Vanessa Daniel is the founder and Executive Director of Groundswell Fund, the largest funder of the U.S. reproductive justice movement, and of Groundswell Action Fund, a leading funder of women of color-led 501c4 organizations. Under her leadership, Groundswell has moved over $70M to the field, centering intersectional grassroots organizing led by women of color (90% of its giving), particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and Transgender.
Vanessa’s roots in labor and community organizing inspired a unique funding model at Groundswell: a program staff team of women of color and transgender people of color who come directly out of grassroots organizing. Groundswell received the National Committee of Responsible Philanthropy’s “Impact Award” for smashing issue silos and Vanessa has been featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of 15 “Influencers” who are changing the non-profit world. She is the recipient of a 2012 Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, and the 2017 National Network of Abortion Funds’ Abortion Action Vanguard Award.
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, among other publications. Prior to Groundswell, Vanessa organized homecare workers with SEIU; helped win a landmark living wage law with the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy; and conducted research to support the organizing efforts of welfare mothers with the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward).