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Partnership with Philanthropy

As DOT works to implement the historic funding opportunities created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and other critical federal investments in climate, environmental justice, and economic development, we recognize that our programs and projects will have greater impact and reach if we partner with a broad set of stakeholders—including philanthropic organizations. Around the country, philanthropy often plays important roles as funders, conveners, and leaders in their own communities and nationally.

In a number of areas—including climate, workforce development and labor, economic opportunity, access, equity, and mobility—we know that DOT programs will be more effective if they provide robust opportunities for engagement with a diverse set of community voices as well as those leading in these areas working in the private, nonprofit, public, and philanthropic sectors.

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Accepting Proposals for Collaboration

DOT invites interested philanthropic organizations and technical assistance providers to reach out with proposals for collaboration on a rolling basis. Many philanthropic organizations have already committed new resources to assist communities accessing and deploying federal infrastructure funding.

Philanthropic engagement for numerous DOT initiatives like Thriving Communities, Safe Streets and Roads for All, Reconnecting Communities, and Electric Vehicle Charging Station deployment can help to accelerate and amplify their impact. Public-philanthropic partnerships can broaden the reach of both sectors’ investments.

Proposals for DOT and philanthropic collaboration should be sent to  

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

DOT will evaluate philanthropic partnership proposals based upon the following criteria:

  1. Alignment between philanthropic organization’s mission and investment profile with the strategic priorities of the USDOT and Biden-Harris Administration objectives.
    • Clear articulation of purpose along with measures of success or impact by the proposed partnership.
    • Strength of alignment with DOT strategic priorities (equity, safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, climate and sustainability, transformation, and/or organizational excellence) with the philanthropic organization’s own mission and history of giving.
  2. Philanthropic resources complement government resources or fill a critical gap that federal resources cannot meet.
    • Support to DOT or its grantees to improve performance in areas such as communications and messaging, education, or applying for U.S. grants.
    • Provide support to additional or different type of recipients than DOT programs or funding allow.
  3. Familiarity or successful experience of philanthropic organization to partner with federal government.
  4. Scale of impact or unique benefits that proposed partnership provides. 
    • Ability to advance DOT’s stated performance metrics, action items, or other public benchmarks.
    • Ability to leverage DOT investments to generate greater national or community benefits, especially to historically disadvantaged or under-resourced communities.
    • Ability to pilot new technologies or approaches to partnership that may yield important research or programmatic or policy insights to inform future program design.
  5. Administrative or regulatory requirements are proportionate to the benefits that are anticipated.
    • The degree to which DOT has the capacity to engage and maintain partnership, relative to legal authorities, staff capacity, and existing resources.
    • The degree to which the philanthropic organization can engage and maintain partnerships, relative to legal authorities, staff capacity, and existing resources.