Theory of Liberation
How We Got Here
Built as a network of people with wealth who are making change by working in partnership with movements, Solidaire Network positioned itself as a bold alternative to the risk-averse and slow-moving philanthropic mainstream. Through this audacious spirit to practice radical giving and motivating new investment, Solidaire’s approach to grantmaking is to be transformational rather than merely transactional, bring more money to the movement ecosystem, and bring more than money to its work of social change.
Solidaire continues to learn from resourcing and building relationships with Black and Indigenous led movements throughout the United States and to further build our capacity to enact practices away from exploitation and extraction and towards abundance, connection and collective liberation. We knew we needed to build culture change from the inside out; build the infrastructure necessary to support this transformational project; and to become an even more effective, aligned and powerful network of donor organizers.
This moment of opportunity led Solidaire to embark on this Strategy Evaluation and Theory of Liberation process. In 2019, with new leadership at the helm, and anticipating the challenges and opportunities emerging in the new year, Solidaire engaged in a Strategy Evaluation and Theory of Liberation (ToL) process to define its strategic direction—and outcomes—for the next three years (2019-22).
In 2020, Solidaire doubled down on its commitment, with a 10-year goal to move $1 billion to social change movements so that grassroots organizers have more of the resources they need to win. This means:
- The revenue streams of social movement organizations in the United States are increasingly less dependent on traditional philanthropy and foundations.
- Resource holders are transformed into donor organizers, moving new and unprecedented amounts of solidarity and support to the frontlines of social and racial justice movements.
This goal will be achieved through a three-pronged strategy:
Reflections & Learning
In 2022 we engaged independent professional evaluators to assess Solidaire’s progress in implementing our Theory of Liberation since 2019. They conducted interviews and surveys with stakeholders including members, movement partners, board, and staff. Through this process we took a critical look at our progress in order to find our path forward. Read about the Reflections & Learning process in the interactive digital report here.
“It’s truly amazing what they’ve done in three years. It’s been way beyond my expectations. The last three years have been about building internal infrastructure. A really big lift. Now with a vision and with the infrastructure, we are poised for impact.”