OVERVIEW: The Arca Foundation supports projects that address wide-ranging issues of social equity, justice, foreign policy, and human rights.
IP TAKE: Arca is an accessible funder, and a good friend to progressive groups working on peace and human rights issues.
PROFILE: When Nancy Susan Reynolds established the Nancy Reynolds Bagley Foundation in 1952, she had some pretty forward-thinking ideas of what philanthropy should and should not be. Among them were the beliefs that “foundations need to be experimental,” and be willing to take risks in “some of the more critical and controversial issues.” While Reynolds would change the name of her foundation to Arca in 1968, the organization's focus would remain on funding issues of social equity, justice, foreign policy making and human rights. Derived from the Latin for "treasure chest," the word "arca" also derives from the Italian for boat, or barca.
The Arca Foundation seeks to tear down the “structures and private interests that serve to limit the transparency of our government, [and] stifle public debate on critical issues,” in order for governments to more effectively serve the best interests of its citizens rather than say, special interest groups. The Foundation supports three focus areas: domestic, international, and innovative ideas.
Domestically, the Arca Foundation aids nonprofits that "advance greater economic and racial equity, specifically by addressing the impacts of financialization on an inclusive economy, democracy, and the environment." Internationally, the foundation supports organizations that work to advance a "more just U.S. foreign policy that prioritizes human rights and peace and security over militarization."
For a more detailed glance at Arca's grantmaking, read its Current Grantees page. Most organizations receive grants ranging from $50,000 to $75,000, with a handful of bigger grants going to larger organizations. However, those larger grants rarely exceed $100,000.
Potential grantees may submit proposals online via the foundation’s website. Deadlines for applications typically fall on February 1 and August 1 every year.
- Anna Lefer Kuhn, Executive Director
- Stacie Posey, Program & Grants Manager