If you’re interested in applying for Rapid Response funding, please 1) review the process and deadlines information; 2) review Groundswell’s definitions, and 3) take the criteria self-assessment.
Groundswell strives to reduce the burden to organizations, especially in times of crisis. Therefore, RRF requests are made via phone, although we welcome proposals in lieu of a phone call. RRF requests can be submitted at any time but must be submitted by that month’s deadline date to be considered for that month.
Rapid Response Fund grant requests for 2021 may range from $5,000 to $20,000. On rare occasions, Groundswell may consider requests of up to $25,000, yet the average grant size is $8,000.
Review the process, deadlines, and criteria, then complete the criteria self-assessment. If the request is a match to Groundswell’s RRF criteria, you will be prompted to schedule an intake call. Our staff may cancel your request if they conclude it is not a fit to RRF criteria.
Intake calls must be completed by the application dates listed below to be considered for that month.
Groundswell’s grantmaking staff review the requests and may seek input from trusted stakeholders familiar with the region or issue.
Organizations are notified about their grant request on or around the 25th of each month.
*Dates subject to change.
Submission Deadline: May 14, 2021
Notification: May 25, 2021
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2021
Notification: June 25, 2021
Groundswell’s Rapid Response Fund (RRF) will continue to center its criteria around:
The request is responding to an unanticipated event, political moment, and/or requires urgent or timely action. It is a new/unexpected critical opportunity or threat.
Definition of Women of Color and/or Transgender/GNC (TGNC) Led:
3. Organizing + Base-Building
If the organization is an existing Groundswell Fund grantee, the RRF request must fall outside their existing scope of work.
Due to the continuing public health crisis of COVID-19, RRF requests may be made for:
Groundswell Fund has made a commitment to movement to specifically increase grantmaking to Black women, Indigenous women, Trans women of color, and TGNC people broadly. In addition to those communities, Groundswell is also prioritizing Southern, Midwest, and rural communities. Please see Groundswell’s 2020-2025 Blueprint for details.
If you received a RRF grant in 2020 and are looking to submit another RRF request in 2021, please keep in mind:
Groundswell’s RRF budget is 50% less than what it was for 2020. Therefore, we hope to reach organizations and communities we have previously not supported.
In order for a RRF 2021 request to be considered:
As we face an onslaught of local and national attacks on women of color and trans people of color, lack of access to a funding mechanism that can deploy resources quickly has cost women of color and trans people of color activists and organizations in the United States countless policy setbacks and missed opportunities for base-building.
In response, Groundswell Fund launched its Rapid Response Fund in January 2016. Dedicated to moving resources quickly and strategically, the Fund seeks to meet unforeseen needs and opportunities in the struggle to advance and defend social and reproductive justice organizing by women of color and trans people of color.
What might the Rapid Response grants support?
In 2020, the Rapid Response Fund moved $1,325,000 to 145 organizations. This is a huge record for Groundswell Fund and a milestone for RRF within the first five years of its existence. RRF supported 30 local and state-based efforts including Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Puerto Rico, D.C., to name a few, as well as to several national efforts.