December 8, 2020

A Warm Farewell & A Warm Welcome

Neighborhood Funders Group is a place for meaning-making in philanthropy. We offer funders a political home: a place to connect, strategize, and take action.

A big part of how we make meaning and take action is incubating spaces for funders to organize and grow new initiatives — all toward the ultimate goal of shifting money and power in philanthropy to justice and equity.

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These initiatives include Funders for Justice (FFJ), an NFG program that was created in 2014 to mobilize funding resources in solidarity with the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri, and Black communities and other communities of color resisting state violence and criminalization around the country. Since the first phone call where the idea was sparked, FFJ Director Lorraine Ramirez and NFG staff & members worked in close partnership with movement leaders to grow and nurture FFJ as an NFG program.

Over the past six years, FFJ has mobilized millions of dollars to support grassroots organizing led by and for people of color at the intersections of racial justice, gender justice, anti-criminalization, and models for community safety and justice. FFJ expanded NFG’s intersectional political framework and deepened NFG’s relationship with movement leaders. And now, FFJ is ready to take root on its own.

At the end of 2020, FFJ will transition out of NFG to build upon its growth and continue mobilizing resources to grassroots organizing. With this transition, Lorraine will become FFJ’s Executive Director. Please follow FFJ’s next journey at www.funders4justice.org and keep in touch with Lorraine at info [@] funders4justice.org. On behalf of the entire NFG team, I extend so much gratitude and appreciation to Lorraine, Shaena Johnson — FFJ’s new Program Director, and FFJ co-chairs Molly Schultz Hafid of Butler Family Fund, Tynesha McHarris of Black Harvest, and Manuela Arciniegas of Andrus Family Fund. I look forward to continued and ongoing collaboration between NFG and FFJ to push philanthropy to support grassroots power building so that Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities thrive.

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As we celebrate FFJ’s next stage of growth, I am also excited to announce that the LIFT Fund and NFG have developed a strategic partnership. The LIFT Fund is now a fiscally-sponsored project at NFG, and will continue to be led by Valeria Treves, Director, and Jennifer Muñoz, Program Coordinator.

Established in 2011 as a partnership between the AFL-CIO and philanthropic institutions, the Labor Innovations for the 21st Century (LIFT) Fund is a first-of-its-kind fund that supports collaboration and innovation around new forms of worker organizing through grantmaking, creating convening spaces, and disseminating research and learnings. Since its founding, the LIFT Fund has moved over $4.5 million in grants to more than 90 collaborative worker organizing projects that are engaged in cutting-edge strategies for building worker power.

NFG and the LIFT Fund share a commitment to a powerful worker justice movement. We have been close collaborators in propelling philanthropy and labor to be movement partners — especially through NFG’s Funders for a Just Economy program.

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Please join me in wishing a warm farewell to Funders for Justice and a warm welcome to the LIFT Fund as a fiscally sponsored project.

I am honored to lead NFG into the next year as we grow, change, and respond to the needs of the moment for both philanthropy and our communities. My commitment to organize funders who are moving more money to Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and accelerating racial, economic, gender, and climate justice is steadfast. NFG has been the place to find my co-conspirators in this work, and I am excited to continue to build with each of you.

In community,

Adriana Rocha
President
Neighborhood Funders Group

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January 13, 2022

Saying ‘no’ and rest as resistance: NFG's December 2021 Newsletter

At the beginning of this month, Neighborhood Funders Group hosted our final Member Connection Call of 2021. These calls are informal virtual spaces for grantmakers to truly connect and co-conspire; if you haven't joined one yet, we hope that you will in 2022 — register here for our next call on January 26!

On this year's Member Connection Calls, we've talked about how we're infusing care into our organizations and grantmaking, racial capitalism, racial justice organizing in specific places (and how philanthropy must move more + more + more money to BIPOC and low-income communities), rapid response funding, and lessons revealed to us by the pandemic on how to be better grantmakers and liberate all philanthropic assets.

We've shared the things that never fail to bring us comfort, offered tips for harnessing joy in all of the seasons, and taken each other on trips through our memories to our favorite vacation spots.

After co-hosting Member Connection Calls with NFG's President, Adriana Rocha, for well over a year, I've found that something that someone shares at each call resonates deeply for me. On this December call, it was:

'No' creates space to be a whole person at and outside of work.

It feels fitting to me to be putting the finishing touches on this message to you on NFG's final workday of the year. Beginning tomorrow (December 15), NFG will be closed for a three-week paid administrative break. We're saying 'no' to more meetings, more emails, and more work in favor of pausing, stopping, and creating the space to rest. Because we know from Tricia Hersey at The Nap Ministry that REST IS RESISTANCE.

The NFG team will return to our respective home offices on Wednesday, January 5. Here's a sneak peek into NFG's 2022: we'll be sharing our new theory of change, updating our website and brand, and announcing plans for our 2022 National Convening. And we'll continue sharing how we're centering our culture of care in our efforts to shift power in philanthropy towards justice and liberation.

Truthfully, I don't expect us to feel fully rested when we return — if 'feeling fully rested' is even a possibility in a capitalist world that values grind culture and all too often uplifts white supremacy culture characteristics of perfectionism, urgency, and quantity vs. quality. But I do know that this team-wide break moves us closer to a vision where all of our communities thrive in a liberated world where we are all well, where we are all cared for, and where there is abundance for all —and NFG is invested in this vision.

We look forward to co-conspiring with you to move money to racial, gender, economic, and climate justice in 2022. And we hope that you too say 'no' to what you need to and rest in any & every way that you're able.

Cheers!
Courtney Banayad
she/her
Director of Membership and Communications

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January 12, 2022

2022 Discount Foundation Legacy Award: Call for Nominations

The nominations are now open for the 2022 Discount Foundation Legacy Award!

The Discount Foundation Legacy Award annually identifies, supports, and celebrates an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and contributed significantly to workers’ rights movements in the United States and/or globally. Through public recognition and a $20,000 stipend, we hope to recognize and amplify the work of individuals at the intersections leading the way toward justice for low-wage workers of color. This is a one of a kind opportunity to recognize the often unheard voices of worker movements — that includes volunteers, members, workplace leaders, and more who are transforming the lives and rights of their fellow low-wage workers of color.

To be eligible for the Award, a nominee must be active in worker justice, including but not limited to organizing and advocacy-related work. Additionally, nominees do not have to be employed at an organization or institution whose mission is to advance worker justice — they can be volunteers, members or other leaders at an organization or workplace organizing effort. We will not be asking questions regarding immigration or other legal status, and nominees do not have to reside in the US.

Nominees need to be nominated by someone other than themselves, through a simple, quick and accessible application process found here. The Award is meant only for individuals. Organizations, groups of individuals or institutions are not eligible for consideration. If you know anyone who you think should be recognized for their significant commitment to worker justice at any level — from a workplace to the neighborhood to the nation — this is your chance to provide them a powerful boost and real resources they can use in whatever way they choose! 

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In addition to being publicly recognized for their remarkable contributions to the movement, the 2022 Discount Foundation Legacy Award winner will receive a $20,000 stipend to provide them with the flexibility to expand upon their professional activities and achievements They will not be asked for any reporting requirements, and the funding has no specific strings attached or other specific obligations. The winner of the 2022 Discount Foundation Legacy Award will be invited to be honored at a virtual event in 2022. To learn more about the eligibility requirements and nomination process, please see our FAQs here — and please spread the word about this opportunity to your networks, colleagues and friends!

All nominations must be received by 11:59pm ET on March 7, 2022 through the online nomination form. We’re happy to help answer questions about the award, or support with any trouble you have with the application — please reach out to emily@jwj.org.

Created in partnership with Jobs With Justice Education Fund and the Neighborhood Funders Group’s Funders for a Just Economy, the Discount Foundation Legacy Award was launched in 2015 to commemorate and carry on the legacy of the Foundation’s decades-long history of supporting leading edge organizing in the worker justice arena beyond its spend down as a foundation in 2014. Learn more about the Discount Foundation Legacy Award.
 

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