Meet the foundations we will honor at the 2019 NCRP Impact Awards in Seattle
Immediately after the 2016 election, the Emergent Fund knew it had to act quickly to mobilize funders to support organizing happening across the country in response to harmful policies coming out of the administration.
The founding partners of Emergent Fund — Solidaire Network, Women Donors Network, Threshold Foundation and the Democracy Alliance — came together to create this rapid response fund to help move quick resources with no strings attached to communities that were, and continue to be, under attack by federal policies and priorities:
Emergent Fund know that these communities would need increased capacity so that they can respond, act nimbly and develop new strategies in a changing political landscape. The fund focuses on grassroots organizing and power building in communities of color who are facing injustice based on racial, ethnic, religious and other forms of discrimination. It provides resources to defend against the ongoing crisis and to develop innovative strategies to transform our country.
As a rapid response fund fueling movement builders on the frontlines of resistance, Emergent Fund has been able to move quickly, galvanize resources and shift direction in a way that is responsive to the immediate needs on the ground and in direct answer to the requests from grantees.
We understand that groups we center — people of color-led work, women-led work, deep organizing work — often don’t have a development professional or the time to submit grants. So, we responded by making our grant proposal process as short as possible, and even created a telephone application process for grantees.
The telephone application process is an innovation that emerged out of Emergent Fund’s work with organizations fighting the White House’s family separations practices.
This rapid response service provided groups with a first draft of a proposal through an Emergent Fund staff person copy writing the first draft while someone from the organization narrated their story over the phone.
Once drafted, the organization could log-in to the online portal, review the proposal and submit it via the JustFund system. JustFund is an online grants database that facilitates the receipt of proposals from groups to donor networks and initiatives.
JustFund was also used to support mobilizations against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and to support projects to reframe climate change dialogue through the lenses and voices of Indigenous and young women of color.
At every turn, since Emergent Fund’s inception, we have supported grantees at the precipice of great momentum and change.
We believe that the experts are, definitively, the communities themselves. Our deepest, most meaningful work is to be participatory and relationship-driven, to trust the leadership of Indigenous, Black and brown organizers, to upset historical dynamics of power through transparency and low-barrier processes, and to be values-driven, focusing on strategies that were emergent, intersectional and power-building.
More than that, the Emergent Fund supports the work of communities under threat to build their own reality: The one that would emerge on the other side of crisis; the work that not only reacts to crisis, but uses the energy of the moment to build powerful new visions for what comes next.
The Emergent Fund awarded its first grants in January 2017. Since then, the Fund has moved over $3 million dollars to 170 organizations, with the average grant size ranging from $10,000-$50,000.
From organizing happening around racial justice, environmental justice, gender and reproductive justice, immigrant justice and every connection between and beyond, Emergent Fund is here to help ensure that grantees have the resources they need to shift the world for today and for tomorrow.
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