THE FUND believes that significant social changes ultimately require broad participation in and democratic control of all social, political and economic institutions. Historically, social conditions improve most dramatically when people organize on their own behalf, form alliances with other like-minded people & organizations, and build coalitions to confront and change the conditions that have denied them access, equity, and justice. THE FUND gives preference to projects that address the root causes of social, economic, environmental, and political problems. THE FUND provides seed grants to new grassroots projects; general support or project grants to small organizations; and targeted grants to larger, more established organizations.
We invite applications from groups that:
- Actively support anti-discrimination based on race, sex/gender, age, religion, language spoken, or immigration status;
- Actively support communities marginalized by power structures to engage in dialogue and actions that seek to counter social injustice;
- Actively work to improve the rights of workers and their families whose living conditions have been marginalized;
- Promote the cultural life of underserved communities and support the activities of cultural workers;
- Promote self-determination and leadership development in low income and disenfranchised communities;
- Promote Global peace and organize locally for just policies;
- Work on building coalitions to enhance improving environmental justice and address climate change, especially organizing a constituency usually without access to decision-makers
- Engage in collaborative action and coalition-building to strengthen movement ecosystems; Work against community violence and actively support recovery and restorative justice activities and initiatives;
- Operate in a democratic manner, responsive to and directed by the constituency being served.
We do not fund:
- Political campaigns that support a candidate or a political party;
- Private (vs. public) interests;
- Direct labor organizing;
- Projects providing direct services without a social change component;
- Direct support to individuals
- Building improvements;
- Capital ventures, i.e. office equipment, machines, or vehicles;
- Projects located outside of Santa Barbara County.
Funding Priorities used by the Grant Making Committee
Does this project have the potential or advance social, economic, political and/or environmental change?
Are there elements of Community Organizing, Lobbying, Direct Action, Base-building, Coalition-Building, or Legal Strategy?
Does this project lack access to funding? Would the project go forward without support from the Fund?
Does this organization have the capacity necessary to reach their social change goals? Are the key players familiar with other organizations in the same field? Is this a response to a need demonstrated by the community? Has the community demonstrated support for this work?
How clear is the budget outline? How well does the budget match the project's social change goals? Will funding help start-up the organization, stabilize the organization, and/or leverage other funding sources?
Will this project help the GMC achieve its objective of providing equity in funding throughout Santa Barbara County?
Affirmative Action considerations are among the criteria used in all funding decisions.
General Cycle Grants
Maximum Request: $10,000
Length of funding: 12 months (Dec - Dec)
Multi-Year Grants (Fall Funding Cycle Only)
Maximum Request: $30,000
Length of funding: 3 years
Maximum of $10,000 disbursed annually (Dec - Dec)
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