The time is here:
We’re now accepting proposals!
Since our founding, Solidaire has worked with the concept of Movement Research and Development (R&D). “Research and Development” is intended to convey an openness to taking risks by supporting movement leaders to explore, iterate and test new ideas and tactics with flexible funding that doesn’t require or anticipate specific answers, deliverables or outcomes.
Please take a moment to review our eligibility criteria and priorities, and then scroll down for details on how to apply through the new JustFund Portal!
We’ll be accepting applications now through October 13, and will award all grants by mid December. Average grants in past cycles have been roughly $25,000 per organization or project and are expected to stay in a similar range.
Focused on Organizing for Change:
Must be rooted in, emerging from, or in direct relationship to organizing efforts – i.e. building leaders and people power in pursuit of transformative structural change.
Leadership from Marginalized Communities:
Must include the leadership of communities most impacted by injustice, including but not limited to: people of color, Indigenous peoples, migrants, Muslims, low income people, women, youth, queer, trans, or gender nonconforming people, and people with disabilities.
Bold New Ideas or Experiments:
The Movement R&D Fund seeks to support new attempts to explore solutions or problems that face movements – which could come from either existing or new organizations, leaders, or projects. The Movement R&D Grant is not intended to support the general operations of organizations.
Projects should have an eye towards movement-wide impact. This could mean projects are potentially replicable and the learnings will be shared, or it could mean that the project is an attempt to organize at a massive scale. We are looking for big potential to advance entire fields of work.
Have Not Received a Movement R&D Grant in the Last Two Years:
Only applicants who have not received a grant from the Movement R&D Fund in the last two years will be considered.
Building Economic Independence from Philanthropy:
We have heard time and time again from our grantees and field partners that dependence on foundations and major donors is a key challenge that movements face in realizing their full potential. The Movement R&D Fund seeks proposals for creative experiments to reduce dependence on traditional philanthropy including revenue generation, membership models, and building regenerative, community-centered economic infrastructure.
Making Movements More Strategic and Imaginative:
Every movement moment presents new challenges and learning opportunities. New and long-time organizers are adapting, experimenting, and thinking in new ways about how to organize, mobilize, and win. The Movement R&D Fund seeks proposals that show the potential to train and support leaders from across movements to expand their imaginations, strategize in new ways, and apply new organizing tactics to their work.
Scaling Movement Impact:
We know that mass mobilizations and uprisings (whether planned or unplanned) have the potential to change the public imagination of what is possible and to escalate popular participation. The Movement R&D Fund seeks projects that aim to escalate issues and mobilize new participants into movement building. As you prepare your application, reflect on the following questions to determine if your project is scaleable:
- How far along are you with your proposal?
- Is it still a concept, or have you begun implementing it?
- Are you building and designing it or are you ready to spread this concept beyond its current reach – and how do you intend to do this?
Translating Movement Power into Governing Power:
We broadly define political power as creating means for meaningful decision-making power to be in the hands of marginalized communities. The Movement R&D Fund seeks projects experimenting at the overlap between movement building and political power, including attempts to engage a movement base as a political base or create community assemblies.
This cycle we will be accepting applications via the JustFund Portal, a new digital platform established by Solidaire to help connect social justice funders, foundations, and funds directly with grassroots organizations and urgent projects. Your proposal to the Movement R&D Fund will also be visible to other funders on the portal, meaning it is possible you may receive funding from other sources before we determine our final grantee slate. In addition, if you receive a Movement R&D Grant, our endorsement may be leveraged to help you secure additional support.
Setting up your proposal:
1. Visit justfund.us and click the Register as an Organization button to fill out your profile.
2. You will receive an email confirming your registration within 24 hours with a username and temporary password attached.
3. Return to justfund.us and sign in. Click Create a New Proposal Draft to begin your application. In the Target Fund field, make sure to select Solidaire Movement R&D so that we receive your proposal.
4. Once submitted, you will see that your proposal has advanced from a Draft stage to Live on Discover Page. This means that we have received your application and it is publicly visible to all funders on the portal. If at any point your proposal receives funding (from us or other funders), it will move to the Live on Fund Page section, which filters to let funders see proposals that have been vetted and endorsed.
Interacting with your proposal:
You can use the Edit button to make changes to your proposal if necessary.
The Resources button allows you to attach any existing documents you have that might be useful, such as an organizational budget or a fiscal sponsor agreement letter. You can also use this feature to attach links to videos on YouTube or Vimeo.
The Interact button allows you to view your live proposal as funders see it and to engage in Community Activity. This feature will show you when a funder follows your proposal and track funding in real time! The comment section will also give you a chance to see questions and endorsements funders write, and to reply with answers or share updates. We encourage you to test this out!
If you have questions, comments, or feedback on the portal, we’d love to hear it! Please share your thoughts with us at email@example.com.
For questions specific to the Movement R&D process, please email Janis Rosheuvel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recognize that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to write a strong proposal shouldn’t determine the merit of an idea or project. For that reason, while the written portion of the proposal is required, if your strengths lie in the oratory realm, we suggest you consider submitting a video to accompany a brief written proposal.
Video submissions should be no longer than 3-5 minutes. Once you have submitted a proposal, use the Resources button to link to a YouTube or Vimeo video that includes the following elements:
- Project Description: Tell us about the issue(s) or need(s) that your organization plans to address. What actions will you take?
- Community & Leadership: Who’s on your team? How are they impacted by the issues your project is addressing?
- Impact: What do you hope to accomplish? How can it be scaled up?
- Financial Need: How much do you need and what the money will be used for?
- Discuss how you approach this work and how you developed the project concept.
- Please add any additional information that you think is relevant.