Collaborative prioritizes countercyclical funding to support grassroots power post-election
Today, Omidyar Network, the Ford Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation announce a new collaboration, the Carry on the Fight Fund. The Fund will support grassroots organizations with the resources to advocate for policy change, hold elected candidates accountable to campaign promises through issue advocacy, and build long-term capacity within communities. The Fund is intended to help organizations set more ambitious goals that will build toward larger systemic reforms.
“Too often, organizations are awash in money in advance of elections, and that funding dries up post-November. This boom/bust cycle prevents them from building long-term power. The Carry on the Fight Fund aims to break that cycle so organizations can continue their critical work beyond Election Day,” said Beth Kanter, chief advocacy and strategic communications officer at Omidyar Network.
With more than $3 million in initial funding, the Carry on the Fight Fund will make investments in Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. The Fund will leverage existing multi-year commitments from participating funders to organizations in these regions by contributing new resources from the Carry on the Fight Fund that will help fill programmatic budget gaps.
“People most affected by a problem are the ones best positioned to determine and drive the solutions,” said Maria Torres-Springer, vice president for US programs at Ford Foundation. “This Fund will support local communities and grassroots efforts so that Election Day can serve as the starting point for organizing rather than the end point, and our partners across the country can build power from the ground up over the coming years.”
The Fund will use a participatory framework that includes a Movement Oversight Committee of grassroots and movement leaders.
“When community members and movement leaders drive how problems are defined, decisions are made and solutions are created, meaningful change becomes possible,” said Carla Thompson Payton, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “This distinct approach to participatory decision-making in the Carry on the Fight Fund ensures that communities drive the policy-issue education, engagement, and power building necessary to create lasting change for children.”
The Carry On The Fight Fund will support:
- Grassroots organizations: The vast majority of resources will go directly to grassroots organizations at the state and local level.
- National organizations: Some support may be given to national groups that have an explicit goal of supporting and elevating the work of state and local affiliates.
- Multi-racial organizing: The Fund will prioritize organizations that directly organize communities of color or are multi-racial and seek to build multi-racial coalitions.
“These funds will help support the more important work of governance and policy agenda setting in the crucial days and weeks following the election, and help ensure that local, grassroots organizations who represent communities most impacted by harmful policies, and too often taken for granted at the ballot box, are resourced to lead this work,” said Sarah Audelo, chair of the Carry on the Fight Fund Movement Oversight Committee and executive director of Alliance for Youth Action.
The first grant recipients from the Carry on the Fight Fund will be determined in a closed selection process and announced in late 2020. A second disbursement of funding will be determined in early 2021, in response to opportunities created by electoral outcomes.
The Carry on the Fight Fund welcomes additional funders that wish to support grassroots power- building through a collaborative approach. Visit www.carryonthefightfund.org to sign up to stay informed about funding and other updates.
About Omidyar Network
Established by philanthropists Pam and Pierre Omidyar, Omidyar Network is a social change venture that has committed more than $1 billion to innovative for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations since 2004. Omidyar Network works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies in which individuals have the social, economic, and democratic power to thrive. For more, visit www.omidyar.com.
About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information visit www.fordfoundation.org.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
The Carry on the Fight Fund is a 501(c)(3) project of the New Venture Fund. Omidyar Network also supports The Carry on the Fight Action Fund, which is an affiliated 501(c)(4) project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund.