Economic Security Project is launching an RFP to support projects that advance the goal of securing public options.

Public options are options in the marketplace that are provided, authorized, or procured by the government; that can coexist with private options to create positive outcomes such as economic choice and resilience for families; and that are accessible to all. Read more about our interest in public options here.

To supercharge the public options field, we’re launching an open call to support initiatives that will build towards the actualization of public options. We’re interested in:

  • Campaigns/organizing. We want to back campaigns that advance public options in nascent or early stage efforts. We’re looking to support projects from the ground up, helping them succeed and generate maximum grassroots and advocacy excitement behind public options. To give just a few examples, we’re interested in: campaigns that bring community members, especially low-wage workers and communities of color, into the conversation; coalitions that seek to create cultural and political conditions receptive to public options; and research that informs campaigns and organizing strategies. We’re also looking for campaigns that bring in community perspectives on how to implement Biden-era public investments like the Inflation Reduction Act in ways that benefit local communities through public options. 
  • Feasibility research. We’re looking to accelerate feasibility research on how to implement public options to maximize positive outcomes. We want to support rigorous economic, legal, and operational analysis to buttress the arguments of government leaders seeking to build support for public options; and to guide governments when they’re implementing and shaping public options, to create the most good for everyday people and families, workers, small businesses, the climate, the environment, and more. As public officials commit resources to exploring public options as a possible solution to the problems their communities face, we’re eager to provide them with research to ground and structure their experiments; and with resources that clearly show them the how and why of pursuing public options. 
  • Technical assistance. We want to strengthen technical assistance to implement public options democratically and successfully. We aim to support civil society groups, researchers, analysts, and advocates with deep issue area expertise who can provide technical assistance to governments as they stand up public options. Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and how a public option looks in practice will vary based on the sector and locality, groups with specific expertise can play a key role, partnering with local governments to ensure public options are implemented effectively to meet the needs of local communities. We’re particularly interested in supporting groups working in partnership with government entities to forge the path forward where state capacity is the only obstacle standing in the way of the establishment of a public option; groups that can find ways for public options to intersect with the green energy transition, including green/climate banking and updating housing and other buildings to meet green standards; and groups looking to leverage the public investments of the Inflation Reduction Act, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support the implementation of public options. 
  • Narrative and cultural change. We want to back projects that educate the public through strategic narrative interventions that showcase the positive role of public options in building equitable markets. We must own and amplify the success of public options at this pivotal moment and tell a clear, compelling story around what’s possible when governments embrace their full potential to shape fair, competitive markets. We want to support robust storytelling campaigns–such as innovative media, podcasts, events, films, programming, and more– that educate the public on the power of public options, highlight innovative campaigners designing public options, and center the people and communities who benefit from public options. Through these narrative interventions, we can engage a broader audience on the power of public options and set us on a more democratic path toward balancing power in our economy.

We’re interested in exploring public options across a range of sectors, in states around the country. We’re prioritizing proposals for projects advancing public options for pharma; social housing; banking; public power including energy, solar, electric grids, and more; food, including grocery stores and rural development interventions like grain elevators; and artificial intelligence–but we’re open to considering everything in between. 

Note: This RFP can only fund 501(c)3 projects and campaigns. 

Join us in this endeavor to explore how public options can build power for all of us. Please indicate your interest in applying for funding by submitting a 300 to 400 word pitch using the form below by Thursday, October 12th, noon ET. 

Support for this open call comes from the Ford Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Omidyar Network, Square One Foundation, and Wallace Global Fund. Thank you to our funders for making this work to advance public options possible.

Next Steps

Once we’ve reviewed your pitches, we’ll invite some of you to submit an approximately 1,200- word full proposal and project budget, expanding on your plan, impact, and deliverables. Available grants range from $25,000 to $100,000; we only have C3 funding. We may have additional questions based on your proposal to inform our decision, and may work with you on updating your application to secure funding. Please make sure to indicate if you’re leading a project with a time-sensitive request on your application. As a grant recipient, you’ll also be expected to join our rich network of campaigners, organizers, political leaders, researchers, and more; including as an active participant in our Public Options Community of Practice.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to [email protected].


Tentative Timeline


12p ET: Deadline to submit a pitch


First-round decisions

Selected applicants will have until November 8th at noon ET to complete their full applications.


12p ET: Full applications due

Applies to selected applicants only.


Feedback on full applications

If any changes to an application are required, the applicant will have until December 4th at noon ET to update their proposal.


Final decisions

Awardees will be notified, and we will begin the grant due diligence process and work toward signing a grant agreement.

Please let us know if at any point of the process you need an extension. Awarded grants can cover any period of time beginning in January 2024 and ending in December 2024.

Application Sample Questions

Sample Questions

Here is a preview of the additional questions we will ask if you are invited to submit a full proposal:

If you are submitting a campaign proposal:

What community or audience do you aim to activate, mobilize, and organize and toward what goal? How does this project aim to bring communities and the public into the formation, implementation, and/or oversight of public options?
In 300 words or less

If you are submitting a feasibility research or technical assistance proposal:

What government entity and/or community are you working in partnership with? What is their interest in public options to date? What obstacles do you expect them to encounter?
In 300 words or less

If you are submitting a narrative/culture shift proposal:

What audience do you aim to persuade and toward what goal? 
In 300 words or less

For all proposals: 

How are you best positioned to do this work? What challenges do you anticipate and how do you plan on overcoming them? so they don’t think those are all for narrative shift proposals?
In 300 words or less

What need does your project or campaign fill? How does it accelerate the movement for public options?
In 300 words or less

Please share a project plan for your proposal, including a list of deliverables with a description and justification and a timeline. 
In 300 words or less

Please list your current or prospective funders.

Project Budget