Blog posts tagged with Advocacy
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” -Jane Jacobs. If you care about neighborhoods and how they function, you probably already know much about journalist, author and activist Jane Jacobs and her understanding of place.
As a fundraising professional, you can recite your organization’s mission by heart. You see it in print and action every day. But does your grant writing convey the power of that mission to funders?
What can your nonprofit learn from Cleveland and the Cavaliers? That there’s a powerful narrative that exists about your organization—whether you are actively writing it or not—and that you can take better hold of that story, in part by how you shape your grant proposals.
Unfortunately, grant opportunities for grassroots community building and advocacy projects remain limited. Many foundations underestimate their legal latitude to fund nonpartisan advocacy and civic engagement, and most opt to fund projects that result in concrete short-term outcomes as opposed to the perceived ambiguity of long-term social change. Where, then, does that leave the grassroots social justice sector when it comes to getting grants?
As we look into 2016 let's look back at just a few of Foundation Center Cleveland’s favorite blog posts of 2015.
Foundation Center’s new tool, Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy, indicates that foundations made grants of almost $299 million between 2011 and 2014 in the campaigns, elections, and voting category, which includes support for implementation, research, reform, and/or mobilizations efforts related to campaign finance, election administration, redistricting, voting access, as well as voter registration, education, and turnout. More than half those grant dollars went for voter registration, education, and turnout initiatives, and, as one might expect, the annual total spiked in 2012, a presidential election year, as did funding for voting rights efforts.
In fact, organizations and funders are often on two sides of the same coin with respect to identifying issues ripe for advocacy. While community organizations that know their target populations intimately are well-positioned to discern and document unmet needs that funders can help them to address, funders are also apt to recognize emerging unmet needs, by detecting trends and making connections across funding requests.
How many people have unrealized dreams of improving the health and well-being of people in their community but lack the resources that are necessary to successfully realize them? Ironically, these are the same dreams that could transform the health of people who live in their communities and do not have access to primary health care. It could be the perfect combination for impact—people who are from the community helping those in the community.
This post discusses how the Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC), a funder collaborative, contributed to the success of the marriage equality movement. The CMC story also offers lessons about the role philanthropy can play in advocacy, and how funders can collaborate and take risks to achieve greater impact.