July 30, 2020

New opportunities to connect & co-conspire with us: NFG's July 2020 Newsletter

Thank you to the hundreds of people who joined us online to kickoff our 2020 National Convening Series between June 29 and July 2. Our early July convening programming included the Accountability & Philanthropy's Role plenary session (watch the recording!), Multiracial Rural Equity Summit hosted by NFG's Integrated Rural Strategies Program, and Homecoming: Housing Justice is Racial and Economic Justice, a strategy session organized by NFG's Democratizing Development Program. 

As communities continue to adapt to the altered landscape created by COVID-19 and rise up to defend Black lives, NFG is a place for funders to find co-conspirators, explore ideas, and shift power and money towards transformational justice. Highlights from this month’s NFG programming include: 

  • We are imagining what is possible if philanthropy funded the holistic sustainability and wellness of communities and grantee partners so that they had the capacity to resist, shift, and innovate. For four Wednesdays in July, NFG's Funders for Justice facilitated a Healing Justice Institute to build relationships and coordinate strategy to resource healing justice. Members of FFJ's Healing Justice Strategy Group also published "Healing Justice Guidance to Philanthropy During COVID-19, the Uprisings, and Beyond."

  • NFG's Funders for a Just Economy published the latest Strike Watch, focused on the July 20 Strike for Black Lives where thousands of essential workers walked out of hospitals, fast food restaurants, corporate buildings, warehouses and more to demand justice for Black communities. 

  • Our Funders for a Just Economy team also hosted a Safe and Just Return to Work webinar where funders heard about the actions essential workers are taking nationwide to fight for basic security and health and explored how to best fund organizing safe and just working conditions for all workers. 

  • Grantees of NFG's Amplify Fund engaged in conversation about how groups are combining online with offline action to build power and win change, and shared technical information about digital campaign tools and tactics that organizations can use to engage members, expand their reach, and be heard by decision-makers. (Contact us for a list of Amplify's recent grantees!)

  • NFG's Integrated Rural Strategies Group hosted the first webinar in the three-part Meeting the Moment series. Leaders discussed how they are adapting to this current moment and shared innovative strategies to engage voters and meet rural and small city Americans where they are at. 

  • And — happening at 9am PT / 12pm ET today! — NFG's Funders for Justice will offer a webinar on From Bail Reform to Closing the Jail: Organizing Wins for Divestment. Join us to learn from leaders of two powerful campaigns that have recently won their fight to close local jails: Close the Workhouse, in St. Louis, MO, and Communities Over Cages, in Atlanta, GA. 

Across all of NFG’s programming, we are organizing philanthropy to accelerate racial, economic, gender, and climate justice. And we're staying rooted in community and connection. Join us on August 20 for our next Member Connection Call, where we’ll have a chance to continue conversations we showcased during NFG’s National Convening plenaries on philanthropic accountability and community power building. Whether you’re new to the NFG community or have been organizing with us for many years, this virtual connection space is for you. 

Finally, we want to give a warm shout out to Amoretta Morris, Director of National Community Strategies at The Annie E. Casey Foundation, who is expanding her role as an NFG board member to serve as Co-Chair alongside fellow Co-Chair Alison Corwin, Senior Program Officer for Sustainable Environments at Surdna Foundation. We also bid a fond farewell to NFG board member Sandra Witt, Director of Healthy Communities – North Region at The California Endowment, who has concluded her board service at NFG. We will miss Sandra as an official member of the board, and have so much gratitude for her contributions as a longtime champion of NFG's mission. 

Keep reading for resources and opportunities to build with NFG. And together, let's move more & more resources so that Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and low-income communities thrive. 

The NFG Team

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April 27, 2021

Building rural power for racial, economic, gender, & climate justice: NFG's April 2021 Newsletter

At Neighborhood Funders Group, we know that local grassroots organizing is key to Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities building power to influence decision-making about the places where they live, work, learn, and play. It’s how we can make sure our communities have access to clean water, stable housing, and economies that sustain people and planet. Power building is also how we will achieve community safety models that do not perpetuate violence against and criminalize Indigenous women and girls, migrants, those living in poverty, and Black and Brown people living in rural communities.

With nearly 1 of every 5 people in the U.S. living in a rural area, the trajectory of rural America is tied to the entire country’s future regarding democracy, healthcare, workers’ rights, food systems, climate change, immigration, and more. We have seen the influence and impact that rural communities have in designing and implementing progressive policy solutions that benefit all communities, regardless of their zip code. And yet, rural communities receive a sliver of philanthropic resources, with very little of this funding going to support community organizing and power building work — particularly that led by and serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities in rural areas.

NFG launched the Integrated Rural Strategies Group (IRSG) four years ago in partnership with funders who needed a space to learn, connect, strategize, and move resources in support of multiracial community power building in rural places. As part of our commitment to building power in place, IRSG partnered with Engage New York to commission a landscape scan of the community organizing infrastructure in New York State. Rural organizers in New York contributed to the recent passage of statewide policies, which provide critical support and solutions to BIPOC and low-income communities — in both rural and urban places. These successes were accomplished in the face of significant challenges — challenges that can be addressed if philanthropy recognized and fully resourced the power and potential of rural communities.

The community organizers and advocates interviewed for the scan have called for funders to support transformative movements to build rural power, instead of transactional models that perpetuate the status quo. The scan offers three overarching recommendations for grantmakers to take action and resource multiracial rural organizing infrastructure.

read the report!

We invite you to take a look at the report and at our launch event on May 20, explore with us how your foundation can invest in a future for rural communities and the rest of the country that is grounded in a multiracial democracy, sustainable agroecology and economies, decriminalization, and the abolition of the prison industrial complex. This new stage for IRSG's work parallels an exciting era for investments in rural communities coming from the federal level. Connect with me and IRSG funder members and sign up for IRSG’s newsletter to learn more about how your grantmaking can support rural communities to build power and thrive.

In solidarity,

Lindsay Ryder
Senior Program Manager
Integrated Rural Strategies Group

Domenico Romero
IRSG Co-Chair
Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock

Allistair Mallillan
IRSG Co-Chair
Common Counsel Foundation

May 4, 2021

Introducing Philanthropy Foward: Cohort 3


We are excited to announce the launch of Philanthropy Forward's Cohort 3 in partnership with The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions!

Philanthropy Forward is a CEO fellowship community for visionary leaders who center racial and gender justice and community power building to disrupt and transform the future of philanthropy. This fellowship brings together CEOs of foundations who are supporting racial & gender justice and community power building to make deeper change at the individual, organizational, and philanthropic field levels.

  • ALEYAMMA MATHEW, she/her — Collective Future Fund
  • AMORETTA MORRIS, she/her — Borealis Philanthropy
  • ANA CONNER, they/she — Third Wave Fund
  • CARLA FREDERICKS, she/her — The Christensen Fund
  • CRAIG DRINKARD, he/him — Victoria Foundation
  • JENNIFER CHING, she/her — North Star Fund
  • JOHN BROTHERS, he/him — T. Rowe Price Foundation
  • KIYOMI FUJIKAWA, she/her — Third Wave Fund
  • LISA OWENS, she/her — Hyams Foundation
  • MOLLY SCHULTZ HAFID, she/her — Butler Family Fund
  • NICK DONOHUE, he/him — Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  • NICOLE PITTMAN, she/her — Just Beginnings Collaborative
  • PHILIP LI, he/him — Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
  • RAJASVINI BHANSALI, she/they — Solidaire Network & Solidaire Action Fund
  • RINI BANERJEE, she/her — Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
  • TANUJA DEHNE, she/her — Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
  • YANIQUE REDWOOD, she/her — Consumer Health Foundation

learn more about each Fellow!

With a framework focused on liberated gatekeeping, accountability practices, and strategic risk taking, Philanthropy Forward is a dedicated space for leaders to organize together and boldly advance the transformed future of the sector. This growing fellowship of visionary CEOs from progressive philanthropic institutions is aligning to to disrupt and transform the future of philanthropy.

Philanthropy Forward is a joint initiative started in 2018 by Neighborhood Funders Group and The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. Learn more about the fellowship here.