2023 Annual Report: Advancing Community-Led Change

We are proud to share highlights of the powerful work of our community partners and how donors and funders are mobilizing to support their vision.

Photo: LA Housing Movement Lab

A note from our Executive Director

Dear CCF Community,

Reflecting on the last year, I feel a sense of deep gratitude for the resilient spirit of social justice movements and the progress made by showing up for each other again and again.

Once again bore witness to people organizing across communities and across struggles in the face of injustice. They expanded the reach and power of the people while deepening bonds, and building the vibrant, just society we hope for and deserve. This annual report is a testament to the impact that is possible with collective, unwavering dedication to each other and our shared future.

In 2023, we reached a pivotal moment in Common Counsel Foundation’s history, culminating in our largest distribution of grants yet—$48 million in grants through our funder collaboratives, donor-advised funds, fiscally-sponsored projects, and family foundation partners.

At Common Counsel Foundation, we care deeply about how we do what we do: centering the voices of communities in determining the strategies and solutions best suited to their needs. These are a few examples of our practices in action:

  • Community-led grantmaking, through Native Voices Rising, puts power back where it belongs – in the hands of Native American and Indigenous communities. Celebrating a decade of organizing philanthropic support for Native-led efforts and solutions, the 10-year report of Native Voices Rising demonstrates opportunities for philanthropy to engage in community-led solutions and shows what’s possible when we listen to and uplift Indigenous wisdom and leadership.
  • Embarking on its next five-year phase, the Fund for an Inclusive California is another example of shifting philanthropic power and resources to communities. This five-year, $25 million phase continues to align funding toward a community-determined vision for housing justice in California. This phase was designed by community partners and continues to be guided by a blended community leader-funder governing body.
  • The Community Ownership for Community Power Fund is a groundbreaking effort that reflects our commitment to remain at the leading edge of practices that cede power to community organizations and activate our resources for housing justice. The Fund will align philanthropic, public, and impact investment dollars towards community ownership models and create new financial infrastructure for the field. We are excited to share more in the coming months when we launch the community-designed and governed Integrated Capital Fund.

Looking ahead, our vision is set on a future where philanthropy isn’t just supportive but revolutionary in its pursuit. Creating a space that challenges, breaks down, and reimagines the systems in place to drive social change with grassroots movements leading the way for real transformation.

During this year it’s been an honor to connect with donors and fellow funders whose passion and purpose resonate deeply with our own. I have been awed and invigorated by these conversations, and the shared dedication to continue to find new ways to align and support social justice movements.

Finally, I want to extend gratitude to our community partners. The powerful work you lead, rooted in love, rooted in a vision of justice, is truly the core and guiding force for us as an organization, and beyond that – as a community and society.

Thank you for joining us in this journey for transformative philanthropy and social change. Thank you for your incredible support, the work we’ve done together, and the even deeper collaboration and successes that lie ahead.

In community,

Sangeeta Chowdhry
Executive Director