Solidaire is not a foundation and we do not have a traditional application or grantmaking process. Solidaire is a community of individual donors learning about how to best use our financial resources to support social movements that are fighting for deep systemic change. We believe an abundant ecosystem of movement building organizations are required to address the injustices we all face. We do some giving together but for the majority of our members’ philanthropy we encourage long term donor relationships directly with movement groups rather than through Solidaire regranting vehicles. We created this fact sheet to help grantseekers navigate the processes through which we move money out to movements.
Rapid Response to Movement Movements
We know that social movements need quick, flexible dollars and our Rapid Response funding allows us to get grants out the door quickly so that they can react to changing conditions. From the beginning, our community has stood ready to act in support of unanticipated moments of crisis, uprising and mobilization. We believe it is movement moments like these that can shift the popular imagination, mobilize new and unexpected communities, and make crises that have always existed impossible to ignore. Through our Rapid Response giving, Solidaire members remain vigilantly prepared to take risks in real time, and give directly to frontline organizers in the heat of movement moments. These resources provide the ability to try and fail fast, to experiment, and to act in moments of crises.
Solidaire does not make grants for Rapid Response. Instead, we share Rapid Response funding opportunities with our membership, who decide whether they can respond to a request on an individual basis. We track pledges and our members send the money to groups directly as soon as 24 hours after hearing about a request. External submission for funding are vetted against our criteria by staff before being presented to the membership to consider.
If you would like to inquire about submitting a Rapid Response opportunity please:
Emergent Fund for Frontline Communities
Building on our commitment to Rapid Response giving in movement moments, and in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, we established the Emergent Fund in partnership with Women Donors Network and Threshold Foundation to provide a structured way to move urgently needed resources for movements at the front lines of resistance. We found that many were asking for advice about where and how to give and we wanted to provide a way for additional donors who may not be members of Solidaire or another donor network to contribute to urgent work in communities under heightened attacks: immigrants, women, Muslim and Arab-American communities, Black people, LGBTQ communities, and all people of color.
The Emergent Fund makes grants. The Emergent Fund is governed by an Advisory Council made up of leaders who represent communities affected by the new administration and members of the donor network partners. It is also informed by a Nominations Network made up of activists and movement leaders who help us find and vet nominees. Our criteria and nomination form are publicly available online. Proposals will be reviewed and responded to within two to four weeks.
Apply through the nominations form on the home page of the Emergent Fund at:
Fund for Movement R&D
The Solidaire Movement R&D Fund was created to support innovations and experiments in movement building: to seed tactics, strategies, and ideas that have potential to advance entire movements. We look for organizations that are testing out exciting experiments, not yet foundation ready, and are rooted in communities of color. We are happy to be a first funder and help get ideas off the ground.
The Movement R&D Fund makes grants. Solidaire members contribute $10,000 per year into a Pooled Fund, which is then redistributed through two cycles throughout the year. Criteria and a public nominations form will be posted in April (for July grant distribution) and September (for December grant distribution). A group of Solidaire members and activists from the field participate in setting criteria, reviewing proposals, and making ultimate grant decisions.
If you would like to submit a proposal for our Movement R&D Fund:
- Check our website in April for updates about our Summer Cycle
- Email us to be added to our list for notifications about funding cycles: email@example.com
Aligned Giving for Movement Infrastructure
Ultimately, we believe that the short-term funding vehicles above will not provide social movements with the resources they require to build strong infrastructure to grow and develop over years. At Solidaire, we think of this infrastructure as including leadership development, organizing and base-building, communication and data tools, media and culture, and independent sources of funding. To this end, in September 2016, we launched our Aligned Giving Strategy designed to allow members to collectively move at least $1 million a year for five years – a total of $5 million over five years – toward the Movement for Black Lives. The Movement for Black Lives has taken shape over the past two years, and includes a strong set of connected organizations, including intersections with gender rights, economic inequality, education, immigration, climate change, and politics.
We do not make grants through our Aligned Giving Strategy. Instead, the Aligned Giving Strategy has been set in partnership with leaders in the Movement for Black Lives and provides a structure for Solidaire members and other donors to help build the infrastructure of the movement by making commitments directly from donors to organizations and collaborative strategies in the field.
Learn more by visiting our Aligned Giving Portal: