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Solidaire Network Announcements

News & Updates

SOLIDAIRE NETWORK NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RAJASVINI BHANSALI TO LEAD GROWING NETWORK OF SOCIAL MOVEMENT DONORS

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New York, NY — The Steering Committee of the Solidaire Network is excited to announce the appointment of Rajasvini (Vini) Bhansali as the organization’s new Executive Director. Solidaire is a community of individual donors and foundation allies who are committed to funding progressive social movements. We work together to address the deep systemic causes of injustice and inequality by consolidating our efforts and collaborating in our giving, to increase resources for those who are fighting for a world where everyone can live with dignity.

 

“In Vini we’ve found a powerful leader for social change, one with the expertise and passion needed to move Solidaire forward in today’s political climate,” said Jason Franklin, chair of the Solidaire Steering Committee. “I cannot imagine a better leader to help organize and build the Solidaire community as we rise to the demands of today as social justice movement allies and to carry forward the legacy of leadership of our founding Executive Director, Leah Hunt-Hendrix.”

 

For the past 8 years, Bhansali has served as Executive Director of Thousand Currents which funds, connects, and walks alongside grassroots groups transforming their communities across the Global South and mirror so many of the values and approaches that we seek to follow and develop within Solidaire. Under Vini’s leadership, Thousand Currents expanded its reach dramatically, deepened the leadership of its staff team, and developed a range of critical partnerships to help advance movements for justice. They incubated the Black Lives Matter Global Network, created a solidarity training program for next generation philanthropists, launched the Buen Vivir Fund as a model of impact investing that supports grassroots wealth & power building, and co-founded the collaborative CLIMA (Climate Leaders In Movement Action) Fund.

 

“I am thrilled to join the Solidaire Network as Executive Director and excited to grow Solidaire’s work to transform philanthropy towards justice and liberation. In these times in the United States, movements for justice call on all of us to step up our support and commitment to each other,” says incoming Solidaire director Vini Bhansali. “I’m honored by the trust placed in me by the Solidaire community and look forward to serving in this role with courage, clarity, creativity and accountability. ”

 

Solidaire began with an effort by a small group of people to answer a simple question – what is the role of financial resources in supporting social movements that are fighting for deep systemic change? In 2011, movements shook the globe from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street. We witnessed and were inspired by the power of collective action to challenge the status quo, change the political narrative, and push for systemic changes in our social, political, and economic institutions. In 2013, Solidaire was launched by 8 friends and has now grown to over 160 members around the country who are organizing, giving, experimenting, and learning  together about the best role we can play in creating the kind of deep structural change our society needs.

 

“The Solidaire Network began among a small group of friends just a few years ago, and I am amazed at the growth the organization has sustained,” reflects Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Solidaire’s founder and first Executive Director.  “From rapid response funding that has helped seed some of our newest movements for change to a movement R&D fund to support new movement strategies and our Aligned Giving campaign for the Movement for Black Lives that is modeling long-term partnership, Solidaire is pushing the field of philanthropy to more fully embody a commitment to social justice.  I am thrilled to have Vini join this community as our next Executive Director. With her background as an organizer and decades of experience in the field, Vini’s wisdom will ensure that Solidaire remains committed to funding progressive social movements.”

For Immediate Release

Contact: Janisha R. Gabriel

Communications Director

comms@solidairenetwork.org

Movement R&D: FAQs

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Solidaire’s 2018 Movement R&D Cycle is underway! The first step in the process is to fill out an eligibility survey to determine if your proposal meets the basic eligibility requirements. The survey must be completed by August 8, 2018. If your project is eligible, you will be sent the request for proposal (RFP). For additional questions related to the Movement R&D 2018 grant cycle, please see the frequently asked questions below.

 

Movement R&D 2018 FAQs

What is the focus of Movement R&D Fund?
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.

What is the grant-making committee really interested in funding?
While all bold, new, and experimental approaches to resisting oppression that are led by those most directly impacted will be considered, this cycle the Movement R&D committee is paying particular attention to the following areas:

  • Immigrant Justice
  • Justice for Muslim Communities
  • Black and Native Land Justice: Reclaiming Ties and Relationship to Land
  • Making Movements More Strategic and Imaginative

For more information on these priority areas as well as the basic eligibility requirements, please see the descriptions below.

Who is on the grant making committee?
This cycle we are honored to have the following folks on our grant making team:

  • Allen Kwabena Frimpong, Movement Net Lab
  • Brooke Lehman, Solidaire member
  • Judith LeBlanc, Native Organizers Alliance
  • Laura Flynn, Solidaire member
  • Maggie Heraty, Solidaire member
  • Marlena Sonn, Solidaire member
  • Monique Verdin, United Huma Nation Tribal Council / Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative
  • Richard Graves, Solidaire member
  • Soffiyah Elijah, Alliance of Families for Justice
  • Yasmin Yonis, Movement Net Lab

Why did the eligibility survey cut me off when I was filling it out?
This cycle the Movement R&D process will begin with a survey that potential applicants must complete in full in order to determine eligibility to apply for grants. The eligibility survey consists of four questions that must be completed in full. The survey is set to disqualify applicants that do not meet the basic eligibility requirements of the Movement R&D Fund.

What if I make a mistake when filling out the survey?
We ask that you be careful while filling out your survey. Please complete all fields. The survey should generally take 10-15 minutes to complete. If you by chance make an error while completing the survey please contact us at info@solidairenetwork.org.

What if my work does not fit into this cycle’s priorities? Can I still apply?
If your group/project work meets the basic eligibility criteria, you are encouraged to apply. While the grant making committee has decided to give particular focus to some areas, all efforts that are seeking innovative solutions to the issues facing communities on the front lines will be fully considered

If my project budget is under $500,000 but my organizational budget is over $500,000 could I still be eligible to apply?
Your application will be considered if your project budget is under $500,000, even if you organizational budget is over $500,000.

Can we apply as a coalition or as multiple groups?
Yes, coalitions and multiple groups working on the same project may apply. Please keep in mind that you should apply with the project budget, not the combined budgets of the organizations within your coalition/project.

Additional questions?
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to our Program Director, Janis Rosheuvel, at janis@solidairenetwork.org.

Basic Eligibility Criteria

The Movement R&D Fund seeks proposals from organizations and projects that meet the following basic eligibility criteria:

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.

Wide Impact
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.

Has 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.

Movement R&D 2018 Priorities

The Movement R&D Committee has selected the following as issues as priorities for the 2018 cycle:

Immigrant Justice
We affirm the urgent needs currently facing immigrant communities around the nation. We see the current levels of mass criminalization and deportation of migrants as being part of a long history of xenophobia and racialized immigration policy and practice in the United States. The Movement R&D Fund seeks proposals that reflect innovative, bold and experimental immigrant justice organizing that is working to resist the root causes of migrant criminalization.

Justice for Muslim Communities
We know that Muslim communities face ever-increasing violent and normalized structural and institutional Islamophobia that includes mass surveillance, the Muslim Ban, hate crimes, the carceral state, and the erosion of civil and human rights. The Movement R&D fund seeks proposals that foster innovative Muslim community power-building to resist state violence especially by those in the margins who push forward an intersectional lens in their work.

Black and Native Land Justice: Reclaiming Ties and Relationship to Land
It is critical for us to change the way our society envisions land, ownership, housing rights, and sanctuary. From unjust borders to rapid gentrification across U.S. cities to the promise of 40 acres and a mule to the stealing of Native land, our movements and lives are tied together by the basic human right to home, safety, community, and things that physically and spiritually tie us to place. As members of the family of living creatures on this earth, we also have the responsibility of caring for the land, providing a healthy home for all, and producing sustenance for ourselves. The Movement R&D Fund seeks proposals that aim to reclaim, repair, or reimagine our ties to land and boldly move the needle towards Native sovereignty, reparations, affordable housing, sanctuary, environmental justice, cooperatives, and community stewardship.

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.

2018 Movement R&D Fund Timeline

JULY 10: Movement leaders and public are notified of upcoming application period

JULY 20 – AUG 8: Applicants complete short pre-application eligibility survey that will be posted online

AUG 9: Request For Proposals (RFP) is sent to those invited to apply

SEPT 10: RFP closes

SEPT 10 – NOV 16: Proposals reviewed

NOV 27: Selection of final slate of grantees

DEC 10: Funds disbursed to grantees

Movement R&D Fund Applications

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Friday  |  Oct 13, 2017

The deadline to submit your proposal is tonight, Oct 13 at 11:59p PST.

Eligibility criteria, fund priorities, and application instructions are shared below.

A couple key things to note:

Before you can draft or submit a proposal you must register as an organization on the JustFund Portal. Since we will need to manually approve you, if you haven’t registered yet we strongly recommend you do so ASAP so that you receive your login information in time.

If you’ve already registered and have started drafting a proposal, please remember you must submit it by 11:59p PST to be accepted. Be sure you have selected Solidaire Movement R&D in the Target Fund field. Once you hit the submit button, you will see that your proposal is Live on Discover or Live on Fund, meaning we have received it.

If you have any questions about the application process or need assistance, please email us at info@justfund.us.

Thank you for everything you do! 

 


Tuesday  |  Sept 12, 2017

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.

Wide Impact:
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 info@justfund.us.

For questions specific to the Movement R&D process, please email Janis Rosheuvel at janis@solidairenetwork.org.

 

Video submissions:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Movement R&D application process opens in two weeks!

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Dear friends,

Solidaire’s Movement Research & Development (R&D) 2017 Winter Cycle grant application process will be opening in two weeks!

The Movement R&D Fund 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 specific answers, deliverables or outcomes. This approach is based on our core principle of following the lead of those on the front lines of social change. The granting decisions are made by a cross-class group of four Solidaire members and six leaders from across a wide range of social movements.

We wanted to give you key dates to keep in mind so that you are aware of how the Movement R&D process will unfold. We encourage you to follow our Facebook page for frequent updates right in your newsfeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In preparation for the release of our RFP (request for proposals) on September 12th, and noting that we will only be accepting applications for a one month period, you may want to begin thinking about the following if you intend to apply:

  • What project or aspect of your work you will highlight in the proposal
  • What impact your work will have
  • How your community’s leadership is crucial to this work
  • The financial need you have to fund your work
  • Gathering your budget and finance statements

It is also important to know that we are aiming to have a simple, short and streamlined application.

You can find a list of our past Movement R&D grantees on our website. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Program Director, Janis, at janis@solidairenetwork.org. Thank you for the valuable work that you do!

Warmly,
The Solidaire Team

Solidaire in the News

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Keeping Up: Philanthropy In an Era of Sweeping Social Movements

Inside Philanthropy | Oct 10, 2017

By Tate Williams

 

Donors and Groups on the Left (and Leftish) in a Period of Reconfiguration

Nonprofit Quarterly | Oct 9, 2017

By Ruth McCambridge

 

The ‘Resistance,’ Raising Big Money, Upends Liberal Politics

The New York Times |  Oct 7, 2017

By Kenneth P. Vogel

 

Cash, Speed, and Trust

San Francisco Magazine | Aug 24, 2017

By Lauren Smiley

A Bay Area–based network of wealthy progressives is testing a new model for funding the resistance: Give fast and get out of the way.

 

Innovating Philanthropy

Stanford Social Innovation Review | Nov 1, 2017

By Kathleen Kelly

A new generation of wealth is making a difference using powerful technology, inventing new financial models to better leverage capital, and rigorously focusing on getting proven results.

 

LXMI Stands with Solidarity

LXMI | Oct 24, 2017

There’s a flaw in the traditional charity model, which results in a two-tiered system of givers and beneficiaries. The system doesn’t solve the underlying problems that lead to the need for charity in the first place. In fact, it often robs the beneficiaries of agency.

Our Growing Team

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We received hundreds of applications from incredibly talented folks for our open positions, and the hiring process has been very competitive. We greatly appreciate all of the interest in joining our team and wish all of the applicants our best! Please follow our Facebook Page (facebook.com/SolidaireNetwork) for updates and to hear about future opportunities.

 

Please help us welcome our two newest team members:

 

Janis Rosheuvel

Program Director

janis@solidairenetwork.org

Janis will hold the vision and implementation of our grant-making programs. This includes building and maintaining relationships with organizational leaders, developing curriculum to help educate members, and improving the impact, evaluation, and accountability of our programs.

 

For over a decade, Janis has organized with communities most impacted by injustice, following their lead and demanding just and right repair for past and ongoing harms. She has worked as Executive Secretary for Racial Justice with United Methodist Women and was formerly the Executive Director at Families for Freedom, a national anti-deportation organization center. She was also a Fulbright Fellow to South Africa, where she documented the struggles of migrants, shackdwellers, and other working class activists. Janis also does political education with the Flatbush Tenant Coalition and lectures at John Jay College on the criminalization of migrant life. Janis serves on the boards of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. She holds an MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford in England.

 

 

 

Eugenia Lee

Membership Manager

eugenia@solidairenetwork.org

Eugenia will help facilitate our community culture and be a support to members. She’ll be the point person for new members, will explore ways to encourage member participation and leadership, and will be thinking about the overall health of the community.

 

 

Eugenia first became involved with organizing and movement work in 2007, when she worked on the Obama campaign in Iowa. Since then, her work has focused on community empowerment and bringing new voices to the table for more equitable decision-making. Prior to joining Solidaire Eugenia worked in international development and consulted for The Global Philanthropists Circle, a membership group for philanthropists moving over $1 MM/year to global causes. She has lived and worked in various parts of the world including in Nairobi, Kenya where she conducted teacher training and leadership development in informal settlements, and led projects throughout East Africa and South Asia. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

2017 Summer Movement R&D Grantees

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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 info@solidairenetwork.org to be added to our notifications list and follow us on Facebook for funding opportunities and updates.

August Partner & Ally Events

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2017 Change LA: Fast Forward

9.16, 4p-6p  |  West Hollywood, CA

On Saturday, September 16, Liberty Hill Foundation will host its popular 2017 Change LA: Fast Forward networking mixer. More than 200 of L.A. County’s new-generation progressive donor-activists will come together in affirmation of our shared commitments to advance justice here in Southern California, and to resist efforts (whether in Washington or elsewhere) to divide and disempower us.

2017 Change LA: Fast Forward will also give special recognition to community philanthropists and organizers by spotlighting the contributions of new generations of local social justice visionaries. Our Executive Director, Leah Hunt-Hendrix, will be honored with the Sarah Pillsbury NextGen Award. Come help us celebrate!

More information and tickets at LibertyHill.org/ChangeLA

Movement R&D Fund Summer Cycle Open

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We are thrilled to announce that Solidaire’s Summer 2017 Movement R&D Cycle is launching today, and we are now accepting nominations!

Please share this announcement widely with your networks and consider nominating a great project or organization that fits our Movement R&D Fund GuidelinesThe deadline for nominations is Monday, June 5th.

 

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A GROUP

We are seeking proposals from groups organizing for change with leadership from marginalized communities that are proposing truly new experiments in movement building, with the potential for movement-wide impact. We are specifically interested in proposals that focus on one or more of the following priorities:

1. Building Economic Power: 
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.

2. Making Movements More Strategic: 
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.

3. 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.

4. Translating Movement Power into Governing Power:
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.
We welcome nominations from any leader or group that fits the full criteria, and invite groups to self-nominate. A collaborative team of activists and Solidaire members will review proposals and make final decisions about grants by the end of July.

Please email solidairefund@gmail.com with any questions.

Thank you!
Leah Hunt-Hendrix, on behalf of the Movement R&D Team

We’re hiring a Program Director

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Program Director: Job Description

Solidaire is a network of progressive donors, whose mission is to move resources to social movements that are striving to create a more just and equitable world. We do this by building a strong community of donors who give in solidarity with social movements, ready to act, and committed to long-term support.

 

Job Responsibilities

The program director will be responsible for the following:

  • Holding the vision and implementation of Solidaire’s grant-making programs
  • Managing the Pooled Fund for Movement R&D and identifying opportunities to fund innovations and experimentations in movement building, as well as moments of uprising
  • Managing the Aligned Giving Campaign for the Movement for Black Lives, and building relationships between the 40+ members who participate in the strategy and the organizations in the campaign – renewals, education, new pledges, organizations, change in docket, continued recruitment
  • Building and maintaining relationships with organizational leaders in the M4BL and social justice ecosystem
  • Managing our Rapid Response program by coordinating appeals from members and working to ensure intentions are moved to groups, developing the quarterly Rapid Response report, and overseeing the development of the Rapid Response Portal
  • Coordinating with other Rapid Response funds to share knowledge and opportunities for funding with our members
  • Ensuring optimal operations of the Rapid Response, Movement R&D, and Aligned Giving funding vehicles through regular evaluation of programs
  • Working with the Membership Manager to develop a political education curriculum, and helping to schedule key organizational leaders to lead calls or workshops
  • Working with the Membership Manager, Retreat Planner, and Retreat Planning Committee to organized the annual Member Retreat
  • Monitoring new leaders and approaches in the social justice areas that Solidaire funds
  • Supporting the creation of mechanisms of accountability to social movements in our grantmaking and governance structures

 

Qualifications

This is a full-time position on a virtual team. Solidaire seeks candidates who excel in relationship-building, have a deep understanding of progressive philanthropy, are rooted in social justice movements, and have an ability to manage and inspire a team. The program director will have:

  • Experience in program development and program management
  • Creative thinking and an ability to think outside the box
  • Ability to work at a fast-pace, to self-manage, and to work on a virtual team
  • Experience managing and facilitating large groups or networks
  • A track record of developing and maintaining relationships with organizational leaders and diverse constituencies
  • A demonstrated commitment to meeting a high bar of excellence, and a history of getting things done in the face of obstacles
  • Experience working in philanthropy and with donors
  • Commitment to values of humility, solidarity, and justice

 

Salary Range

$80,000 – $110,000 based on experience

 

Applying

Please submit resumes and cover letters by May 15, 2017. Thank you!
info@solidairenetwork.org

Aligned Giving – Online!

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The Aligned Giving Strategy for the Movement for Black Lives is an attempt, initiated by Solidaire in partnership with other donors and philanthropists, to collectively create sustained support for the Movement for Black Lives. Over the next five years, we pledge to work in partnership with the movement to ensure that Black-led organizations working to build power in their communities have the financial resources they need to stand for justice and dignity for all.

We recently launched an Aligned Giving Portal where you can:

  • Read overviews of our four strategies, as well as our Inspired Giving option
  • View proposals, summaries, and contact information for organizations in the M4BL ecosystem
  • Access resources, recorded webinars, and testimonials
  • Set your intentions and manage your giving online!

We invite you to join us as a Solidaire member or campaign partner.
This is an opportunity to be a part of history in the making!
Visit the Portal to get started:

alignedgiving.org

 


 

BACKGROUND
Why is investing in black-led organizing important?

Our nation is on the verge of significant transformation. For hundreds of years, we have been a society defined by race and class. At certain points – when large numbers of people have come together and put their lives on the line to demand change – we have made progress. But that progress has been slow. Today, we are on the edge of another great transition in the way we think about who we are, who deserves to flourish, and how we can ensure that every individual in our society lives in safety and dignity.

What is “Black-led organizing”? As DeAngelo Bester and Valery Jean put it, “Black organizing [is] the recruitment, consciousness-raising, skill-building and leadership development of Black people, conducted by Black people, in order to collectively challenge anti-Black racism and fight for civil, political, economic, gender, social and cultural rights.”1 The definition of black-led organizing indicates not only what population is being organized, but who is doing the organizing, crafting the purpose and issue campaigns, and starting and building the institutions.

There are many reasons that this field is important to invest in right now. The systematic violence and oppression – physical, cultural, legal and financial – suffered by Black people in America from the nation’s founding to the present day is extreme. Wealth, access to education, access to healthcare and jobs, all continue to be marred by severe racial disparities. And as many scholars and public intellectuals have noted, the systematic, legalized dehumanization of Black people in America, from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration, is both the “original sin” of our republic, and a key pillar that upholds all of its oppressive functions. Tackling this oppression benefits not only Black people in America, but also all the other groups whose subjugation relies on tactics of dehumanization and marginalization. In addition, investing in black-led organizing plays a strategic role in that it enables us to challenge political strategies that have racialized government in the eyes of middle-class white America, which strategies have depressed support for everything from healthcare to minimum wage to environmental justice by suggesting that these actions constitute an “unfair” transfer of wealth to poor people of color. In short, this approach is carefully targeted, while also benefitting the interests of the range of groups and issues that we care passionately about.

We are also committed to supporting black-led organizing in recognition of the fact that philanthropy has played a role in perpetuating aspects of systemic racism.2 On this issue, dollars have not flowed in proportion to professed funder enthusiasm for the movement. We call on our community of donors to invest in reparations for historical divestment from communities of color, which has directly benefitted the sources from which we draw our wealth.

The Aligned Giving strategy focuses funding on the Movement for Black Lives, which has been challenging the ongoing role of racism in America, creating a national dialogue that we have not had in decades. This movement is deeply connected to other social movements, as it contains intersections with gender rights, economic inequality, education, immigration, and politics. In its short few years of existence, this vibrant social movement has transformed the American conversation about race, galvanized many thousands of participants, shifted political priorities, and impacted policy discussions at all levels of government. At this juncture, significant funding is required to sustain, mature, and grow the movement, and we invite you to join us in meeting this call.

1 Strengthening Black Organizing in the United States.
2 We will be co-funding some research to show how much of private philanthropy is going to white-led organizations v black-led organizations.

Job Postings

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Membership Manager

Position Summary

Solidaire is seeking a Membership Manager who will help hold our community, oversee the member experience, and ensure that relationships stay strong as we grow.  We seek candidates who excel in relationship-building, are organized and have a high attention to detail, and are able to work in a diverse, virtual team.

Job Responsibilities 

The membership manager will be responsible for the following:

  • Managing all new member onboarding and returning member renewals
  • Working with the Program Director to build out and manage our online and in-person political education programs for members including annual membership retreat, regular issue webinars, anti-racism and movement philanthropy workshops, and curating political education offerings from peer organizations
  • Coordinating member-to-member relationship building and information exchange via remote (phone call discussions and online exchange) and in person (salons, retreat, and meet-ups) activities
  • Developing and managing the membership engagement materials including welcome package and quarterly mailings
  • Coordinating the Membership Committee to conduct new member onboarding interviews and provide ongoing feedback on our membership programs
  • Managing the Nationbuilder database and member directory profiles to ensure all member information is up to date
  • Moderating and supporting members to navigate listserv and Facebook group conversations
  • Providing ongoing evaluation and feedback of existing membership programs to continually improve the quality of our membership engagement

Qualifications

  • Social justice values and a passion for organizing and direct action movements
  • Experience with donor organizing
  • A demonstrated commitment to meeting a high bar and history of getting things done in the face of obstacles
  • A track record of building and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse set of donors
  • Experience managing volunteers
  • Experience with different CMS platforms, with knowledge of Nationbuilder a plus

Please send resumes and cover letters to info@solidairenetwork.org by February 22, 2017

 

Operations Assistant – Part-Time Position

Position Summary

The Operations Assistant provides overall support to Solidaire’s programs and operations and is the primary person responsible for the details — making sure that membership information is organized, administrative tasks are covered, and meetings and events run smoothly. Responsibilities include grant tracking, finance and administrative support.

Job Responsibilities

  • Supporting program staff with general administrative tasks such as scheduling, meeting note taking for all committees and staff meetings
  • Managing staff reimbursements and credit card reconciliations
  • Supporting member committees by scheduling meetings, drafting documents, taking notes and sending reminders
  • Event, retreat and meeting support including logistics, and purchasing
  • Tracking prospective, trial and dues-paying membership statuses, preparing status and renewal reminders, and responding to basic member questions
  • Overseeing and updating the Nationbuilder database, including troubleshooting with database provider
  • Help track and organize Rapid Response and Pooled Fund grant data and pledges
  • Field basic inquiries from the general public
  • Maintain organizational calendar and work plan tracking and reminding staff of monthly goals and priorities

Qualifications

Solidaire seeks San Francisco Bay Area or New York City candidates who are highly detail-oriented, efficient, and strong communicators, able to be effective as a key member of our virtual team. The Operations Assistant will have:

  • A track record managing multiple schedules, logistics and tasks
  • A demonstrated commitment to meeting a high bar of quality and accountability
  • A history of getting things done in the face of competing demands
  • A pleasant attitude and ability to work well with others

Please send resumes and cover letters to info@solidairenetwork.org by February 22, 2017.

Announcing Winter 2016 Movement R&D Fund Grants

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In the wake of the election of Donald Trump, our ability to respond strategically and urgently to meet the needs of the movement have never felt more pressing. We recognize the power and responsibility we have as donors and grantmakers to balance risk, strategy, and accountability in our collective fight for justice. It is in this spirit that Solidaire Network is excited to announce the results of our most recent Movement R&D Funding Cycle!

The “Movement R&D” Fund is designed to support upstart, innovative experiments in movement-building — making resources available for projects and ideas that might otherwise have a difficult time accessing traditional funding because they are untested or otherwise considered too risky for more traditional grant programs.

The list of Movement R&D groups below represent creative, innovative and important local models, as well as ambitious national efforts with an eye towards wide-ranging impact. The groups span from environmental justice organizing to mass criminalization to education and reproductive justice. Through these groups we are supporting the leadership of people of color, trans and gender nonconforming folks, indigenous people, formerly and currently incarcerated folks and their families, and youth.

In 2016, we piloted a new decision-making body over the Movement R&D Fund made up of a cross-class mix of current members and former grantees. Introducing formal cross-class decision-making into our Movement R&D Fund grant-making process is one concrete way to begin incorporating movement organizers into more formal relationships and leadership with Solidaire, better bringing our practice in line with our values by gaining the breadth and depth of wisdom and expertise offered by partners in the field.

Our Winter 2016 Movement R&D Grantees are:

  1. 215 People’s Alliance – $15,000 – A new coalitional Philadelphia-based project focused on organizing communities fighting for education and racial justice and increasing movement participation in the local electoral process.
  2. Anti Police-Terror Project – $25,000 – A crew of therapists, activists and organizers who go to a scene immediately following an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) in the Bay Area who have begun training on their model in other regions and are exploring a statewide coalition to push back on Copley Press (Policeman’s Bill of Rights).
  3. Campaign to End Youth Arrest in Florida – $20,000 — A statewide campaign led by the Dream Defenders to end youth arrest in Florida by 2022 by reducing their interactions with the Juvenile Justice system, the development and popularization of justice alternatives and building a grassroots movement to apply statewide political pressure.
  4. Durham Beyond Policing – $15,000 — A local organizing project opposing the construction of a new $71 million police headquarters in Durham and demanding instead that money be reinvested into community needs for economic empowerment, self determination, and health that do not contribute to racialized mass incarceration or deportation.
  5. Every Black Girl – $35,000 – A new Columbia, South Carolina based organizing effort that formed after the video of the young Black girl being assaulted by a white male School Resource Officer in her classroom went viral.
  6. Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together – $20,000 — A group of formerly incarcerated Asian Pacific Islanders and their families in Washington state working to heal and undo internalized oppression on the personal, family, and community level, while organizing for long term change on the systemic level and planning a national gathering of formerly incarcerated API groups.
  7. Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia – $20,000 — A new organization by renters for renters in Minneapolis’ most affordable, and most neglected housing — families of immigrants, people of color, the working poor, and single-parent households who are facing astronomically increasing rents and decreasing housing quality.
  8. National Black Food & Justice Alliance – $35,000 – A new coalition of Black-led organizations working towards cultivating and advancing Black leadership, building Black self-determination, Black institution building and organizing for food sovereignty, land and justice.
  9. National Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Coalition – $35,000 – A new national TGNC-led coalition to build long term sustainable infrastructure for TGNC movements to address state violence while centering the leadership of those most impacted including people of color, immigrants, youth and TGNC people living in the Midwest and South.
  10. Prison Birth Project – $10,000  – Prison Birth Project (PBP) supports, encourages, and trains currently and formerly incarcerated mothers and trans parents to become community leaders within a reproductive justice framework.
  11. To Nizhoni Ani – $25,000 — “Beautiful Water Speaks” is a native community and youth organizing effort in the Black Mesa region fighting coal extraction and pollution and lending support to newer organizations and efforts as well.
  12. Wind River Native Advocacy – $20,000 — A Wyoming-based indigenous-led effort to build collaborative power among two tribes forced to live together on one reservation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as well as to increase Native American self-determination and self-governance.
  13. Youth Rise Texas – $25,000 — A new Austin-based youth-led multiracial organization supporting young adults who have been impacted by the incarceration or deportation of a parent or caregiver.

Solidaire has benefitted much from the learnings of this process. We find ourselves in a new political landscape in 2017. Our hope is that this fund continues to be a pathway to move crucial resources to innovative, bold, and strategic work led by those most affected by the burning issues of our time. We see that reflected in these funding results and hope you do too!

Willa Conway, Member, Solidaire
J.F. Lyles, Groundswell Fund & formerly Southerners on New Ground
Braeden Lentz, Program Director, Solidaire

We raised over $500,000 Jan 20th!

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We are thrilled to share that on January 20th our Take Back the Ball event in San Francisco raised over $500,000 for three incredible rapid response funds!

As Kaitlyn Krieger shared in her opening toast, “Today is not the day of the inauguration: it’s the day where we take back the ball; it’s the start of the resistance.”

THANK YOU to our 500+ guests who rallied with us to turn this day of mourning into a celebration of solidarity – and moment for action! We invite everyone to join us in our on-going efforts to support social justice and consider giving to the Emergent Fund, a vehicle that is open to all! If you have friends or family who want to take action, but aren’t sure what to do, let them know that they can support organizations that are on the ground, resisting the new administration right now by visiting: emergentfund.net

Take Back the Ball Photo Recap 1Take Back the Ball Photo Recap 1Take Back the Ball Photo Recap 1

Job Postings – Join us at Solidaire!

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Membership Manager

Position Summary

Solidaire is seeking a Membership Manager who will help hold our community, oversee the member experience, and ensure that relationships stay strong as we grow.  We seek candidates who excel in relationship-building, are organized and have a high attention to detail, and are able to work in a diverse, virtual team.

Job Responsibilities 

The membership manager will be responsible for the following:

  • Managing all new member onboarding and returning member renewals
  • Developing and managing the membership engagement materials including welcome package and quarterly mailings
  • Coordinating the Membership Committee to conduct new member onboarding interviews and provide ongoing feedback on our membership programs
  • Managing the Nationbuilder database and member directory profiles to ensure all member information is up to date
  • Working with the Program Director to build out and manage our online and in-person political education programs for members including annual membership retreat, regular issue webinars, anti-racism and movement philanthropy workshops, and curating political education offerings from peer organizations
  • Coordinating member-to-member relationship building and information exchange via remote (phone call discussions and online exchange) and in person (salons, retreat, and meet-ups) activities
  • Moderating and supporting members to navigate listserv and Facebook group conversations
  • Providing ongoing evaluation and feedback of existing membership programs to continually improve the quality of our membership engagement

Qualifications

  • Social justice values and a passion for organizing and direct action movements
  • Experience with donor organizing
  • A demonstrated commitment to meeting a high bar and history of getting things done in the face of obstacles
  • A track record of building and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse set of donors
  • Experience managing volunteers
  • Experience with different CMS platforms, with knowledge of Nationbuilder a plus

Please send resumes and cover letters to info@solidairenetwork.org by February 3, 2017.

 

Operations Assistant – Part-Time Position

Position Summary

The Operations Assistant provides overall support to Solidaire’s programs and operations and is the primary person responsible for the details — making sure that membership information is organized, administrative tasks are covered, and meetings and events run smoothly. Responsibilities include grant tracking, finance and administrative support.

Job Responsibilities

  • Supporting program staff with general administrative tasks such as scheduling, meeting note taking for all committees and staff meetings
  • Managing staff reimbursements and credit card reconciliations
  • Supporting member committees by scheduling meetings, drafting documents, taking notes and sending reminders
  • Event, retreat and meeting support including logistics, and purchasing
  • Tracking prospective, trial and dues-paying membership statuses, preparing status and renewal reminders, and responding to basic member questions
  • Overseeing and updating the Nationbuilder database, including troubleshooting with database provider
  • Help track and organize Rapid Response and Pooled Fund grant data and pledges
  • Field basic inquiries from the general public
  • Maintain organizational calendar and work plan tracking and reminding staff of monthly goals and priorities

Qualifications

Solidaire seeks San Francisco Bay Area or New York City candidates who are highly detail-oriented, efficient, and strong communicators, able to be effective as a key member of our virtual team. The Operations Assistant will have:

  • A track record managing multiple schedules, logistics and tasks
  • A demonstrated commitment to meeting a high bar of quality and accountability
  • A history of getting things done in the face of competing demands
  • A pleasant attitude and ability to work well with others

Please send resumes and cover letters to info@solidairenetwork.org by February 3, 2017.

Take Back the Ball

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On the night of January 20th, the presidential inauguration, we will be holding our own ball.  Take Back the Ball will be an evening of “dinner, dancing and defiance,” as we come together in community and commit to taking action for the future of our democracy.  The event will benefit three rapid response funds: Groundswell Fund’s rapid response vehicle, which supports reproductive justice; the Fighter Fund for climate justice; and the Emergent Fund, which will support communities of color who are developing strategies for resistance and rebuilding.

RSVP here!  We hope you’ll join us!

Launching: The Emergent Fund

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On December 20th, 2017, Solidaire and the Women Donors Network launched the Emergent Fund, a new rapid response vehicle structured to move financial resources quickly and nimbly to communities on the front-lines.

The 2016 election results present immediate threats to a wide range of communities who were belittled, criminalized, and attacked during the presidential campaign: immigrants, women, Muslim and Arab-American communities, Black people, LGBT communities, and all people of color. Hate crimes in America are on the rise dramatically, the people who are being recommended to lead in the new administration have a track record of extremism, and harmful policies and proposals are being floated daily.

We don’t know exactly what will come, but we must be prepared. We do know that there are strong leaders and organized movements on the ground in these communities, and we know that their work has been historically under-resourced. Now is the time for us to use our collective power to stand with them and support them in what they are doing, to listen to what they need, and to fund the new strategies that will emerge over the next 2-4 years. Now is the time to give big and bold. Organizations like Cosecha are looking for additional funds to exponentially increase their ability to organize sanctuary cities and sanctuary campuses. Groups like MPower Change are doing communications work around the unconstitutionality of a Muslim registry, and building bridges between Muslim, immigrant, and Black communities.

The Emergent Fund is being established as a partnership between Women Donors Network and Solidaire Network to provide a way for individuals at all levels to contribute their money strategically in this critical moment. The Fund is governed by an Advisory Council that includes donors and leaders from the communities most affected by the current moment, and will be informed by a large and diverse network of leaders, activists, and funders who will help feed nominations into the Fund.

Our goal is to raise at least $500,000 into the Fund between now and January 20, Inauguration Day, and to grant the money out to the field in the first 100 days of the new administration and beyond on a frequent and rolling basis. Women Donors Network and Solidaire Network have seeded the fund with $100,000 and invite all interested individuals to participate.

A Letter to Friends with Wealth

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IN THE WAKE OF THIS ELECTION:

Dear friends concerned about the impending Trump Presidency,

In the past few days we have received an outpouring of requests for information on how funds might be most effectively deployed in response to the impending Trump Presidency. This letter is a first response to those questions and we would love to be in dialogue with you about the landscape of opportunities, risks and strategies that is unfolding.

On November 8th we lost the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court, as well as two thirds of state legislatures. Trump has already stated his intention to deport 2 million people, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and open up our natural resources to the highest bidder. Too many lives and irreversible damage to our ecosystem are on the line. We need to respond to immediate needs while also doubling down on long-term investments in organized communities that will be most vulnerable to this new normal and that continue to be systematically underfunded. We now face a future where hatred and exclusion are publicly endorsed by the highest office. It is up to all of us to step in and take action.

We did have a few significant local wins that point the way forward for future investments: minimum wage ballot initiatives, changes to the voting rules in Maine, automatic voter registration in Alaska, marijuana legalization in several states, a major criminal and juvenile ballot reform measure in California, voters rejecting reactionary prosecutors in numerous states, and women of color elected to congress and state legislatures. Based on early reports, these wins were grounded in investment in the organizing and leadership of communities of color. It is effective and necessary give to organized communities contending for political power at the local and state level and to supportive national movement infrastructure that helps local organizing win and add up to more than the sum of its parts.

The following are some ideas for how to think about our funding from the first 100 days through the next four years. All of these suggestions are offered with an underlying value of following the lead of organizations that will be closest to these issues. Rather than to develop our own strategies, we want to listen, learn, and commit to working together as a movement for justice and equality over the upcoming years. This is just a beginning, and we do not have all the answers, but hopefully these recommendations can offer guidance during this time. If you have thoughts to add, please email us at info@solidairenetwork.org.

1)  Commit to Community:  

If you are not part of a donor network, consider joining one. It is crucial right now that we communicate, learn together and work together. We have found our work at Solidaire to be most nourishing and effective when we are taking action from an enduring community of support and coordination. In addition, organize in your own community: reach out to your friends with access to resources and encourage them to give, or to give bigger and bolder. Host or join a gathering with your friends and neighbors to talk about the actions we can take to support communities that will be threatened during this administration. And be in touch with local organizations to understand how they’re being impacted and how to support their needs.

2)  Stand in Solidarity:

Remain steadfast in commitment to the defense of vulnerable communities. There are communities that will be targeted particularly hard by the next administration: documented and undocumented immigrants, Muslims, refugees, women, queer and trans people, Black communities, and disabled individuals. Give to legal defense, civil rights lawyers and bail funds. Develop a visible means of standing in solidarity, and when you do, encourage your friends and family to take those steps as well.  

3)  Support Resistance and Uprisings:

There are many organizations that will contest the xenophobia and racism of the new presidency and will be taking to the streets. They will be putting their bodies on the line to defend their clinics, their homes, their families, their neighbors. Movements will be criminalized in new ways. These individuals and organizations will need support.  They will be taking risks and we will need to take risks with them. (To be kept in the loop about rapid funding requests or hear about these organizations, consider joining Solidaire to be part of our communications.)

4)  Be a Part of Creating a Transformative Vision:

We frequently want to do what seems practical rather than what is necessary. We water down our goals and hedge our bets. But we know now that nothing is impossible and the country is longing for deep structural changes. Now, more than ever, it is time to support visionary and bold ideas, organizations that are challenging the status quo and attempting to transform our economy, to end white supremacy, and to change our relationship to the environment.  Fund organizations that are putting out big ideas for an economy that works for all.

5)  Create Spaces for Strategizing and Learning Together:  

Even as we respond to the urgency of the current moment, movement leaders need support to sustain their activism and grow in effectiveness over time. We will need to provide leadership development grants for trainings and political education, capacity-building grants for organizations/networks, and support for convenings to develop strategy and alignment. Organizations will be trying to create cross-cutting and intersectional strategies and will need the freedom and resources to be together in person as they forge a path forward.

6)  Make Long-Term Commitments to Building Community Power:  

Fund organizations that are building power for working and low-income people of color and white people so that they have a voice and can fight for their interests and the interests of us all. One of the lessons of this election is the need to deeply rethink how to engage with working class white people. Over the past decades, republicans waged a concerted effort to destroy organized labor, and this has worked, leaving many these communities without infrastructure. There are many organizations in the midwest, south, and rural areas that are attempting to create economic security in a way that is inclusive rather than divisive, where the struggles of poor white people and people of color are held together and understood as inextricably intertwined.

But while we need to support in those communities, it is crucial that we do not displace funding from communities of color. Fundamentally, the results of this election require us to examine the ways in which racism is deeply entrenched in US society. Philanthropy is complicit in the inequities around us when we fail to provide support to communities of color who are trying to build power. We must, going forward, make much more serious commitments to organizations led by black and brown people, who have an explicit vision for racial justice.  

Solidaire has created an Aligned Giving Strategy to invest $50M in the ongoing work of Black-led organizations building the cultural, economic and political power of Black communities over the next five years. We are in a marathon, not a sprint, and our funding needs to provide organizations with the strength to go the distance. If you want to participate in our shared five-year strategy, contact aligned@solidairenetwork.org.

~~~~~

While the moment is urgent we must also prepare for what will be a long-term fight for a world in which every person is safe and can live a life of dignity. If you would like information about specific organizations we recommend supporting, please contact us at info@solidairenetwork.org. All of us will need to become organizers, to make sacrifices, and act boldly. We hope you will join us.

In solidarity,

Leah Hunt-Hendrix
Founder & Executive Director
Solidaire

 

Philanthropy in Solidarity: Solidaire Fall Kick-Off

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Dear Friends,

We had an incredible event on Oct 13th in San Francisco. It was our first public facing event on the West Coast, and it was a hit!

We had over 100 people attend, and we heard from an amazing set of organizers, including Malkia Cyril from the Center for Media Justice, Thenjiwe McHarris from Blackbird, and Michael Gast who talked about allyship from his perspectives as former Co-ED of Resource Generation.  Lateefah Simon moderated the panel and pretty much blew us all out of the water!

The panel discussed the ecosystem within the Movement for Black Lives, including the organizations on the front lines, intermediary organizations, and the role of allies.  We talked about the role of philanthropy and the need to trust organizations who are on the ground, and take the risk of sharing power as a donor.  Mike made the case that few of us are giving at capacity and challenged us to think about how we can do more.

We also unveiled our Aligned Giving Strategy and our commitment to supporting the M4BL over the next five years.  We are so excited about the opportunity we have to work together, to partner with others, and to be in long term relationship with the social movements of our time.

Thank you all for making this possible.  We look forward to seeing more of you in person soon!

In solidarity,
Leah and the Team

 

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Leah Hunt-Hendrix on Taking a Page from Occupy Wall Street with Solidaire

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leah-ave“What can a member of the elite 1 percent do to bring about more economic equality and social justice? That is one of the animating questions of Leah Hunt-Hendrix’s young life, and it is one the 33-year-old has answered by taking a creative approach with philanthropy.”

The snippet above comes from an article in Avenue Magazine, which featured Leah on their cover this month! We’re so very proud and inspired.

Click to read the full article:

LEAH HUNT-HENDRIX ON TAKING A PAGE FROM OCCUPY WALL STREET WITH SOLIDAIRE

Seeking Movement R&D Funding Nominations

MovementR&D, News & Updates | 2 Comments

UPDATE: We have extended our nominations deadline to October 20, 2016.

Solidaire is excited to launch another cycle of Movement R&D funding!

We have learned that movements can be sites of new exchange, experimentation, and breakthrough and new ideas and solutions can come from unexpected places. The “Movement R&D” Fund is designed to support these upstart, innovative experiments in movement-building.

Movement R&D grants are intended to make pooled resources available for projects and ideas that might otherwise have a difficult time accessing traditional funding because they are untested or otherwise considered too risky for more traditional grant programs. Our hope is these one-time seed funds can provide organizers a bit of breathing room to think outside of the box and test new ideas with flexible funding that doesn’t require specific deliverables or outcomes.

In order to be considered for funding, projects, start-ups or collaborations must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Must be rooted in, emerging from, or in direct relationship to, organizing, activism or mass mobilization efforts.
  • Must be led by, or in direct accountability to, a community most impacted by injustice — including but not limited to people of color, migrants, low income people, women, youth, queer, trans, or gender nonconforming people, or Indigenous peoples.
  • Less than 3 years old with a budget of less than $300,000 — although participating or sponsoring organizations may be older or larger.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and would like to submit a nomination on behalf of your own or another organization, please do so online here:

WINTER 2016 NOMINATIONS.

The priority deadline for nominations is October 20, 2016. If you are not able to meet this deadline, please contact braeden@solidairenetwork.org to discuss options.

 

A Vision for Black Lives

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The Movement for Black Lives recently published a policy agenda, called a Vision for Black Lives.  The agenda includes everything from police reform, to economic justice, to transgender rights.  It displays the fact that this is not a narrow issue area, but a broad-based, expansive vision for a society of freedom and justice for all.

See the agenda here

 

And for additional perspective, see below:

Cutting Edge Policy Agenda that Could Heal Our Nation, by Jodeen-Olguin Taylor, Demos

The Permanence of Black Lives Matter, Vann Newkirk, The Atlantic

 

The Future of Philanthropy

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Jee Kim and Leah Hunt-Hendrix co-organized a forum in the Nation, with the help and encouragement of Katrina vanden Heuvel, on philanthropy’s unequal roots.  They asked a number of philanthropists to respond to their prompt: What should philanthropy do to address its own unjust origins?

Summer Retreat

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The Solidaire Member Retreat is a precious time we have each year to explore questions, build our collective vision, and enjoy each others company in a beautiful environment.

This year, we went to Marconi Conference Center in Point Reyes, CA.  We worked on a more explicit articulation of our shared values, on our understanding of power, on sharing our giving strategies, and on how we can strengthen our practices as we continue to build this community together.

Next summer’s retreat will be on the East Coast.  Details will be made available as soon as possible.

 

 

From Protest to Power

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We live in a political era defined by crisis, but also great promise. The effects of climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice threaten our future. Yet in the face of these challenges, there’s a vibrant, visible resurgence of popular movements, of communities rising up against entrenched economic and political power.

And it’s working. Four years after the start of the Occupy movement, heightened attention to inequality has laid the groundwork for winning the Fight for $15 in cities across the country. The Movement for Black Lives, escalated by residents of Ferguson, Missouri, has led to criminal justice reforms at the local, state, and federal levels. And after years of activism against the Keystone pipeline, President Obama has finally shut down the project.

But will this grassroots activism generate the long-term support and infrastructure necessary to sustain lasting change? How are successful movements structured, and how can donors catalyze their growth? On February 26, From Prom Protest to Power convened the Ford Foundation and the Solidaire donor community, along with activists, funders, and movement insiders, to explore these questions through a series of lively and participatory presentations.