Funding cross-cutting approaches: Groundswell Fund

Building power may not fit neatly into narrowly defined issue areas.

Written by: Lisa Ranghelli

Date: March 19, 2019

Editor’s note: The following is a Power Moves toolkit Power in Practice example.

“We invest in grassroots organizing that advances policy and systems change; that cuts across race, class, gender and sexuality; and that uses brave and innovative strategies informed from the ground up by communities directly impacted. This multi-issue, multi-identity solidarity approach has always been critical but is even more so now amidst a political terrain where millions of newly activated people are looking to plug-in to organizations to make a change.” – Vanessa Daniel, Executive Director, Groundswell Fund

In 2017, the Groundswell Fund received an NCRP Impact Award for “smashing silos” because it has focused on building bridges among reproductive justice (RJ) leaders and other social change advocates for multi-issue impact.

After the 2016 election, Groundswell launched a funder- and donor-pooled Liberation Fund to support women of color and trans people of color organizing as well as a rapid response fund so that reproductive justice groups could respond to new attacks on reproductive rights. The Liberation Fund is driven by women and trans advisors of color from the communities being served.

Its Ecosystem Initiative, also launched in 2016, seeks to accelerate RJ policy and systems change in Florida, Georgia, Colorado and other cities and states. It does this by increasing support for existing grantees and their key allies, such as economic justice organizations. Groundswell combines funding, capacity-building and other support to catalyze power building, movement-building and policy change.

Lisa Ranghelli is senior director of assessment and special projects at NCRP and primary author of Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justiceFollow @NCRP and @lisa_rang on Twitter, and join the conversation using #PowerMovesEquity!

This post is part of a series of case examples on building, sharing and wielding power for NCRP’s Power Moves toolkit