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JustFund Common Application

The Origin and Impact of the JustFund Common ApplicationTM (Part 1)

In this multi-part series, we look under the hood of our flagship giving solution: The JustFund Common ApplicationTM. In part one, learn how JustFund started and the impact it has had on grantmaking since 2017.

We know the grants process requires a significant amount of time and effort for both funders and their applicants. Applicants can spend between 25-40 hours each time they apply for a funding opportunity. That effort translates into a $5,000 cost for a staff person or consultant to fill out a grant application – and applicants only receive a grant 30% of the time1.

JustFund believed we could do better and worked with funders and organizers of color to design and launch the nation’s first common grant application platform to streamline the process for everyone. 

We designed JustFund Apply to allow funders to align their practice with their values and move money quickly to communities that have been historically excluded from traditional philanthropy. 

We didn’t stop there. We know that funders struggle to expand their networks and find new grantees doing critical work at the intersections of their priorities and interests. All of the common applications that are submitted to our network of 170+ funders who run grant cycles on our platform are aggregated into an online library of up-to-date profiles. JustFund Search helps funders find critical giving opportunities and connects them with new funder allies who are interested in the same work, providing a chance to expand their own peer networks. We’ve already seen great examples of collaboration: when two funders recently learned they funded the same organization, they joined forces to co-host a webinar for other donors interested in learning more about the organization’s efforts.

JustFund continues to innovate and build new features to further facilitate collaboration among funders, between funders and applicants, and to streamline all stages of the giving process, while making it simple and easy for applicants to find new funding opportunities.

The Impact of the JustFund Common ApplicationTM

As of April 2024, funders have moved $278 million to 3,700 grantees on JustFund with an average grant size of $51,000. Of the $278 million moved, $160 million are secondary grants, or follow-on funding to groups; meaning, a group comes into JustFund to apply to one funding opportunity and while on JustFund applies to a second funding opportunity and receives that second grant. Through the common application, JustFund has saved applicants an astounding 334,000 hours or 38 years of application time that they can put toward mission-critical work.

The majority of grants on JustFund are going to communities serving Black ($167M), Latinx ($150M), Women ($129M), Immigrant ($125M), and LGBTQ+ ($105M) communities. The majority of funding goes to groups working on Racial Justice (18%), Democracy and Civic Engagement (16%), Economic Justice (13%) and Environmental Justice (8%). The majority of grants flow to organizations working in the South (33%), doing state-based work ($94M) with budgets under $500K (41%).

Since 2017, we’ve proven that when we collectively change the way we give, our communities can thrive. Let’s JustFund, together.

Learn more about the JustFund Common ApplicationTM.

1. Shallow Review of Grant Writing,” Charity Science

Iara Duarte Peng

Iara Duarte Peng

Iara Duarte Peng is the Founder and CEO of JustFund.

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