Continuing its tradition of forward-thinking philanthropic engagement, Funding Exchange offers another way you can advance racial, economic and social justice and equity – join a donor circle!
You’ve expressed interest in forming specific donor collectives, and so we’re organizing! This summer we’ve launched four circles where you can connect with other donors who share your passion for a specific funding area. Donors who make gifts of all sizes are welcome to be part of this.
Donors of Color circle: for donors of color who wish to support organizations with explicit racial justice goals, and other needs as defined by the group
Housing Justice: for donors who want to support work focused on the root cause of the housing crisis and to seek nontraditional, community-based solutions for understanding and addressing the problem
New Jersey: for New Jersey donors who want to provide a stable source of funding for social justice work across issues across the Garden State
Citizens United Giving Circle: for donors interested in getting big money out of politics
Everyone can be involved, no matter how much you can give, because all the contributions get pooled together. Some groups may choose to raise money from their peers outside of the “membership.” Together, members of the groups learn, share, strategize, and makes funding decisions.
Why is Funding Exchange organizing these circles?
Funding Exchange has been organizing donors around critical issues since the early 1980’s, (for example, we organized donors to galvanize support and activate donors to address the atrocities in Central America). A key element of Funding Exchange’s work has always been inclusivity as a way to democratize philanthropy. Building grantmaking communities across lines of class and race, as well as generations, is a hallmark of our work, demonstrating that anyone can be an “activist” and anyone can be a “donor”. Wealthy people and poor people, folk inside the struggle and folk new to the work, came together to share knowledge, learn from each other, and make grants to critical, strategic, impactful, yet underfunded efforts.
In the recent past, we helped organize and provided support for the Criminal Justice Initiative, a very successful donor circle that brought together community organizers and activist donors to fund grassroots activism aimed at transforming the criminal justice system. Today, Funding Exchange is organizing donors around specific issues/ideas, geographic areas, identities/experiences, and more in response to our stakeholders and to the movements we are helping to build. Group exploration can range from mapping the issues, to identifying class and race dynamics within the group, to providing space for personal healing and sharing.
These donor circles have emerged organically based on need, interest, and energy. And already many stakeholders have expressed interested in these groups – so we anticipate launching the groups with their first meetings in September and October. Again, if you are interested in joining any of these initiatives, please call Becky Rafter at (212) 529 – 5300 x315 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to connecting you to other engaged stakeholders!