Trends in 2021 Grantmaking: An Update from Solidaire
In Fiscal Year 2021 (July 2020 – June 2021), we continued our movement philanthropy by moving $14 million to social movements. We were able to do this by taking lessons from our first seven years, best practices from the field, and innovative ideas to help build a new process to support learning from our relaunched programmatic areas via the Black Liberation Pooled Fund, Movement Infrastructure Fund and limited-time Janisha R. Gabriel Movement Protection Fund.
Some important trends to highlight:
- Continuing commitment to funding the south: Solidaire’s commitment to funding the South means we understand the need to fund historically under-resourced geographies. We fund at an ecosystem level to demonstrate how funding must support community-driven efforts. Communities are creative, responsive and deep in their power-building approaches. Our funding supported several anchor organizations of the Southern Power Fund, a key movement-led formation that organized to move millions to the south in the past two years.
- Undergirding national and local movement infrastructure: Solidaire’s grantmaking bolsters local and national movement infrastructure. Solidaire’s grantmaking bolsters local, regional and national movement infrastructure. We define movement infrastructure as aligned resource providers, networks and alliances, political homes, and self-determined movement entities that strengthen grassroots organizing in the long term.
- Expanding investment in land-based organizing and infrastructure: Land Justice is the largest area we fund via grantmaking to groups protecting farmland, organizing tenants, fighting for climate justice with frontline communities, cultivating safe land spaces for targeted communities, and nurturing and growing land cooperatives.
- Moving grants at larger sizes: We gave larger grants to fewer groups to ensure that the grants can help respond to the threats movements are facing, meet their needs, and help them emerge from current crises stronger. $25K (previous average) ^ $67K (2021 average)
- Supporting Black and Indigenous leaders: Virtually all of the organizations we fund are led by Black, Brown, and Indigenous people with intersecting identities working to advance a vision for multiracial, pluralistic democracy of the future. This has long been a mandate of Solidaire’s and continues to be.
- Centering healing and protection in a multiplicity of ways: All our pooled fund vehicles work to advance organizational strengthening, healing justice, safety, and protection of community organizers.
“If you were engaging in Black liberation because it was a hot item, don’t stop now. That creates more harm. We need long-term support and investment in our communities because there have been 400 years of oppression and disinvestment.” – Black Liberation Pool Fund Grantee Partner
We’re proud to report that in FY2021, we have moved $14 million through 157 multi-year partnerships, in addition to 86 one-time grants through the Movement Protection Fund.
Here’s what we’re focused on in FY2023 (July 2022 – June 2023):
- Expand grantmaking at an ecosystem level
- Move and organize more money to meet movements’ stated and evolving needs
- Keep innovating in our grantmaking via our liberatory learning and evaluation process
- Organize philanthropy, then keep organizing to move more money, more justly
- Develop a set of accompaniment & capacity building efforts for current grantee partners
- Launch the Social Justice Funds Portfolio with 9 additional multi-year grantee partners
“The whole experience was a learning experience because we were presented with an opportunity we never considered before. Helped recognize all the ways we were vulnerable—in digital, event and physical security. We just accepted it in the past as part of the work.” – Movement Infrastructure Fund Grantee Partner