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General Grant Questions 

Application & Registration Questions

How To Apply

Glossary of Terms



General Grant Questions

Which program should my group apply to?

For organizations based in Vermont, we have several grant program choices. If your organization is based outside of Vermont, but within the United States, you may be eligible to apply through our national program, the Grassroots Organizing for Social Change grant program. All of our grant programs are highly competitive and we recommend that potential applicants thoroughly review our grant guidelines to ensure a good fit.

Related Information: Vermont Programs  |  National Program

What issue areas does the Ben & Jerry's Foundation prioritize?

The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation does not prioritize any specific issue areas for funding. Rather, we focus on the types of activities and strategies an organization uses for creating social change. Please review the guidelines for each of our grant programs.

Related Information: Vermont Programs  |  National Program

Does my organization need to have 501(c)(3) (non-profit public charity) status to apply?

Organizations may receive grants from Ben & Jerry’s Foundation through a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status if they do not have the status of their own. A letter of intention from the fiscal agent is required along with their IRS determination letter with the submittal of your full proposal.

Does the Ben & Jerry's Foundation provide support to individuals?

No. The Foundation can only fund non-profit organizations.

How can my group get ice cream donations or sponsorship from Ben & Jerry's?

The Ben & Jerry's Foundation is independent of the ice cream company, and therefore has no means of providing support with ice cream requests. Please visit the Ben & Jerry’s website for ice cream donations:

For sponsorship requests, please visit the Ben & Jerry’s website:

Who do I talk to about getting Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. to partner with my organization for a social marketing campaign, or other campaign?

Please visit the Ben & Jerry’s website:


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How To Apply

How do I apply?

All of our grant programs are accessed through this website. Once you have reviewed all of the grant guidelines and restrictions, and are certain your organization would align with our priorities, review the process and follow the "Start Application Here" button. This will take you to our online grants management system, where you will register your organization and begin the online application.

Related Information: Vermont Programs  |   National Program  |  Grants System Tutorial

Our organization has never received funding from The Ben & Jerry's Foundation. Before submitting a request, may we discuss our work with your staff to see if we are a fit for your grant programs?

Due to staff limitations we are not able to meet with potential applicants. We encourage all potential applicants to review our Grantees page to better understand the type of organizations we fund and our typical giving amounts. If, after visiting our website, organizations have additional questions, they are welcome to email or call the Foundation directly.

Related Information: Grantees  |   Grant Deadlines

How often can I apply?

We don’t have a limit on the number of times an organization may apply, but recommend moderation. An organization may only be funded once each calendar year.

Can I apply for more than one grant program at a time?

No. We will only consider one application at a time.

Who decides which groups receive funding from the Ben & Jerry's Foundation?

All of our grant decisions are recommended by teams of Ben & Jerry’s employees.

How soon after applying can I expect to hear back?

CAT applicants can expect to hear back in approximately 30 days, depending on when an application is submitted. CATs are reviewing requests at different times in the month, and we generally send notification at the end of the month. Grassroots Organizing for Social Change pre-applications are reviewed once the deadline has passed, and applicants should hear within 30 days after the deadline for a decision of invitation.

How do I apply for a Renewal request?

Currently our Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program is the only process with a designated Renewal application process. This grant process is open over several months, and is only applicable to organizations that have received funding through the Grassroots Organizing for Social Change grant program within the last 3 years (from date of funding). Pre-Applications may be submitted once a grant report is complete for previous funding. Renewal Pre-Applications can be accessed by clicking on Apply in the grant management system left side navigation bar, during the period in which the process is open.


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Grant Program Deadlines

Applications for the Vermont Community Action Teams may be submitted at any time and are reviewed on a monthly basis.

The schedule for the Vermont Capacity-Building Grant program opens in March, 2016 with a deadline of May 31st, 2016 at 5pm EST.

The schedule for the Vermont Economic Justice Grant program opens in April, 2016 with a deadline of July 11th, 2016 at 5pm EST.

For our Grassroots Organizing for Social Change program we have three open periods for letters of interest. Cycle A and Cycle B are open to organizations that have not received funding from the Ben & Jerry's Foundation in the last three years.

The Renewals process is for organizations that have received funding from the Ben & Jerry's Foundation within the last three years (from date of funding). The graph below indicates the current schedule: 

Pre-Applications Schedule

Full Proposal Deadlines

[A]   Pre-App Deadline:  Opens  Aug. 1sr – Deadline Oct. 14th, 4pm ET 2016.      

[A]  Full Proposals Due: on  or about Jan. 15th,  2017

[B]   Pre-App Deadline:  Opens  Feb. 1st, 2017 – Deadline Apr. 14th, 2017 at 4pm ET. 

[B]  Full Proposal Due:  on or about Oct. 15th, 2017

Renewals 2015: Ongoing year round. Pre-App Requests will be collated bi-monthly for review for full proposal invitations.

Renewals: Based on invitation date.


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Application & Regristration Questions

Where do I send my Letter of Interest (LOI)? 

We do not accept mailed Letters of Interest. All applications must be submitted online through our grants management system. You will need to first register your organization before applying online through the grant program. Please note that we refer to an LOI as a Pre-Application.

Related Information: Grants System Tutorial  System Log In

Do I need to know my organization's 501(c)((3) number to register?

Yes, you will need to have this information available as you start the registration process. If you have a fiscal agent, you will need to know their 501(c)(3) number to complete the registration. All details on the registration page should reflect accurate contact information for the organization that is applying for a grant, and not that of the fiscal agent.

I am new to my organization, which has received funding in the past. Do I need to register the organization again to create a log in for myself?

An organization does not need to be registered more than once into our online system. If the organization does not have a record of their log in details for the online system, you would need to get in touch with the Ben & Jerry's Foundation for us to add you to the list of contacts and provide you with your log in. If you have gone ahead with registering the organization and created an account, and are worried that you cannot see the organization history, please contact us to allow us to connect you to the correct account. Please contact Dana Jeffery on 802-923-2657. We will attempt to resolve any issues during our usual business hours Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm, EST.

Related Information: Grants System Tutorial  System Log In

I cannot see the grant process when I click on Apply, did I miss a deadline?

If you are logged in and cannot see the grant process you wish to apply for in the list of available programs, it is possible you may have missed a deadline. We do not use a code for grant program applications, even though you may notice there is an option to add a code. We recommend that you review our program schedule prior to applying for a grant.

 Related Information: Grantees  |   Grant Deadlines

I am having difficulty signing in / saving / submitting my application. How can I get some help?

From time to time applicants come across some browser issues, or experience some errors using the online grants management system. If you are familiar with clearing your cookies and cache on your browser, or try using a different browser to complete the application and still encounter problems, please review the "Common Issues Addressed" in the tutorial document. If you have attempted all fixes, and continue to have difficulties, please contact Dana Jeffery on 802-923-2657. We will attempt to resolve any issues during our usual business hours Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm, EST.

Related Information: Grants System Tutorial  System Log In

I received an Invitation to Submit a Full Proposal, how do I find the full proposal application form?

Once invited to submit a full proposal, you do not need to go to the Apply link to access the full proposal form. The Applicant Dashboard will have your request details in the Request Box under the organization address information. The link to "Edit Application" will be to the right, see link to the application tutorial below.

Related InformationApplication Tutorial

The Budget form on the grant application appears to have some information I do not need. How am I supposed to use this budget format? 

For consistency in our review we have developed our own budget form for income and expenses for an organization's budget. If you are not able to navigate or use the form, after reviewing our Budget Tutorial below, please contact Dana Jeffery on 802-923-2657. We will attempt to resolve any issues during our usual business hours Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm, EST.

Related InformationBudget Tutorial   Budget Form


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Our glossary of definitions

Grassroots Organization:

A community-based or neighborhood based organization with leadership and governance that includes constituents. Local, constituent-based and historically disenfranchised are words that often describe the leadership and membership of grassroots organizations. Specifically, we look for groups that are working to help themselves, help their own communities, and help others like themselves for broad systems change through self-empowering, community organizing efforts.

Progressive Social Change:

Social change addresses the root causes of problems; social service addresses the consequences of those problems. Social change addresses whole communities, systems and institutions; social service aids and assists individuals.

Root Cause:

Underlying factors that create community problems and make those problems likely to persist even though services may be in place to help individuals and families meet immediate needs.

Grassroots Community Organizing Strategies:

Activism from the ground up as opposed to top-down. It includes but is not limited to, leadership development, constituent empowerment, popular education, outreach, power analysis, mobilizing constituents and allies, coalition building and direct action.

Employee Match Program:

The Foundation supports the generosity of Ben & Jerry’s employees through a dollar for dollar match program of up to $2000 a year.

Movement Building Program:

The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Movement Building Grant Program is a proactive grant program that supports national progressive movement-building efforts by identifying organizations and alliances that can significantly advance the Foundation’s broad social justice, environmental protection and sustainable food systems goals.  The program engages with initiatives that are working across sectors and implementing approaches, knowledge and models that build the Social Justice movement and will lead to positive systemic change. We look for efforts with a track record of success and the demonstrated leadership and multiple allies to be able to accomplish their goals. Grantees have demonstrated results and a strategic plan that position them to play a significant role in mobilizing others and influencing decision-makers.  We engage with organizations that we have had a relationship with over time, we know to be effective and strategic, and that are addressing critical issues.

 We do not accept unsolicited proposals or requests for this grant program.