Rural and Small Town Organizing

Social Justice Fund Northwest

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Next anticipated deadline: Apr 26, 2021 6:00pm PDT

Later anticipated deadlines: Apr 1, 2023

Grant amount: Approximately US $20,000

Fields of work: Social Justice / Human Rights Civic Leadership Development Civic Engagement & Education Rural Development

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming

Location of residency: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming

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About this funder:

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Overview:

Social Justice Fund NW provides essential resources to organizations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming to strengthen grassroots efforts in the broad-based movement for progressive, systemic social change. Our funding prioritizes organizations that use a community organizing (see below) approach to make lasting change from the bottom up.

Giving Project Grants

Giving Projects grants are typically $10,000/year for one or two years depending on the cycle. Giving Project grants provide general operating funds to support the day to day operations of grassroots community organizing groups working on struggles for justice, equity, and liberation.

Rural and Small Town Organizing

Two-year grant. Social Justice Fund NW’s grantmaking region is made up primarily of small towns, reservations, and rural communities, but much of the resources go to the major urban centers of Seattle and Portland. This grant will focus on supporting community organizing that is building power in the rest of our region, outside of Seattle and Portland. This grant is for any work being done in ANY cities outside of Seattle and Portland, with priority given to organizations in rural, small town, and reservation communities. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • This grant is for any work being done in ANY cities outside of Seattle and Portland, with priority given to organizations in rural, small town, and reservation communities. 
  • To be eligible for any Social Justice Fund NW grant, an organization or project must:
    • Be an organized group of people (we do not fund individuals).
      • If your organization is a nonprofit with 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 status as determined by the IRS, or be a federally recognized American Indian tribal government or agency OR is fiscally sponsored by 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 organizations or by federally recognized tribal governments, you can apply.
      • If your organization is not incorporated or fiscally sponsored, you can still apply, but you must speak with SJF program staff first.
    • Use a community organizing approach
    • Be led by people who are most directly affected by the problems that the organization or project is addressing.
    • Carry out most of its work in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and/or Wyoming.
    • Satisfy evaluation requirements for any previous Social Justice Fund grants. 
  • Social Justice Fund’s primary grantmaking focus is to support organizations that are community based, and that use community organizing to achieve their goals. We recognize that there are many different approaches to community organizing and value diversity in our funding. However all of our grantees share the following characteristics:
    • Led by the people most directly affected by the issues the organization is working on.
    • Continually builds leadership from within its own membership, base, or community.
    • Works to understand and address the root causes of the issues, not just the symptoms.
    • Brings people together to build power they wouldn’t have individually.
    • Uses that power to create systemic change, which includes altering unjust power relations.
    • Sees itself as part of a larger movement for social change, and works towards strengthening that movement.
  • All grantees must demonstrate that they are community-based and led by the people most directly affected by the issues the organization is working on.
    • “Leadership” is defined by membership on the board of directors or its equivalent in terms of policy-setting, governance, and other meaningful decision-making for the organization.
    • Community-based organizations empower those who have been left out of decision-making processes affecting their own lives, are democratically organized and responsive to their community’s needs, involve the affected community in shaping issue priorities and helping to sustain the organization, and develop and renew their own leadership from the community being organized

Ineligibility:

  • We generally do not fund the following:
    • Individuals, endowment funds or capital campaigns.
    • General operating requests from organizations that primarily provide direct services to individuals and families.
      • Direct service organizations can apply for project-specific funds for projects that fit our definition of community organizing.
    • Publications, reports, workshops, classes, conferences, media events, arts, theater productions, research, or litigation efforts unless they are part of an ongoing community organizing effort.
    • Environmental work unless it is aimed at achieving social justice goals (i.e. environmental justice).
      • For example, SJF generally does not fund recycling or resource conservation projects, but we do fund community organizing projects addressing environmental threats that disproportionately harm communities of color or low-income communities.
    • Projects sponsored by a government agency.
      • For example, SJF would not fund a project led by a public school district, but we might fund a project led by communities of color that partners with public schools to address the opportunity gap for students of color.
      • The project must be community driven and led by those most directly affected by the problem.

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