The integrated voter engagement efforts leading up to the recent elections underscore how local grassroots organizers are leading the way to seed transformative change and ensure that our communities thrive in the face of extreme challenges.
At Neighborhood Funders Group, we are encouraged by philanthropy's moves to uplift (and fund!) community organizing in bolder and more impactful ways. We also know that the intention to direct new resources to communities often overlooked and not as deeply supported in philanthropy — such as the South, Midwest, and rural communities — can often be met with confusion on where to begin, or with rapid action wrapped in assumptions about a community's needs or a one-size-fits-all strategy. This can translate into frustration in these underfunded areas as local movements for change are bypassed for more well-resourced groups with national reach, or are asked to replicate one model that may not fit local geography, history, and power relations.
If we are to shift resources to support BIPOC-led grassroots movements in regions often neglected by philanthropy, we must take the time to learn and be in relationship with people and place. Working with funders and movement leaders, NFG has learned from the power of building relationships and taking time to be rooted in place from our very own Amplify Fund.
As part of this effort to understand and underscore the importance of creating space for and supporting community-specific solutions, NFG's Funders for a Just Economy began Building Power in Place, a project to highlight the amazing work of organizers building worker power in seven places through both programming and research. We're excited to share the learnings from this project on NFG's new Places microsite.
On the site, you'll find resources about what community power building looks like in local and regional contexts, get recommendations on how to better support power building in different places, and learn more about movement & funder landscapes for your grantmaking.
We hope you'll check out this great resource and keep reading for details on upcoming NFG events!