About - Common Counsel Foundation

Founded in 1988, Common Counsel Foundation partners with families and individual donors to expand philanthropic resources for progressive social movements. Through our strategic philanthropic services, we prioritize support for community-based organizations building the leadership of low-income people, women, youth, people of color and others working for justice, equity, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

Common Counsel Grantmaking

Over its more than 30-year history, Common Counsel Foundation has developed a reputation for progressive community-oriented philanthropy highlighted by grant-making that is defined not only by who we fund, but also by the principles and practices that guide our work. Common Counsel donors and member funds share a special interest in supporting organizations committed to grassroots community organizing for racial, economic, and environmental justice, policy reform, and social change.

Current Common Counsel Foundation member funds include:

  • Abelard Foundation West
  • Acorn Foundation
  • Kindle Project
  • Lora L. and Martin N. Kelley Family Foundation Trust
  • David R. Stern Fund

Common Counsel’s internal grant programs include:

The Grassroots Exchange Fund (GXF) – a community-guided rapid response small grants program established to build bridges between grassroots social and environmental justice organizations throughout the United States.

Native Voices Rising – a collaboration between Common Counsel Foundation and Native Americans in Philanthropy, is a research and re-granting project designed to support grassroots groups led by and for Native communities in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

The Social and Economic Justice Fund (SEJ) – a collaborative grants initiative that supports organizations working on civil and human rights, youth organizing, and economic justice for low-income immigrant communities and communities of color.

In 2019, Common Counsel Foundation and its member funds made grants totaling over $8 million.

Common Counsel Residency Program

Common Counsel is the fiscal sponsor for The Windcall Resident Program, a retreat program for social change organizers and activists.