The Solidaire Movement R&D Fund was created to support innovations in movement building: to seed tactics, strategies, and experiments with the potential to advance entire movements. We look for organizations that are testing out exciting new ideas, are not yet foundation ready, and are rooted in communities of color. As part of their dues, members contribute $10,000 per year to this Fund, which is distributed biannually based on set criteria and guidelines. Since 2013, seven R&D funding cycles have granted $1,470,000 to 84 projects across a diverse spectrum.
Each cycle we learn from and iterate on our giving process. This cycle we continued movement-engaged giving, with six former grantees joining four Solidaire members to narrow 220 applications down to a nal grant slate of 18. Several points of insight emerged:
- Inspiring movement building work is happening in pockets all across the country, rooted in communities of color. On this slate, Solidaire is supporting innovation in Mississippi, Kentucky, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, and Michigan. We are thrilled to support local projects with the potential to inspire movements and seek to increase our distribution network to keep nurturing new ideas beyond the coasts.
- New constellations of leaders and projects are forming to creatively address intersectional movement needs. Several grants on our nal slate are partnerships between three or more groups.
- Running a rigorous movement-engaged decision-making process virtually, even in a short span of eight weeks, is doable thanks to collaborative technology and facilitation. Movement leaders appreciate participating in grantmaking, and wish that more leaders could see the breadth of inspiring work happening nationwide.
Throughout this cycle’s process, we provided opportunities for members to engage with all of the applications. As a result, members pledged an additional $65,000 in individual donations to projects they felt passionate about – what we call Pooled Plus gifts. While the movement-engaged team decided to keep most grants at a $25,000 standard amount this year, variance in grant size on the nal slate is due to these additional gifts.
We hope you’ll be as inspired by these organizations as we are.
If you’re an organization that would like to apply for our next Movement R&D funding cycle, opening this Fall, please email email@example.com to be added to our notifications list and follow us on Facebook for funding opportunities and updates.