Across the country, many communities are confronting increasing violence, hate crimes, and anticipating the rollback of decades of hard-fought progress towards racial equity, immigrant rights, women’s rights, and environmental and climate justice. Community-based organizations are mobilizing to defend residents and families, build resiliency, and develop new strategies and alliances to defend and advance justice and sustainability in a rapidly changing political landscape. Grassroots organizations are the front line of support for the rights of vulnerable communities, including, but not limited to immigrant, Black, Arab and Muslim, Native-American, women, working-class, and LGBTQ communities. There is a critical need to mobilize responsive funding to support a diverse range of emerging community priorities and infrastructure needs and to develop a long-term agenda to advance progressive community-led change.
About Still We Rise Fund
A group of allied funders are stepping up to help meet some of the growing needs that grassroots social, racial, economic, and environmental justice organizations are articulating during these challenging times through a combination of both aligned and pooled funding. The Still We Rise Fund is designed to be a nimble pooled fund that is facilitating, scaling and accelerating the delivery of responsive funding to a diverse range of community-based organizations across the country. While the fund will work to adapt to emergent community and movement needs – on a range of issues – core priority areas will include:
- Strengthening grassroots networks and alliances;
- Convening community organizations and developing responsive strategies for resistance and advancement;
- Building and strengthening the community defense infrastructure;
- Developing and advancing community defined solutions;
- Expanding membership in significant and new ways;
- Amplifying political education and leadership development;
- Impacting cultural narratives;
- Supporting mass mobilizations.
Still We Rise makes grants to membership-led, community-based organizations working on social, racial, economic, and environmental justice initiatives in the rapidly changing conditions in the current political climate. Priority consideration is given to:
- Efforts that support emergent strategies that help communities resist in rapidly changing conditions (e.g. immigration raids, hate crimes, media attacks, regressive policy proposals, etc.). This also includes resisting new or amplified threats;
- Efforts to think strategically or coordinate between groups to build power and move a proactive community defined agenda;
- Organizations that most clearly demonstrate a membership-led, community-organizing model that is working toward social, racial, economic or environmental policy change in disadvantaged communities through collective action;
- Organizations that operate with a clear racial justice and intersectional framework;
- Organizations that have a strong group of leaders and board members that represent the community they serve and who are accountable to the community;
- Organizations that have strong leadership development programs for their members, and also have a concrete plan to grow and to build more power by getting more people involved;
- Organizations that operate in deep alliance with and whose agenda is rooted in an agenda defined by base-building organizations;
- Movement-building actions such as convenings, coalition- and base-building, communications, capacity-building, trainings or similar tactics to respond to or move a proactive agenda in rapidly changing conditions;
- Organizations working in “hard to fund” areas, including the southern US, the “rust belt” and Rocky Mountain States;
- Organizations that have IRS 501(c)3 tax exempt status or a fiscal sponsor who does.
If you think that the work you are engaged in is in alignment with the spirit of this fund and is rooted in a membership-based organization led by members of a vulnerable community, but doesn’t appear to be reflected in what is written, please contact a member of our Program Team to discuss it. We intend for this fund to adapt to changing times. Please read the guidelines document for exclusions and application questions.
A typical Still We Rise grant is $5,000, and as the fund grows we may offer a larger range.
Timeline & How To Apply
Still We Rise grants are distributed monthly. Applications must be submitted by the first Monday of the month. Turn around time for requests to be processed and reviewed is roughly four weeks from the deadline. Sometimes you might hear a faster reply.
If your organization fits all or most of the above eligibility criteria, then you may submit an online application to Common Counsel Foundation. Please submit your Application via our online grant portal. Note that if you are a new applicant, you will need to register to obtain a user account.