Funding Agency:
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The Building Bridges 2020 Grants Program will support 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.

A total of $2.5 million will be awarded for projects that begin between January and June 2021. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $300,000 over two years will be awarded. Grantees will also receive strategic communications support during the grant period from a Building Bridges Program appointed consultant. Grants will be selected through a competitive, peer review process administered by the Building Bridges Program. The review panel will consist of external experts in the field.

Proposed projects or programs should offer immersive and interactive experiences that may be conducted in collaboration with other organizations 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 and;
  • Expansion of existing programs that advance Building Bridges Grants Program goals.

Funded projects must have a start date between January 1 and June 1, 2021. Projects may take place over a period of two years from the start date.

Organizations may submit (and be associated with) only one application in each grant-making round.


  • Duke Internal Deadline: June 19, 2020
  • Deadline for Letter of Interest: July 13, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • 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 grant-making 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 in this one. If selected for funding in this cycle, 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.



Funding Type





Arts & Humanities
Community Outreach and Engagement

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

  • CV or Biosketch of Project Leader
  • Draft version of Letter of Interest (1 page) addressing the following:
    • What is the proposed project? Who would be involved in its planning and implementation, including possible creative and/or organizational partners, community groups, etc.?
    • What is your proposed project’s desired goal, and how would it be achieved?
    • What is the intended online and/or live audience(s)/population(s) for the proposed project, and how have they been identified?
    • How would the project involve meaningful programming through either the digital, literary, performing and/or multimedia-based arts? How would creative partners, organizations and/or multimedia resources be identified?
    • How does your proposed project help to create more understanding and advance trust building relationships between American Muslims and their neighbors?

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for setting up your account and uploading internal applications can be found here: Instructions_FINAL.pdf

Internal Deadline

June 19, 2020

External Deadline

July 13, 2020