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Building Bridges Program Grant Competition | DDCF Skip to main content

Building Bridges

Building Bridges Program Grant Competition

* The Building Bridges Program is under strategic review and will not hold a grant competition in 2021. Please visit this page in March 2022 for further updates.


Program Description

The Building Bridges Grant Program competition supports planning and implementation of projects that engage U.S.-based Muslims and their neighbors in online and/or live arts- and media-based experiences designed to advance relationships and understanding for mutual well-being. Through this approach, the program’s larger aim is to contribute toward a more just civil society and greater well-being among people.

In addition to grant dollars, grantees also receive strategic communications support during the grant period from a Building Bridges Program-appointed consultant. Grants are selected through a competitive, peer-review process administered by the Building Bridges Program staff. The review panel consists of external experts in the field.


Organizational Eligibility

  • Applicant organizations must be able to document their tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 501(c)(3) as amended and be publicly supported under IRC 509(a). Fiscal sponsors with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status may apply on behalf of a project for which there is an existing fiscal sponsor relationship.
  • Organizations may submit (and be associated with) only one application in each grantmaking round. Where two or more organizations plan to work in partnership, the applicant should be the organization that meets all the eligibility criteria and can receive and manage the grant, if funded. An organization that agrees to partner on another organization’s LOI may not also submit an LOI for its own project. Internal collaboration between departments, centers and/or multiple branch campuses within a larger organizational system is acceptable; however, only one of them may apply on behalf of the project. In all cases, the application should describe and clarify all partnerships involved in the project.
  • Organizations that received a grant in past funding cycles are eligible to apply again. If selected for funding, cumulative grants may not exceed $300,000 in the last three years. Those organizations with funding totaling $300,000 need to wait three years from receipt of the last grant before reapplying.
  • Organizations that do not meet the budget criteria may partner with another organization that does and can serve as the fiscal sponsor. Similarly, social-change and/or human services focused organizations may partner with arts organizations to apply and vice versa; however, only one organization can submit an application. Both the organization selected as the fiscal sponsor and the sponsored organization will need to submit their organizational budgets.
  • Organizations or partnering organizations should have three or more years of professional experience producing or presenting digital, literary, multimedia, and/or performing art forms.


Project Characteristics

Proposed projects or programs should offer immersive and interactive experiences that may be conducted in collaboration with organizations from other fields and are tailored to the needs and interests of the specific intended audience(s). These experiential activities can be conducted online and/or live. There are many ways organizations might design, structure and implement projects that engage U.S.-based Muslims and their neighbors through digital, literary, multimedia, and/or performing arts-based experiences to foster relationships and understanding between communities. Organizations are encouraged to draw upon their core capabilities, knowledge of the selected population(s) and resources in the creation of their proposals. Competitive projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of new programs informed by past experience with successful U.S.-based or international programming grounded in the creative arts.
  • Expansion of existing programs that advance Building Bridges Program goals.
  • Projects should take place over a period of two years from the start date.


Projects and Areas Not Funded

  • Requests from individuals.
  • The development, publication or distribution of books or reports.
  • Initiatives based exclusively on scholarly research or scholarly presentations.
  • Initiatives that focus solely on historical, as opposed to living, arts and cultures rooted in Muslim-majority regions and the diaspora.
  • Production or distribution of a single film will generally not be competitive.
  • Projects that support a performance by a single artist or single performance production will generally not be competitive.
  • Direct costs for the development and installation of exhibitions. Public programs associated with exhibitions are eligible.
  • Physical infrastructure or capital campaigns.


Criteria for Support

The following criteria is used in the review of grant applications (see Grants Awarded for examples of projects that have received funding):

  • Focus: The program supports online and/or live projects that primarily center on the creative forms of digital, literary, multimedia, and performing arts with cultural roots in Muslim regions and diaspora.
  • Intended Audiences: The program supports projects that define a specific, clearly identified online and/or live population, and demonstrate an understanding of their behaviors and preferences.
  • Goals for Achieving Success: The program prioritizes initiatives that can clearly define how they will advance understanding and trust building relationships between Muslims and their neighbors.
  • Management Capacity: The program supports organizations with the capacity to manage the projects for which they seek funding, and whose efforts align with the organization's mission and goals.