Apply | Rapid Response Fund

About the Rapid Response Fund

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, we launched a 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 strategic organizing response to a public attack or a community crisis
  • A strategic organizing response to advance solidarity and coordination of organizations working across issues to defend the most vulnerable communities
  • A strategic organizing response to an unforeseen legislative or policy development
  • A strategic organizing response to a new opportunity that is immediate, has a specific timeframe, and is aligned with Groundswell Fund’s approach and priorities
  • A short-term project or action that creates opportunities to organize and build coalitions and/or educate public officials or the general public

Who Can Apply?

  • Organizations based in the United States seeking funding for work within the United States
  • Organizations that are already Groundswell grantees or organizations that have never received funding from Groundswell
  • Organizations that center organizing, base-building, and advocacy as key strategies for building power and achieving social and reproductive justice
  • Organizations that define themselves as women of color-led, trans people of color-led, and/or led by low-income women and/or transgender people
  • Alliances, coalitions and collaborations that are led by the above organizations working in solidarity to achieve social and reproductive justice

Who is not eligible to receive a Rapid Response grant?

  • Organizations that have received Rapid Response Fund grants in the last 12 months
  • Organizations seeking support for candidate campaigns or other partisan activity
  • Organizations seeking support for ongoing program work, for leadership transitions, for start up costs, or to address financial crises or funding shortfalls
  • Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor

How big are the grants?

Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $30,000. On rare occasions, Groundswell may consider requests of up to $50,000, but only on a case-by-case basis. For requests above $30,000, please discuss the amount of the request with Groundswell staff before submitting an application.

How does the application process work?

Organizations are encouraged to email Cecilia Sáenz Becerra , Program Officer at to schedule an intake phone call about your rapid response request. 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.

As an alternative to an intake call, you can download the application here.

However, we recommend that prior to submitting a written application, you send a brief e-mail inquiry to Cecilia Sáenz Becerra, Program Officer to ensure that your request falls within the Fund’s criteria. To submit an inquiry by e-mail, you can use the button on the left side of this page, or send a brief e-mail to To reach Groundswell by phone, please call 510.444.5900 x 114.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis as they are submitted and decisions are made between 2 – 3 weeks of submission of a completed application. Before grants are approved, they are reviewed by Groundswell Fund staff members, who seek input from trusted stakeholders familiar with the region or issue. Final decisions are made by Groundswell Fund’s Rapid Response Fund Grants Advisory Committee.