Groundswell Awards $5.4M in 2016
Puts Women of Color at the Forefront
In 2016, Groundswell Fund awarded $5.2 million in grants to over 50 reproductive justice organizations across the U.S. Funding went to efforts led by women of color, low-income women and transgender people. Groundswell continued to center women of color-led efforts, which received 90 percent of its total giving last year.
As Groundswell Executive Director Vanessa Daniel explains, “No group stood up to hate more forcefully in 2016 than women of color. As communities of color face a mounting onslaught of attacks, courageous women of color-led efforts can count on Groundswell to have their back.”
Says Alex DelValle, Groundswell Fund’s Senior Program Director, “Groundswell’s commitment to funding organizations working across lines of issue, race, gender and geography to build political power is also growing. In this political moment, philanthropy cannot afford to do business as usual, funding in single-issue siloes as assaults on our communities rain down fast and heavy from all fronts with attacks on health care, immigrants, trans people and abortion rights. Women of color (including trans women of color) are at the forefront of multi-issue fights to defend the most vulnerable communities and we believe their work will be at the center of successful resistance and power-building campaigns.”
In 2016 Groundswell moved resources through three grantmaking funds and three capacity building programs.
The Catalyst Fund:
Groundswell’s Catalyst Fund awarded $2.4 million in grants to 44 reproductive justice organizations operating in 34 states and nationally across the U.S. Amid the powerful right-wing backlash against racial and gender justice, Groundswell increased its funding for organizations on the frontlines of battles for reproductive justice, including stepping up support for national and statewide efforts to defend the Affordable Care Act, immigrant rights, abortion access and transgender rights. The Catalyst Fund welcomed 10 new organizations in 2016, and deepened its investment in Native communities through a new grantmaking partnership with the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples. To see the full list of Catalyst Fund grantees, please click here.
Birth Justice Fund:
In its largest round of grantmaking to date, Groundswell’s Birth Justice Fund awarded $330,000 in grants to 18 community, state and national organizations working in 12 states. Using a range of strategies from training to community organizing to teaching, Birth Justice Fund grantees challenge maternal and infant disparities based on race, class, gender and sexuality, while improving birth experiences, access to culturally appropriate care, and health outcomes for mothers and babies. In 2016, the Birth Justice Fund continued to support birth workers of color, in particular increasing support for Native-led organizations and organizations led by transgender and queer people of color. To see the full list of Birth Justice Fund grantees, please click here.
Rapid Response Fund:
Groundswell launched its Rapid Response Fund in 2016 to provide fast funding to grassroots organizations that found themselves in unexpected fights to protect and advance reproductive justice. In its pilot year, the Rapid Response Fund made $200,000 in grants to 16 organizations for work that included fighting environmental toxins, confronting police brutality, supporting incarcerated mothers, advancing birth justice efforts by indigenous women, supporting women of color leadership within the abortion rights movement, providing transgender communities with identity documents, and safeguarding the digital security of activists under attack. To see a full list of 2016 Rapid Response Fund grantees, please click here.
Capacity Building Grants:
Groundswell issued an additional $2.3 million in grants to 26 organizations working to build their grassroots power to win through: participation in Groundswell’s Integrated Voter Engagement program or Grassroots Organizing Institute; collaboration with other social justice organizations within key states via Groundswell’s Ecosystem Initiative; or by boosting their strategic communications capacity.
The Ecosystem Initiative, now its second year, supported stronger collaboration and relationship-building between four reproductive justice and economic justice organizations in Florida: National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Miami Workers Center, New Florida Majority and Power U Center for Social Change. Groundswell awarded $310,000 to these four groups to support their planning process during 2016 and their joint work in 2017, including identification of 1,500 – 2,000 new reproductive justice voters, and launching a collaborative Comprehensive Sex Ed (CSE) campaign in Miami schools. As part of its Blueprint Five Year Strategic Plan goals, Groundswell will expand the Ecosystem Initiative to Colorado and Georgia in coming years.
A full report on the impact of these capacity building programs will be released in May.
According to Program Officer, Naa Hammond, “As Groundswell’s grantees fight courageously to protect the most vulnerable communities from an increasing onslaught of attacks, Groundswell will be standing with them and working hard to connect them with the resources they need to be successful.”