What We Fund

"Ploughshares Fund helps make the world more safe and secure.”
It’s a simple sentence, but it's supported by complex work.

How do we do it? By funding organizations and people who drive policies and activities that help eliminate nuclear threats or address regional conflicts, create a stronger and more resilient nuclear field, build new partnerships with intersecting issues, and support transformational thinking and activities.

In line with Ploughshares Fund’s organizational goals and priorities, our grantmaking and programmatic activities are focused on the following areas:

Near-term Steps: Drive policies and activities that help eliminate nuclear threats or address regional conflicts. This category will fund projects that support necessary near-term steps to: address the nuclear implications of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine (in particular, preventing the war from entrenching a narrative that nuclear weapons keep us safe); reverse modernization trends (with an emphasis on the cancellation/retiring of unnecessary and expensive weapons systems, like the B-83 bomb or the proposed Sea-Launched-Cruise Missile); advance arms control and diplomacy (in particular, maintaining the political space for future arms control efforts between the United States, Russia, and other nuclear states, when appropriate); and resolve related regional conflicts. In some cases, projects may focus on specific policy steps essential to long-term change. In other cases, projects may involve specific regional focuses with nuclear intersections. Among other goals, this funding area aims to support a broad emphasis on diplomacy-first foreign policy and an increase in the number and influence of voices—both civil society and political – that advance our mission.

Strengthened Community: Create a stronger, more resilient nuclear field. Advances in nuclear policy require sustained and focused attention from our community and the public to create the pressure and options to reduce and eliminate nuclear threats and build a more peaceful world. This area of funding will support the core organizations and individuals that the nuclear field needs to make a policy and cultural impact in both the short and long terms. It will also include targeted interventions—such as fellowships, diversity and leadership initiatives, and training in forecasting and systems thinking—that will help increase the nuclear field’s capacity and allow it to thrive. The goal is to build a nimbler, stronger community of advocates, scholars, and creative thinkers that will effect change in policy and partner with other movements.

Shared Purpose: Build new partnerships with intersecting issues. To make nuclear weapons politically and culturally noteworthy and at the forefront of public consciousness, we must build active partnerships across issue areas. The goal of this funding area is to develop a power base and generate public pressure for policy change by aligning with other social justice movements and calling attention to the interlinkages between their issues and nuclear topics. Through this portfolio, we aim to effectively message, organize, and establish frameworks around these intersections—in particular, climate change and racial justice—and collaborate with partners outside of the nuclear field.

Bold Futures: Support transformational thinking and activities. There is an urgent need for transformational thinking and activities in the nuclear arms control and policy community. For years, the field has been stuck in status quo thinking that focuses exclusively on immediate policy challenges and ignores the need for long-term planning. While a focus on incremental policy disputes is sometimes necessary, occasional successes have not prevented an overall regression in nuclear weapons policy. In essence, our community is winning some battles but losing the war. Weapons spending is up, and hawkish policies are dominant. Accordingly, this funding area addresses a major gap in the community’s efforts and identifies and fosters transformational approaches to reducing nuclear risks, allowing for the creation of more favorable terrain for major change over the long term. Investments here will support the visions, coalitions, and projects that can fundamentally challenge the nuclear policy status quo. At its core, this funding area will prioritize bold experimentation that will bring us closer to a world free of the nuclear threat.

Our World is Safer When We Include All Voices.

In pursuit of a world where all can live free from the threat of nuclear weapons, we must take an approach that puts people at the center of policy. It’s imperative we harness the insight and experience the entire field has to offer and work toward greater inclusivity and representation. Ploughshares Fund is committed to supporting women-led organizations and projects in its funding priorities and opening the field to and amplifying diverse voices working on these issues.

You Play a Role.

We help regular people—you, your parents, your neighbors, your coworkers—understand that the nuclear threat is not over. You can help eliminate nuclear weapons by supporting Ploughshares Fund today. Make a donation. Share on social channels. Talk with friends. Together, we can make the world safer and more secure.

Apply for a Grant:

Ploughshares Fund is looking for the smartest minds and organizations to partner with. Contact us to inquire about current grant opportunities, or apply for a grant.