Toward Liberation: A Staunch Social Justice Funder Puts Women of Color Up Front
We hear a lot about the lack of diversity in philanthropy’s upper leadership, and also about the lack of support to organizations headed by women and people of color. Well, here’s one funder that’s actually walking the walk. Building on its initial focus, reproductive justice, Groundswell Fund has expanded to support broader movement building by women of color, low-income women and LGBTQ people.
Groundswell was founded in 2003 as a $300,000 pooled fund at Tides, seeded by several donors frustrated by faltering investments in reproductive justice. Since then, it has become a key grantmaker in this space. Groundswell says it has given over $20 million to fund the reproductive justice movement. Across all of its programs, Groundswell is awarding $7.4 million this year.
In addition to its growth as a funder, Groundswell stands out in a number of ways. For one thing, its staff and board of directors are predominantly women of color, and women of color occupy the top spots. For another, all of its grantees engage in grassroots organizing—hence the name...