During a tumultuous year, our grantee partners and their movements showed boldness, strength, and resiliency in the face of incredible challenges, including rising authoritarianism, state-sanctioned violence and intimidation, systemic racism, and a global pandemic. Despite continuous threats and backlash, feminist movements continue to demand equity and justice — and they are winning.
In this time of renewed and vibrant resistance, we see the urgent need to move resources to support and sustain the long-standing work of our grantee partners to advance justice and liberation. We are excited to build on our last update and share our progress on the implementation of our commitments across our grantmaking, accompaniment, and philanthropic advocacy work.
In 2020, we formalized and carried out our regional grantmaking strategies, which reflect our deepened commitment to support the entire ecosystem of transformative feminist movements. We provided grants to 194 partners working across our focus regions — Francophone West Africa, Global, Mesoamerica, New York City, South and Southeast Asia, and US Southeast — to advance the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI people. Our total grantmaking for 2020 was $47.9 million — which is a 24% increase from 2019 — and keeps us on target to double our annual grantmaking to $60 million by the end of 2023. Seventy-seven percent of our funding was made in the form of general operating support. This includes more than $3.5 million to support strategic communications and journalism, which seeks to contribute to bolstering the narratives that reinforce and build support for feminist movements. We also repurposed $1.8 million of our budget for COVID-19 emergency response to existing grantee partners and increased grantmaking in the US Southeast by $2 million with a focus on power building and electoral justice organizing in response to our grantee partners’ needs.
As we begin year three of our five-year strategic plan, we continue to provide accompaniment grantmaking funds to strengthen the capacity of our grantee partners — in addition to core, multi-year support — with a particular focus on holistic safety and collective care and strategic communications. In 2020, we provided accompaniment grants to thirty-six grantee partners totaling more than $2 million. We plan to build on what we learned in 2020 and continue to expand the accompaniment program this year.
As we celebrate these achievements, we know that we must ensure there is alignment between our stated values and our practices. This includes deepening our trust in the leadership and visions of the women and LGBTQI people leading our grantee partners by loosening restrictions on our application and reporting processes. It includes taking steps to ensure an antiracist approach across our policies and work culture so that we can intentionally counter the ways that racism and white supremacy intersect with and reinforce other forms of oppression based on ability, age, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This includes engaging in honest conversations around our own sustainability, recognizing that while we support the holistic safety and collective care of the activists and groups that we fund, we must honor and support this critical work internally as well. We are honored to have had the opportunity to share our journey with Tatiana Cordero Velázquez, co-author of this piece and the late executive director of Urgent Action Fund - Latin America and the Caribbean, who made many contributions to advance practices around holistic safety and collective care and protection within our organization and the feminist movement ecosystem.
It continues to be an honor to work together, and we appreciate your partnership in creating our shared vision of a world where all people are equally valued and lead self-determined lives. Learn how some of our grantee partners contribute to this vision below.
With appreciation and fortitude,
Nicky McIntyre, CEO
A Black-led, multiracial coalition of local, regional, and national feminist organizations, including ProGeorgia, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, Southerners On New Ground, Mijente, and National Domestic Workers Alliance, collaboratively developed sophisticated integrated voter engagement strategies and multi-issue organizing efforts that led to a win in Georgia that had a regional and national impact.
South and Southeast Asia
Nagorik Uddyog promotes the rights of historically marginalized communities in Bangladesh and works in collaboration and partnership Dalit Women's Forum, an important Dalit-led initiative in Bangladesh that aims to strengthen Dalit women’s leadership and awareness of caste discrimination and social exclusion to catalyze change in their communities.
Francophone West Africa
The African Queer Youth Initiative is a network of emerging young leaders committed to increasing the visibility of and building strategic networks in support of LGBTQI rights across Africa. It fosters solidarity among activists in Francophone West Africa with the wider African LGBTQI rights movement through leadership trainings, learning exchanges, and research that foster information and knowledge sharing.
Red Lésbica Cattrachas advances and protects the human rights of LGBTQI people through its observatory, an initiative to document and monitor human rights violations throughout Mesoamerica, and strategic litigation in Honduras that makes truth and justice possible.
The Global Greengrants Fund resources grassroots groups globally that work at the intersection of women’s rights and environmental justice. Its activist-led grantmaking advisory committees play a key role to ensure the organization responsively funds local contexts and those most affected by injustice have the resources they need to cultivate the leadership and solutions to transform their community.