Organizing to Shift Power
- Groups that are creating a power base that can hold leaders accountable to the people who are affected by their decisions.
- Groups that let their membership or constituents take the lead in collective action planning and decision-making.
- Groups whose leadership comes directly from the people who are most affected by the issues you are organizing around.
Working to Build a Movement
- Groups that organize in the local community, but make connections between local issues and a broader need for systemic change.
- Groups that provide a space for members to develop their political analyses at the same time as taking action for change.
- Groups that break down barriers within the progressive movement, by building strategic alliances between groups of different cultural or class backgrounds or different issue areas.
- Groups that explore the root causes of injustice and have a long-term vision for the kind of social change they are working for.
- Groups and projects that are proactively engaged in a process of dismantling oppression, confronting privilege, and challenging institutional structures that perpetuate oppression (both internal and external to the organization).
- Groups that are proactively making connections between the different forms of oppression (racism, heterosexism, sexism, ageism, classism, ableism, etc.), and its connections with injustice.
Creating New Structures
- Groups that have alternative organizational structures that allow power to flow “from the bottom up.”
- Efforts to create new, community-based alternative systems and structures (economic, political, cultural, religious, etc.) that are liberating, democratic, and environmentally sustainable and which promote healthy, sustainable communities.
Other Funding Priorities
- New or emerging organizations, efforts that have difficulty securing funds from other sources, and groups that receive little other foundation support.
What We Do Not Fund
- Programs with a primary geographic focus outside of the United States, U.S. Territories, Mexico, and Haiti, unless invited to apply for a Special Initiative or Donor Advised Fund.
- Social services that are not linked to a clear organizing strategy. (PDF does fund organizations whose organizing work has a social service component.)
- Individuals or organizations with strong leadership from only one individual.
- Conferences and other one-time events (exceptions are made for Technical Assistance Grants, and occasionally for Donor Advised Grants).
- Audio-visual productions and distribution - TV, radio, publications, films, etc. (PDF does fund media work or audio-visual production as part of the general expenses of groups engaged in grassroots organizing).
- Research that is not directly linked to an organizing strategy (PDF does fund research as part of the general expenses of groups engaged in grassroots organizing).
- Academic institutions and scholarships.
- Other grant-making organizations.
- Organizations with large budgets and organizations who have access to other sources of funding. (If an organization has a large budget, but a majority of the budget is restricted for direct services, please stipulate it in your budget. Please note that PDF will only fund the organizing aspect of your work.)