Still We Rise Fund - Common Counsel Foundation

Supporting Democracy, Resilience, and Power Building

The Need for Support

Given social and political shifts, communities are confronting increasing violence, hate crimes, and injustices derailing decades of progress – whether around climate and environmental injustice, racial equity, reproductive rights, etc. Community-based organizations have steadfastly built the people power needed to win, and are poised to mobilize in support of democracy, resilience, and power-building efforts. In a rapidly changing social and political landscape, grassroots organizations are at the front lines, protecting and supporting vulnerable communities, such as immigrant, Black, Arab and Muslim, Native-American, women, working-class, and LGBTQ communities.

Time and time again, vulnerable families and communities bear the brunt of these social and political shifts. Philanthropy needs to move flexible, responsive funding for equitable community priorities and needs that support democracy, resilience, and community-led power.

The Opportunity: Still We Rise Fund

First launched in the midst of the Fall 2016 election, the Still We Rise Fund was a collaboration of allied funders responding to the growing needs articulated by grassroots social, racial, economic, and environmental justice organizations. The Still We Rise Fund has been successful in delivering hundreds of thousands of dollars to a diverse range of community-based organizations across the country.

What makes Still We Rise unique:

  • Community-Informed Grantmaking – grassroots leaders inform the grantmaking process, priorities, and decisions
  • Responsive, Flexible Funding – grant awards can be quickly deployed to support ongoing and planned efforts, with grants reviewed and deployed on a weekly basis
  • Streamlined Proposal/Reporting Requirements – minimizing the proposal and reporting process to maximize the impact of funding dollars

Grantmaking Criteria and Priorities:

Still We Rise Fund makes project grants to membership-led, community-based organizations working on social, racial, economic, and environmental justice initiatives in the current political climate by focusing on:

  • Advancing community-defined solutions and leadership within these new conditions;
  • Convening community organizations and leaders to strategize around efforts of resilience and resistance;
  • Strengthening and supporting grassroots networks and alliances;
  • Mobilizing community members and leaders to advance community-defined solutions;
  • Building and strengthening the community resiliency infrastructure;
  • Expanding membership in innovative and significant new ways;
  • Amplifying political education and leadership development;
  • Impacting cultural narratives to lift up human dignity and advance a narrative of inclusion and justice.

Priority consideration is given to:

  • Efforts that support emergent strategies that help communities resist 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 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 policy change 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 have a proactive plan to grow and to build more power by getting more people involved;
  • 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.

Still We Rise Fund will not support the following:

  • Organizations located outside of the United States;
  • Organizations with over $2 million of annual expenses;
  • Organizations without IRS 501c(3) tax-exempt status or a fiscal sponsor who does;
  • Direct social services;
  • General operating support requests;
  • Government agencies and programs;
  • Capital expenditure, endowments, construction or renovation programs;
  • Scholarship funds or other aid to individuals;
  • Schools and educational institutions, cultural institutions, or medical institutions;
  • Grantmaking institutions;
  • Research or fellowships.

The Still We Rise Fund is currently not accepting applications. Please check back for updates. 

 A typical Still We Rise grant will be between $10,000 and $30,000, with grants being disbursed weekly. If you have further questions about your eligibility or criteria listed above, please contact us at [email protected].