Philanthropic Niche

PDF is more than a grantmaker: our model of philanthropic work involves direct funding, advocacy where appropriate, and partnerships built around mutual respect, sharing of resources, and transparency of planning and decision-making. We endeavor to be a key “go-to” foundation on issues of peace, human rights, social justice and environmental protection. We work to counter-balance dominate power structures by moving resources and sharing decision-making with activist groups and communities.

Through Donor Advised, Community Advised and Designated Grantmaking we assist international work, primarily in the Western Hemisphere, navigating the complex waters of the Homeland Security environment to make grants to groups outside the U.S. using appropriate and non-oppressive forms of due diligence and legal oversight.

Our Capacity Building Program entails Initiatives built on the principles of partnership, such as The Sustainability Project and the Criminal Justice Initiative. We work with organizers and organizations in these national program areas, bringing our commitment, our resources large and small, and our shared decision-making, power sharing and open engagement.

Our Fiscal Sponsorship Program is built on the principle of offering our experience, knowledge and advice to the next generation of social justice organizations.

Our Community Organizing Grants provide grassroots groups with budgets of less than $250,000 critically needed, often difficult to find, unrestricted general operating funds. The organizations receiving these grants are run by the people directly concerned with the issues they face. With grants and technical assistance, PDF supports these struggles in our communities and those whose lives are most affected by the instability and cruelty of our economy, or the intolerance and profiling of marginalized groups.

In the philanthropic sector, we build support for community initiatives with foundation and network partners and advocate for more equitable and sustainable relationships among funders and grantees, and we advocate for more support for these effective grassroots organizations. We see ourselves opening doors for organizers and representatives to philanthropic and other circles of decision-makers and power brokers.