Open Call: Rapid Response Funds to Support Palestinian, Arab, BAMEMSA Communities Amid Rising Hate, Intimidation, and Government Suppression

RTF Palestine Rapid Response Funding - Proteus Fund

As we bear witness to the atrocities in Palestine, BAMEMSA communities in the U.S. report experiencing a nationwide wave of anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim hate, intimidation, censorship and government suppression in response to community advocacy and protests of the ongoing siege, bombardment and humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank.

Criteria and Process

RISE Together Fund deploys its Rapid Response Fund to support U.S.-based community organizations to address crises within the BAMEMSA field in the United States. In response to the escalating environment of hate, targeting and government suppression, RTF is making available additional Rapid Response grants on a rolling basis, each grant ranging from $5,000-$25,000 per organization. Whenever possible, RTF will support organizations with general support grants to allow for organizational flexibility.

This document outlines RTF’s 2023 Rapid Response priorities, eligibility criteria, and process for evaluating grant inquiries and requests related to the current crisis.

If you have a rapid response need unrelated to Palestine, it is unlikely that we will be able to support your project at this time. Please do not use this form to submit your request. Instead, please contact to share your needs and the RTF team will be in touch. It may take over three weeks for the RTF team to respond to non-urgent inquiries unrelated to Palestine.

Funding Priorities

RTF’s current open call for Rapid Response inquiries will exclusively support domestic activities and priorities related to the ongoing crisis in Palestine, including:

  • Urgent digital and physical safety and security concerns (past examples have included funding for groups experiencing doxxing, hate attacks in their local community, or other digital or physical threats).
  • Urgent legal advocacy needs related to supporting legal infrastructure, know your rights, or local, state or federal threats, including responses to hate incidents, censorship, and discrimination.
  • Urgent advocacy needs related to local or federal policy threats or opportunities (examples include areas in which the U.S. government has influence, including ceasefire resolutions, exclusionary immigration policies, and enhanced material support laws, etc.)
  • Urgent needs related to right to protest and the right to freely state policy and political opinions.
  • Unexpected public education efforts and events to support the immediate and urgent policy, organizing, or communications goals related to the ongoing crisis, including intercommunity convening.

Eligibility Criteria

RTF uses the following eligibility criteria and considerations when making decisions about which organizations may receive Rapid Response funding:

Urgency and Proximity: The request is to respond to the urgent domestic threats in the United States related to the ongoing siege, bombardment and humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank. Funded activities should need immediate action and attention.

Tax status: The requesting organization is defined under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the IRS tax code, or it has a fiscal sponsor with the appropriate tax status. The primary use for grants made through this fund cannot be for lobbying.

Financial health: The requesting organization has a plan and the support to meet the overall project budget if the support RTF offers through Rapid Response funding does not cover all costs.

Leadership: The requesting organization is BAMEMSA-led and/or serving and has a track record of meeting community power-building needs and building local community capacity. Palestinian and Arab-led and serving organizations will be prioritized.

RTF will not be able to fund all requests, however, we will do our best to share organizational needs with funder partners.

What Activities will the RTF Rapid Response Fund NOT support:

  • Projects that are long-term and are unrelated to supporting urgent or immediate action
  • Partisan political campaigns, electioneering, and ballot initiatives
  • Projects that support basic or individual needs
  • Direct donations or grants to individuals
  • Non-emergency travel and accommodations
  • Third-party conference expenses
  • Scholarships or research (unless the research is designed to support an ongoing rapid response organizing, communications, or policy effort)
  • Filling general revenue shortfalls, cash flow challenges, or supporting leadership transitions
  • Capital campaigns, organizational development, or ongoing infrastructure needs 

Since our launch, our Rapid Response Palestine fund has distributed over $750,000 in rapid response funding to U.S. based Palestinian-led and other BAMEMSA-led organizations.

As the ongoing crisis in Gaza continues, RTF remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting those adversely impacted. We are continuing to fundraise to secure additional funding for rapid response resources, however, our ability to fund new rapid response requests is limited. Organizations with compelling requests are encouraged to submit applications or reach out via email to


Please bear in mind that sometimes we experience an extraordinary volume of inquiries and proposals. We will do our very best to adhere to the timeline described below:

Step 1: Complete the eligibility form here. Once this is completed and your eligibility is confirmed, you will be asked to submit basic information about your request and your organization. We estimate this will take approximately 15 minutes.

Step 2: An RTF team member will respond to your request. We will either: a) solicit more information via email and/or ask to set up a brief follow-up call or b) decline the request if it does not fit within RTF’s stated priorities, criteria, or considerations. If your request is declined at this stage, please know that RTF will do our best to share your needs with other funder partners.

Step 3: Within approximately a week after receiving the requested information or having a call, the RTF team will either decline or approve your request. If your request is declined at this stage, please know that RTF will do our best to share your needs with other funder partners.

Step 4: If your request is approved, RTF will:

  • Recommend your grant to the Proteus Fund board for funding. This will take approximately two weeks.
  • If your grant is approved by the board, RTF will work internally to release the funding to your organization within two weeks of approval.
  • Overall, the total amount of time between your inquiry and receiving funding is estimated to be up to four weeks. For emergency situations, RTF will make every effort will be made to expedite your request to ensure faster receipt of funds.

Submit Your Rapid Response Inquiry

Submit here

About Proteus Fund & RISE Together Fund (RTF)

RISE Together Fund (RTF), an initiative of the Proteus Fund, works alongside impacted communities to advance their civil rights, fight for full inclusion, and promote their contributions to democracy, culture, and society.

Proteus Fund connects philanthropy to the frontlines of social justice. We strive to advance the interconnected goals of racial, gender, queer and disability justice and an inclusive, fully representative democracy. Our work lifts up opportunities, gaps, and challenges facing movement organizations, especially at the state and local level, and then mobilizes support for these efforts. Our donor collaboratives are best-in-class models for bridging responsive philanthropy with cutting-edge social justice movements to create long-lasting impact. Through fiscal sponsorship, Proteus Fund partners with dynamic social justice initiatives which play a powerful role in the larger ecosystem for social change. To date, Proteus Fund, and its affiliated 501c4 organization, the Proteus Action League, have distributed $250 million in grants. Proteus Fund is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Amherst, Massachusetts. Our staff is based across the entire United States.


*BAMEMSA is an acronym for Black, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian to describe communities we support that have been acutely impacted by post 9/11 discrimination. While Arab Middle Eastern Muslim South Asian (AMEMSA) is a common term in philanthropy, because Black communities are often excluded in both community and philanthropic spaces, we felt it was important to be explicit about our commitment to fund Black leadership.