Groundswell Fund’s 501(c)(3) Blueprint

You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time. - Angela Davis


A primary goal of our Groundswell Fund’s 501(c)(3) Blueprint is to increase the volume of general support funding flowing to our grantee partners to help them sustain and scale their work.

A secondary goal is to increase the “nutrients” we are putting into Groundswell’s irrigation system via capacity building offerings, to boost the grassroots power and sustainability of our grantee partners, and by extension the social justice movements of which they are a part.

To accomplish these goals, we have identified four key aspects: connect, resources, strengthen, and set.

We've also released a new set of benchmarks increasing the total percentage of our annual giving to Black women, Indigenous women, Transgender women of color, and Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people of color.


The Four Key Aspects


The loudest message we received from grantee partners and funders alike whom we interviewed to inform this Blueprint was that Groundswell would significantly increase our impact if we helped members of our community connect to and energize one another.

To that end, we will provide a political home for donors and funders to deepen their learning about and connection to intersectional organizing at the grassroots.

We will respond to grassroots leaders who ask for our support to connect with each other across issues, movements, constituencies, and geographies; and will also devote more time to amplifying the work of our grantees in the media, to help more donors and funders become aware of their important work.


We will continue to move general support grants to organizations through our four main funds:

Across all funds, we will increase our investment in the leadership of Black women, Indigenous women, Transgender women of color, and TGNC people of color; organizations in the South, Midwest, and Southwest; and climate and healing justice.

And we will continue to incubate the Black Trans Fund, which is the first national fund in the country dedicated to uplifting and resourcing Black Trans and Gender-Nonconforming social justice leaders.


Durable grassroots power is built and maintained through strong organizations with the infrastructure and agility to deliver material changes in the lives of people in their communities, and maintain a vibrant and organized grassroots base with the power to defend key victories and win again, year after year.

Under our new Blueprint, 64 women of color-led and TGNC people of color-led organizations in our capacity building programs will lead impactful grassroots power building campaigns that shape the social movements of our generation while allowing leaders to be cared for, whole, and seen.

We will support them to skill and scale their work through our Grassroots Organizing Institute, Integrated Voter Engagement Program, as well as new support for political education, data management, legal support, healing justice, and organizational development. As always, any and all capacity building offerings that Groundswell Fund provides will be optional, rather than mandatory.


In martial arts, tai chi, and many sports, “set” is a term used to denote a stance of strength and readiness before taking action.

Groundswell Fund’s ability to execute this Blueprint externally will depend on the quality of our “set”: the health, well-being, and sustainability of Groundswell Fund’s own staff and infrastructure. Part of our role is to model what is possible within philanthropy and within social justice organizations more broadly.

Investing in our own infrastructure will be a top priority for Groundswell’s overall 2020-2025 Blueprint in order to catch up with the exponential growth we experienced in recent years

Interested in learning more? Download your copy today and join us on the path to liberation.

Review the full 501(c)(3) Blueprint

Our Benchmarks

While we reserve the flexibility to fund organizations with various types of leadership, we have clear and public benchmarks to which we will hold ourselves accountable for the total percentage of our annual giving.

We are all more free when women of color and TGNC communities of color are free.

This 2020-2025 Blueprint offers a pathway for Groundswell to stay the course in our existing successful strategic direction and to innovate in ways that respond to our learning and to the unique needs of this historic moment.

Thank you for believing in us, investing in us, and partnering with us.

Are you ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and fight alongside grassroots movements? Join our email list and we’ll send you Blueprint updates, grantee highlights, and news from our grantee partners.

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