2021 Transportation Justice Grant Funding Opportunity

Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) is seeking proposals to advance work at the intersection of transportation access and social justice. This opportunity is available to groups organizing and advocating to improve walking, cycling, and public transportation to help reverse racial and economic inequities in Massachusetts.

T4MA strongly encourages applications from organizations led by and/or in support of People of Color and underrepresented, under-resourced communities who will engage people most impacted by transportation issues in their community.

Applications can include organizational capacity-building for transportation-focused initiatives, advocacy, community engagement, programming, and/or other activities. Applicants seeking funds to provide direct services are not a good fit for this grant opportunity, as we are focused on organizing and advocacy objectives.  T4MA expects to award 10-12  grants, of $7,500 to $10,000 each, in mid 2021. Awards must be expended by July 2, 2022, and a summary report is due by August 2, 2022. This funding opportunity is for a one-time grant only; T4MA makes no commitment to additional, future funding under this program or any other program.

T4MA awarded similar grants in February 2019 and July 2020. See this link for a summary of 2019 and 2020 grants.

Grant Application Period:

  • Friday, April 9th, 2021 - Friday, May 28th, 2021 5:00 PM.

Who should apply:

  • Community-based organizations with 501(c)3 designation or a fiscal sponsor.

Who is Transportation for Massachusetts?

  • T4MA is a diverse coalition of more than 100 member and partner organizations with a stake in improving transportation across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our coalition advocates at the state, federal, and local levels for transportation policies that are innovative, equitable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. We want a transportation system that strengthens our economy and our communities, while also being safer, healthier, more affordable and reliable.

    We are committed to transportation justice. We recognize that historic underinvestment in low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color has led to negative impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods. Even well-intended transportation policy can reinforce transportation injustice and lead to displacement. Transportation policy harms communities if it is not grounded in the community’s needs, aspirations, and civic fabric. We commit to advancing transportation options such as walking, cycling, and public transportation, to help reverse racial and economic inequities in Massachusetts.

Who should submit proposals?

  • This RFP is open to community-based organizations working at the intersection of transportation access and social justice for and/or with underrepresented and under-resourced communities. Underrepresented and under-resourced communities include, but are not limited to:

    • Communities of color (Black, Asian, Arab, Latino/a/x, Native American)
    • Low to Moderate income
    • Older adults 
    • People with disabilities
    • Communities that lack of access to grocery stories, public transportation, and/or affordable housing
    • Environmental justice communities, such as those disproportionately impacted by nearby power plants, oil refineries, factories, sewage plants, large scale bus depots, airports, etc.

Priority will be given to applicants that are not presently T4MA Members or Partners. T4MA sees this grant process as an opportunity to fund applicants who can help build impactful relationships with grassroots organizations and community activists across Massachusetts.

Non-profit organizations with a 501(c)3 designation or with a Fiscal Sponsor may apply.


What programs are eligible to receive funding?

  • Proposals should demonstrate how the grant recipient will advance work at the intersection of transportation and justice. This work could include organizational capacity-building for projects, advocacy, transportation-justice focused programming, and/or other activities. T4MA encourages proposals that work to advance multiple goals at one time.

    Proposals may support work that is already in progress. Applicants do not need to present new projects to apply for this grant. If applying for a project already in progress, be sure to include the current status and activities of that work. Funds awarded must be expended by July 2nd, 2022.

Applicants may apply for grants under the following categories:

  • Capacity-building: Organizations looking to add capacity to present and future projects at the intersection of transportation access and social justice. 

Examples: Salary and stipends for short-term projects, such as providing internships, volunteer recruitment & training, grant writing, and/or board/staff training. 

  • Community Engagement and Advocacy: Organizations looking to identify policy initiatives and/or plan a campaign in 2021 relating to transportation justice, or advance their overall mission, may apply through this category. Organizations seeking to build relationships with their target audiences for potential collaboration may apply under this category. 

Examples: Creating opportunities for community engagement and input on transportation issues through avenues such as a town hall on regional bus service. Proposals under this category may also be used to jumpstart new campaigns or fund existing ones. Travel funds within Massachusetts may be considered under this option.  

  • Projects and Programming: Organizations delving into transportation justice-related projects and programming may apply for funding. 

Examples: Research that advances a broader understanding of transportation justice or the hiring of a short-term consultant to draft the viability of projects that could enhance access in targeted communities. 


Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Description of a community-level issue or concern that the grant proposes to address.
  • Demonstration of organizational need for capacity to achieve specific objectives
  • Commitment to incorporate community participation and engagement by people who are most impacted by the transportation status quo.
  • Description of a project that will advance specific values.
  • Demonstrated promise or record of success in the area of focus.

What is the timeline for awarding funding?

Activity

Time Period

Grant Application Period Opens       

April 9th, 2021

Q&A Period for Clarification of RFP

April 9th - May 28th, 2021

Grant Application Period Closes 

May 28th, 2021 5:00 PM

Submission Evaluation Period by T4MA

June 1st - 22nd, 2021

Expected Grant Notification Period

June 25th, 2021

Grant Activities Period

July 1, 2021 - July 2, 2023

Grant Reports Due

August 2, 2022


How should proposals be submitted?

All applicants must complete and submit a Funding Application. 

The Funding Application consists of a set of questions, limited by word counts to reduce the organizational burden of completing the application.

Funding Applications may be submitted in one of three ways:

  1. Proposals may be submitted through an online form.
  2. The application may be filled out in Word format following this link and emailed to [email protected]
  3. While option (1) is preferred, applicants who wish to mail in their proposal may complete this file and send it to: T4MA, Attention: Transportation Justice Grants, 50 Milk Street, 16th Fl, Boston, MA 02109. Please email [email protected] if you plan to mail your proposal.

Letters of Support (optional)

  • Up to three short letters of support may be provided, but are not mandatory. These may be sent separately from the online application, or included with the mailed application. The deadline is the same as for the application.

Proposals should be submitted through the online form, sent electronically, or postmarked by May 28th, 2021. 


Contact Information for Questions

Frequently Asked Questions: please see this link.

For questions or concerns connected to this RFP, please refer to this FAQ or contact:

Josh Ostroff, T4MA Partnerships Director
[email protected]
508-654-3330



This funding is made possible through a grant from the Barr Foundation to support efforts to promote transportation justice.

 

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