reset explainer

More Information on JCRIF’s Reset grants

As we announced on Monday, the JCRIF Aligned Grant Program is continuing for a second round in 2021. We’re excited by the conversations the announcement is generating, particularly about the launch of the Request for Proposals for our new “Reset” Grants.

There is important, challenging, and creative work happening on the ground every day in Jewish communities across North America, and the JCRIF grant funders are eager to continue to support much of this good work through JCRIF, alongside their ongoing individual grantmaking.

We know there are also many questions emerging about the new Reset grants, so we want to offer some guidance. As we have said since JCRIF’s launch, JCRIF is but “one arrow in the quiver” of Jewish philanthropy. These grants have specific purposes and they are not intended to meet every need. Please do not feel like your organization must apply – this is a subset of a subset of opportunities in the Jewish philanthropic world.

The first place to look for additional answers to your questions is the RFP. We’ve outlined several of the areas we’re interested in supporting there, along with some basic eligibility criteria. You should also have a look at the Lessons Learned report we issued this week, which discusses some of what we’ve learned in the first round of JCRIF grants, to get a sense for the overall aims and interests of the JCRIF grant funders. And have a look at some of what we funded in the first round.

Please bear in mind, however, that as with all RFPs, few proposals will be funded. Especially in a challenging time for all, please be judicious with your time and only apply if you truly meet the criteria. The initial Letter of Intent is intended to be very brief so as to save applicants’ time.

The Reset grants are not a “prize.” Our intention is to make a number of Reset grants of varying sizes, not necessarily just one $10 million grant.

The grants are for up to $10 million to be distributed over up to 5 years. The $10 million number is meant to encourage applicants to think big – but we will absolutely consider applications for much smaller amounts. This is not a grant program intended only for big organizations; it is a grant program intended to support big, game-changing ideas. Big ideas can come from organizations of all sizes.

By “big ideas,” we are talking not about single programs, no matter how excellent, but about ways to re-envision, realign and restructure Jewish organizations and communities. Big ideas are complicated and they’re not silver bullets. They often take many partners, and although we’re not mandating collaborative proposals, we imagine that most successful proposals will include organizational partnerships. Implementation can be the responsibility of one or more organizations, depending on the configuration of the partnership.

In the RFP, you’ll see two lists of bulleted items that describe the kinds of ideas we are interested in supporting and shed light on the funders’ priorities. While no proposal needs to meet all of those criteria, please do not apply if your proposal does not fit any of the criteria or if your work is somehow opposed to any of the criteria. Please do not contort your work to meet our criteria.

The Reset grants will be a subset of the grants that the JCRIF grant funders will be making in 2021. JCRIF will continue to make grants for pandemic-related Opportunity Investments (accelerating promising initiatives that are experiencing high demand; investing in creative adaptations to programs and program delivery mechanisms) and Emergency Funds for Immediate Needs. JCRIF supports U.S.-based Jewish umbrella and organizations that advance Jewish education, engagement and leadership. Unfortunately, we cannot support social services or political advocacy programs.

We’re eager to hear about your ideas for reimagining, renewing, and resetting Jewish communities for the future! We will do our best to answer brief eligibility and suitability questions directed to jcrifreset@gmail.com. Initial Letters of Intent are due to that address by 5 pm ET on Friday, March 26.