Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a new organization?
No. The OKC Black Justice Fund was established as a fiscal sponsorship fund at the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma. It is a temporary initiative created to receive and grant funds to existing organizations and groups in Oklahoma City, and there is no plan to create a new 501(c)(3) organization.
Will this be a long-term initiative?
No. The OKC Black Justice Fund is a short-term initiative that will last no longer than a few months. It is intended to quickly fund organizations in Oklahoma City that are already working toward racial justice, while catalyzing longer term conversations, investments and action in our community. By bringing together funders and Black community members to review and discuss these grant requests, we hope to strengthen relationships, facilitate important conversations and elevate Black-led organizations, as well as those working to advance racial equity and justice, in our community. This is intended to be just one of many steps to advance racial equity and justice and dismantle systemic racism in Oklahoma City.
How was this fund created?
The board and staff of the Arnall Family Foundation recently took part in listening sessions with several Black community leaders, both of grassroots movements and within local government in Oklahoma City, to understand what immediate steps toward racial justice may look like for our community. Informed by these recommendations and perspectives, this fund was established and seeded with $50,000, with an additional $50,000 in matching funds.
How are members of the evaluation committee determined?
The evaluation committee will be composed of five Black community members and five donors. The Black community members were nominated by community stakeholders, also from the Black community, that we spoke with prior to establishing the fund in order to determine immediate priorities. The donors will be solidified based on their financial commitment to the fund and their interest in evaluating applications. As the committee is confirmed, the members will be listed on this website.
If I donated to the fund, how will I know where my money ends up going?
All grant awards will be posted on this website and included in an update email to those on our mailing list. For each grant awarded, we will share information about the applying organization and the grant request, so that everyone that is interested can learn more about the work taking place in our community.
I still have questions. Who should I talk to?
You can send any remaining questions through the Contact Us feature on this website. We will also work to update this list with answers to new questions as we receive them.
How will grant applications be evaluated?
Grants will be evaluated by committee members based on five criteria:
- Potential for impact on advancing racial justice
- Connection to the Black Community, which includes considerations such as the composition of leadership and staff and the organization’s experience working within the community they are aiming to serve
- Strategy for focusing on under-resourced communities in Oklahoma City, with consideration of the team/organization’s existing role within those communities
- Alignment to the stated goal of the Fund and at least one of the four outlined purposes
- Presence of a clear and actionable plan for using requested funds
What information should be included in the application?
Click here for a preview of the application questions.
What if I apply for a grant, but do not receive funds?
We recognize that there will likely be more deserving grant requests than there are available funds. The grant application has an optional question that asks if the applicant is comfortable with their application being shared with other funders. Our hope is that, in addition to the grants made directly through the OKC Black Justice Fund, this process will give additional funders an opportunity to learn more about the organizations working toward racial justice and provide insight on how they can better support their efforts. We will work to share applications with funders outside of the scope of this initiative, as long as applicants approve of us doing so, with the goal of spreading awareness and creating additional funding opportunities.
Who is eligible to apply for funds?
Any organizations or groups that are working to advance racial equity and justice within Oklahoma City city limits may apply for a grant. Organizations do not need to be a 501(c)(3) to be eligible for funding, and there are no limitations regarding the size or type of the organization. One of the reasons for establishing this fund was to create a more accessible funding stream for smaller groups or grassroots efforts that are making a change in our community, that may otherwise be ineligible for or unlikely to receive traditional grants.
Can my organization submit more than one proposal for consideration?
Yes, you may submit more than one proposal, but you must submit each one as a separate application.
I think the costs associated with my research proposal seem too significant based on the size of this fund. Should I still apply?
Yes, we encourage you to submit a realistic proposal for data analysis and research based on your due diligence and expertise. While there are no guarantees for funding, funders have shown interest in contributing supplemental funds for a strong proposal in this area.
When will award notifications be communicated?
Award notifications will be made in the fall of 2020.
What should be included in the grant request budget?
Please include any expenses associated with your grant request, and if you have any other revenue to put toward your proposal, be sure to include that as well. We realize that expenses may look very different based on your proposal, as the types of expenses can vary greatly for events, trainings, general operating requests, research projects, etc. Examples of potential expenses to consider include salaries, training or consulting fees, insurance, marketing expenses, supplies, technology needs, facilities costs, and more. Click here to see a sample budget. If you have any questions about creating your grant request budget, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting your application so that we can assist you.
Once I create an account on the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma site, how do I access the Black Justice Fund application?
After creating a new account or logging in with an existing one on the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma application page, you should select “Apply” and then search for the OKC Black Justice Fund application.
Who should I reach out to about issues with my account or password?
If you are experiencing issues with your account and/or password on the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma site, then reach out to Erika Warren at email@example.com. For any questions about eligibility, your proposal, or the overall process, send those to firstname.lastname@example.org.