Social Justice Fund’s primary grantmaking focus is to support organizations that are community-based, and that use community organizing to achieve their goals. They recognize that there are many different approaches to community organizing and value diversity in funding.
However, all of the 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 the 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 the 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.
Work that they might fund can include but is not limited to:
- Re-entry organizing to provide housing, resources, policy, direct action, etc.
- Rental & utilities assistance.
- Renter organizing to create resources, rental and utilities assistance, renter’s rights training, and leadership development.
- Building and strengthening housing resources and support networks for impacted communities.
- Eviction prevention, intervention, and other housing policy.
- Dismantling and pushing against the current oppressive housing systems and structures.
- Creating collective, cooperative housing structures.
- Safe housing and resources for survivors transitioning out of abusive situations.
To be eligible for any Social Justice Fund NW grant, an organization or project must:
- Be an organized group of people (they 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.
For more information, visit https://socialjusticefund.org/2021-grant-cycles-and-timelines/