Frequently Asked Questions
Call for Ideas
Are you a nonprofit looking to apply for a Pillars Catalyze Fund grant?
Read our FAQ to learn more about our Call for Ideas process. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please submit your question using this form
What kind of work does the Pillars Catalyze Fund support?
Pillars invests in a vibrant network of Muslim-led organizations and efforts developing thoughtful, multidisciplinary approaches to inequity and injustice. Our Catalyze Fund grants support work across three focus areas: reimagining public safety, promoting mental health and wellness, and building civic power.
Will Pillars Catalyze Fund support the building or maintenance of a mosque, religious center, or school?
No; however, we will consider programming conducted in houses of worship or educational institutions.
Can my organization submit an idea if we do not have 501(c)(3) status?
Organizations must have 501(c)(3) status or be sponsored by a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status by the time the organization is invited to submit a full proposal, September 29, 2022.
Do organizations need to be a certain size or age to be considered for funding?
Does Pillars Catalyze Fund have a particular regional focus within the United States?
No, but funding is only available to organizations and projects based in the United States and that are serving populations living in the U.S.
What is the timeline for the Catalyze Fund selection process?
- Call for Ideas – The Catalyze Fund Call for Ideas will be open from July 14, 2022 to September 1, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) CT. Ideas submitted during this time will be reviewed and evaluated by Pillars staff and a panel of community reviewers.
- Full Proposals – On September 29, 2022, the team will invite a select group of new applicants to submit a more extensive full proposal due November 10, 2022.
- Decisions and Awards – After reviewing full proposals, grantmaking decisions and awards will be dispersed in February 2023.
What is Pillars looking for in your Call for Ideas submission?
In your submission, Pillars is looking for evidence of:
- Bold ideas offering solutions that positively transform Muslim communities and create new pathways for other Muslim leaders, programs, organizations, and community members
- Alignment with Pillars’ mission, vision, and values
- Alignment with one of Pillars’ three focus areas: reimagining public safety, promoting mental health and wellness, or building civic power
- Emphasis on Muslim leadership in the organization or programming
- Effective and trustworthy leadership
Will my organization be considered for this grant cycle if we submit our idea after September 1, 2022?
No. To be considered for 2023 funding, ideas must be submitted by September 1 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) CT.
If I am a current Catalyze Fund grantee, should I still submit an idea?
No. Current Catalyze Fund grantees do not need to submit an idea. We will contact you directly about the grant renewal process, which opens September 29, 2022 and closes November 10, 2022.
If my organization wants to apply for funding for multiple projects or programs, should we submit multiple ideas?
No. We ask applicants to submit one idea per organization.
How many applicants will make it to the full proposal stage?
On average, Pillars’ Call for Ideas receives about 200 submissions per year, and we typically invite about 10 new organizations to submit full proposals and review them alongside renewal applications from current grantees. However, our decisions will be based on the strength of the organization and the idea, not a particular quota.
What happens if my organization does not get selected to submit a full proposal?
Unfortunately, not every organization will be invited to submit a full proposal. We appreciate your interest in partnering with Pillars, and we invite you to reapply in subsequent cycles. Due to the high volume of inquiries, we may not be able to provide individual feedback for each submission at this stage of the process. We encourage you to find other ways to engage with Pillars staff and programming throughout the year and reach out outside of the grant cycle.
Who are your current Catalyze Fund grantees?
Learn more about our current Catalyze Fund grantee portfolio.
When will awards become available?
We plan to distribute awards in February 2023.
For what activities can awards be used?
There are two types of Catalyze Fund grants: general operating grants and program/project grants. Most Catalyze Fund grants are general operating grants, which can cover things like staff salaries and facilities expenses or be spread across several programs; organizations given these grants have full discretion over how their award dollars are spent. Program- or project-based grants can be used only for the specific program for which you applied. The grant type will be determined during the full proposal phase of the process.
How much funding can awardees expect to receive?
First-year Catalyze Fund grantees receive transitional grants when they are introduced to the portfolio. These grants are one-year awards of around $25,000. This award amount is subject to change depending on a range of factors, including the project or organization need and available funds. Organizations that have already received Catalyze Fund grants are often eligible for increased award amounts as they reapply the following year.
How do I use Submittable to submit my idea?
What if my organization does not have an EIN yet?
Enter 00-000000 in the field; however, in order to receive Pillars support, organizations must have an EIN and 501(c)(3) status or be sponsored by a fiscal agent with an EIN and 501(c)(3) status by September 29, 2022. 00-000000 should only be used if your 501(c)(3) status is pending and expected to be finalized by September 29, 2022, or if your association with a fiscal agent is pending and expected to be finalized by September 29, 2022.
If my organization is housed in an academic university, should my application answers reflect the leadership, board, and finances of my university or my program?
If you are applying as a program or project housed within a university, your answers should reflect the leadership and financial resources of your specific program or project.
What if my organization needs more than one Submittable login?
We recommend having one Submittable account per organization. If you would like to merge multiple Submittable accounts, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be able to assist you.
How do I get a copy of my idea after submitting it?
PDF versions of submitted ideas are available online through your Submittable account. Login to your account and click on the “Submissions” tab at the top of the web page, then click on your idea. There is a “download” button available on the right side of the page.
Submit a Question
Our team reviews frequently asked questions each week leading up to our Call for Ideas submission deadline! If you have a question that this FAQ does not address, please submit your question using this form.