well as the Pop Culture Collaborative’s Major Grants and/or Opportunity and Rapid Response grant guidelines.

 

STEP 2: Read our Grantmaking Frequently Asked Questions.

STEP 3: Take our brief self-assessment quiz to see if your project idea and/or organization is a good match for the Collaborative’s goals and guidelines.

STEP 4: Submit your idea through our submission portal if you believe the idea is a match for the Collaborative’s goals and guidelines. Please note that this is not a proposal but a brief opportunity for the Collaborative to learn more about your work.  We appreciate you sharing your vision and creativity with us!

 

ABOUT OUR GRANTEES

Pop Culture Collaborative grantee partners are imagining, creating, and collaborating to change our culture and we are proud to work with them as we seek to increase the American public’s desire and demand for a pluralist society rooted in justice.

The Collaborative’s grantees are most often working in one or a combination of these sectors: social justice movement building, entertainment and/or the arts, advertising and brands, journalism, academia, digital content (online and/or video), science and/or technology, immersive and/or experiential media, and/or pop culture communities (e.g., fandoms). That said, we welcome relevant ideas and approaches from any sector.

In partnership with the Pop Culture Collaborative, our grantee partners:

  • Commission and/or develop creative work that excavates and illuminates who we are as a nation and who we yearn to become.
  • Build critical pieces of new and evolving narrative infrastructure, and establish and/or strengthen field-based networks.
  • Produce groundbreaking culture change research, including audience research and industry research.
  • Design and/or implement long-term mass audience narrative and culture change strategies that sit at the intersection of pop culture and social change, particularly those that emerge from collaboratively designed narrative systems.
  • Develop and/or advance innovative mass audience activation initiatives and campaigns that seek to transform toxic narrative environments into ones powered by pluralist mental models, behavioral norms, and cultural values.

To support additional learning about the Collaborative community and our grantmaking, past and current grantee partners can be viewed and sorted into the following five priority grantmaking areas and by additional strategy tags. We invite you to explore our grantee community and hope this opportunity makes for a rich discovery experience.

view our grantees by year/cohort:

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