The Democracy and Power Fund of the Open Society Institute plans to make up to $2 million per year in multi-year, general operating grants to social justice capacity building, organizing, and advocacy efforts based in North Carolina and Texas.
This funding reflects just one of the Democracy and Power Fund's five funding priorities. The fund will continue to support—at roughly $10 million per year—national organizations, including many who work in states across the nation. The new funding for North Carolina and Texas organizations relates solely to new, state-based grantmaking from the Democracy and Power Fund.
Democracy and Power Fund staff will begin to spend more time on the ground in each state as they continue to learn about the issues, policymaking contexts, leaders, funders, and organizations that will inform the fund’s nonpartisan grantmaking. Among other considerations, both states have:
- rapidly changing political environments;
- large, fast-growing, and very diverse populations;
- strong state-based organizations that know how to operate in often hostile policymaking forums and have won impressive recent advocacy victories;
- compelling political histories and historic barriers to equality that are steadily changing (although likely slower than leaders in the states would like);
- engaged local donor communities;
- connections to the shared advocacy interests of other OSI funding programs;
- great opportunities for building long-lasting state-based power among African-American, Latina/o, immigrant, and youth constituencies.
Over the past several months, the Democracy and Power team has traveled to seven states—Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia—that are facing some of the greatest demographic and policymaking shifts and where issues of special importance to OSI, such as criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, and economic justice, present both challenges and opportunities. While the fund will not engage in new, direct grantmaking in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia, staff are grateful for the tremendous insights they’ve received from state-based leaders and peer funders to help guide their future grantmaking.
A copy of the complete email announcement from Democracy and Power Fund Director Bill Vandenberg is available for download.