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Rapid Response Fund

Groundswell’s Rapid Response Fund fills a critical gap in the philanthropic landscape: fast funding to grassroots organizations in unexpected fights to protect and advance RJ. Attacks on reproductive justice have risen dramatically over the last decade and the lack of rapid response funding, particularly to community-rooted organizations led by people of color, has resulted in major policy defeats and missed opportunities to build and energize a pro-RJ base. Groundswell Fund supports more RJ organizations than any other funder in the country, making it uniquely equipped to deploy rapid response funds to organizers on the ground. The open lines of communication we have built across the movement enable us to assess quickly emerging threats and make strategic decisions about specific requests for funding.

An organization may apply for a Rapid Response Grant if it:

  • Is facing a strategic new opportunity that is immediate, has a specific timeframe, and is aligned with Groundswell Fund’s approach and priorities;
  • Is situated to respond effectively based on experience and existing conditions; and
  • Has not received Rapid Response Fund resources within the previous 12 months.

The Fund provides the following types of support: The Rapid Response Fund will consider proposals for various types of educational and advocacy activities, in addition to direct and grassroots lobbying efforts. The Rapid Response Fund will not consider requests to support candidate campaigns. The Rapid Response Fund will not support ongoing program work, financial crises or funding shortfalls. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $30,000. On rare occasion, a request of up to $50,000 may be considered. Before requesting an amount above $30,000, please contact Groundswell Program Officer, Naa Hammond at nhammond@groundswellfund.org to discuss the circumstances. Click here to Download the 2016 Rapid Response Fund Docket.

Examples of potential activities:

  • Significant policy/ballot initiative fights that require immediate financial support in order to create a tipping point.
  • Responses to major public attacks, e.g., the unexpected emergence of billboards attacking abortion access in communities of color.
  • A short-term project or action that creates opportunities to organize and build coalitions and/or educate public officials and the general public.
  • Support for unexpected organizational leadership transition.

To apply: Please apply online via the link below or email your application to rapidresponse@groundswellfund.orgThere is no deadline or regular grant cycle for Rapid Response Fund grants. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis as they are submitted. Groundswell Fund staff members will review requests and assess them with input from trusted stakeholders familiar with the region/issue and from Groundswell Fund’s Rapid Response Fund Grants Advisory Committee. A Groundswell Fund staff member will respond to requests within one week (7 days) of receiving a request. If approved, grant funds will be dispersed within one week of approval.