During this acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have broadened our Rapid Response Fund criteria to support organizing groups to respond to the immediate needs of their communities.
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?
A few examples of how RRF might support existing grantees and other organizations in the moment are:
For existing grantees only: resources to shift and adapt to remote work, including access to videoconference calling technology and equipment.
2020 grant requests can range from $1,500 to $15,000; averaging between $5,000 – $10,000. On a case-by-case basis, Groundswell may consider requests above $15,000.
Due to increasingly high demand, we are pre-assessing requests before moving forward with an intake call, which serves as the first step in applying for Groundswell’s Rapid Response Fund.
There are two steps to the intake process: 1) sending an email answering three screening questions (below) and 2) a phone call.
Email Cecilia Sáenz Becerra, Program Officer at email@example.com to schedule an intake phone call about your Rapid Response request.
In your request for an intake call, please answer the following questions:
After you send the email answering the above questions, program staff will reach out to schedule a call.
A call with Rapid Response Fund and the requesting organization’s representatives.
During the call, you should be prepared to answer questions about your request, organization, and budget. If applying for funding for a coalition or collaboration, please ensure that the person who does your intake call is prepared to answer questions about all the organizations involved in the project. You can have more than one person on the call.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Groundswell staff is doing its best to review applications on a weekly basis.
This means that generally, any intake calls related to COVID-19 response that are done in a given week should receive notification of their award by the close of the same week.
Grant requests are reviewed by Groundswell Fund staff members, who may also seek input from trusted stakeholders familiar with the region or issue.
In 2019, the Rapid Response Fund awarded close to 30 grants totaling $187,500 to local and state-based efforts in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington, as well as to several national efforts.
You can learn more about our 2019 grantees by downloading the Rapid Response Fund docket.
Gender Justice Nevada
Access Reproductive Care – Southeast
Highlander Research & Education Center
Black Women for Wellness
Kansas City Anti – Violence Project
All Above All
National Black Women’s Roundtable
Marsha P. Johnson Institute
The Afiya Center
Trans Advocacy in Rural Places, a project of the Lavender Rights Project
Black Trans Women, Inc.
Health Justice Commons
Glits Inc – Gays and Lesbians in Transgender Society
Center for Cultural Power
Justice Team Networks
Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition
South Florida Healing Justice Project
Transgender Education Network of Texas
Black Excellence Collective
Womens Rights Empowerment Network
Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition
Southwest Women’s Law Center