It has been a year since GSF shifted away from issue-specific funding toward a grantmaking program that supports grantees to build power. Our programmatic shift has come at a time of intense crisis and opportunity in the justice field. As we’ve moved through this year, our purpose has been to meet the moment, be of service to the field, eliminate barriers to funding, fund our values, fund people-of-color-led work, and to keep learning. As we approach the one-year mark of our program shift, here are some things we are learning:
“These funders [on the right] played the long game, over decades, with an eye on capturing the highest ground of American politics: law, fiscal policy, regulation, and the narrative frames of public discussion. They didn’t invest in issues or programs, or dole out one-year restricted grants. They invested in ideas, institutions and people. They gave general support to a core group of multi-issue think tanks, legal groups, leadership institutes, and media outfits year after year, decade after decade.”
We still have a long way to go, but I am heartened to see more justice-oriented funders embracing trust-based funding practices.
We are finding hope and inspiration in what is possible when you’re working toward a big vision for justice that centers impacted communities. We are more committed than ever to continue to learn about how our funding can help communities build power. If you’re working in this way too, do you have ideas and lessons to share with us? We would love to hear from you.
Photo by Julian Schungel