The Carry on the Fight Fund is a collaborative fund that aims to provide countercyclical funding to key state and local organizing groups in order to build the governing power and candidate accountability needed to win structural economic reforms and real economic power for the New American Majority at the state and local level.
The Carry on the Fight Fund aims to:
- Strengthen grassroots organizational capacity building and organizing innovation over time;
- Create an extension of campaign strategy horizons to include more structural policy goals; and,
- Expand the ability of grassroots organizations to conduct governance work through sharing and scaling of successful models.
We plan to award up to $3 million in pre- and post-election investments.
This is a new funding initiative.
Organizations that receive support from the Carry on the Fight Fund will most often be multi-issue groups. However, this fund does have an explicit focus on efforts aimed at increasing the economic power of communities of color and those supporting individuals with low income by addressing structural reform, check corporate power, and build leadership.
At least 80 percent of the funds will go to grassroots organizations working in Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, or Minnesota, either at the state or local level. To extend the reach of these funds, we will focus on long-standing or promising new alignments and coalitions, with a focus on organizations that directly organize communities of color or are multi-racial and seek to build governing coalitions that are multi-racial. Limited funding (no more than 20 percent) may be awarded to national groups that are explicitly working to support the work of state and local groups.
To maximize and focus our funding, we selected four states (Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, and Louisiana) that align with the priorities of the philanthropies involved in the fund and are ripe for issue-based advocacy that improves economic conditions for a large number of households. Additionally, we identified states that have the greatest opportunity and capacity to overcome hurdles and achieve economic reforms in the next two to five years and where the New American Majority (people of color, single women, and millennials that together comprise the largest portion of the American electorate) is well-positioned to lead this charge.
Communities with economic power have the ability to improve their own incomes, benefits, mobility, market choices, and voice in the workplace. Often, establishing economic power requires the redistribution of market and advocacy power from those who have it to those who do not.
What’s the difference between this Fund and the regular grantmaking portfolios of participating funders?
We believe the role of philanthropy in building economic power is to solve problems that stem from a lack of access to resources, both financial and technical. Through this fund, we will directly support grassroots organizations focused on power building so that they can create the conditions needed for communities to have their own economic agency. If successful, this effort will support the efforts we traditionally fund. However, we are excited about the prospect of funding new organizations, especially at the state level.
To ensure our funding reflects the needs and goals of the field, we have established two decision-making bodies. A Movement Oversight Committee will focus on redistributing power to movement/grassroots leaders. The chair of that committee will sit on the Grantmaking Advisory Committee, which is also made up of representatives from the contributing philanthropies.
To inform the Fund’s understanding of how to be most effective and meet the greatest need, we have tapped individuals with experience in grassroots organizing and movement building to provide strategic insight to inform our grantmaking decisions and bring a more diverse range of voices to the table. The Committee includes individuals who have a strong understanding of economic power analysis and governance work. The Committee members are listed here.
Recipients selected for an initial round of funding will be notified in November. In each case, we will work to ensure organizations have funds in hand in 2020. A smaller, second round of funds, will be distributed through an open RFP process in early 2021.
We aim to help grassroots organizations maintain their capacity to sustain their advocacy after the 2020 election by providing c3 and c4 funds to retain organizers, fund advocates, and develop strategic plans that extend their impact beyond electoral cycles in support of larger systemic reform.
Carry on the Fight Funds are restricted to existing organizations to help maintain their capacity to implement policy change and hold elected candidates accountable to campaign promises through issue advocacy.
Additional funding partners are welcome to join this effort at any time. Please contact Monisha Som to learn more.
The Carry on the Fight Fund launched in Fall 2020. We are in the process of reviewing the first round of potential grant recipients. To stay connected and be alerted when we open up a request for proposals in early 2021, please sign up for our mailing list here.