Guidelines & Funding Cycles

Understand Guidelines and Funding Cycles

Grant guidelines help applicants determine whether their idea for a grant fits within a particular grantmaking strategy. MacArthur can consider funding only those applications that closely match three related criteria that appear in program guidelines: topical focus addressed by the grantmaking strategy; geographic area covered by the grantmaking strategy; type of funding (general operating support, research, program support, etc.) that supports the grantmaking strategy.

Grantmaking Guideline Categories

Current Calls for Proposals 



Currently Accepting Inquiries

Chicago Commitment: Community Capital Grants (MacArthur selects the invitees)

Chicago Commitment: Arts & Culture General Operations

Chicago Commitment: Arts & Culture Loan Fund


Not Accepting Inquiries at This Time

Chicago Commitment: International Connections Fund

Climate Solutions

Community & Economic Development

Conservation & Sustainable Development

Criminal Justice

Digital Media & Learning

Documentary Film

Girls' Secondary Education in Developing Countries


Human Rights

Impact Investments

International Peace & Security

Journalism & Media

Juvenile Justice


Nuclear Challenges

On Nigeria

Policy Research

Population & Reproductive Health

Strengthening American Democracy


Nominations and Inquiries Never Accepted

MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions 

MacArthur Fellows 


What MacArthur Does Not Fund

The Foundation does not support political activities or attempts to influence action on specific legislation, and does not provide funding for the following:

  • Scholarships / tuition assistance for undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate studies
  • Annual fundraising drives
  • Paid advertisements
  • Honorary functions or similar projects
  • Unsolicited grants to individuals, except for the MacArthur Fellows, which operates through a separate nominating process that is not open to public nominations.

Next Step: Submit a Letter of Inquiry ›

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    The Foundation is committed to ensuring that grant-seekers, grantees, and the public have access to clear and up-to-date information about the Foundation and its programs, and are treated with fairness and professional courtesy.

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