April 2019
Grassroots Funding Week is Coming Soon
Shifting Priorities
Why Some Organizations are Shifting Their Focus
Some things stay the same while others are constantly changing and ever-evolving.

PDF's Community Organizing grant cycle offers us insight into the issues our country and communities are facing. Organizations understand that many problems do not impact just one population but rather many intersecting populations. Some, such as the LGBTQ+ community, have a long history of grassroots organizing but the focus has shifted over time. This year, PDF received a number of applications from groups within the LGBTQ+ community that are creating new programs to focus on LGBTQ+ youth, LGBTQ+ people of color and the high level on homelessness within the LGBTQ+ community.

Additionally, there was a noticeable increase in applications from organizations working to address homelessness and the housing crisis. Many organizations are working to decriminalize homelessness but are also creating new programs that offer a space for people to share their stories and build connections, so that when we talk about homelessness we are not speaking about statistics and numbers but rather our neighbors.


During this grant cycle we have seen a significant rise in organizations working for the safety and legal rights of immigrants, pushing for fair working conditions and access to clean water in communities that have large immigrant populations.


As problems arise, so do grassroots groups that are working to find fair solutions. Many organizations invested in economic justice and labor rights are implementing solutions in the form of time banks, cooperatives and livable wages. A number of applicants focus on providing the space and resources for women to hold leadership positions, including within labor unions and within social justice organizations themselves. We are seeing organizations who recognize that racism must be brought into the discussion of the discrimination that has long impacted the safety and economic security of women, bringing women of color to the front of the movement.


Each organization that applies to PDF for a grant has a unique role, but the work of our applicants weaves together to reveal the broader movement. The finalists for our 2019 Community Organizing grant cycle address the range of issues that they are experiencing on the ground, that we expect will only grow in visibility in the years to come.

Click here to read more about PDF's Community Organizing Grants program.
The Changing Landscape of Giving
Why We Have Grassroots Funding Week
PDF awards grants to organizations that are creating lasting solutions to the root causes of injustice and are building peace.

We do not see our role as providing aid but rather as empowering communities. It is our hope that by supporting groups early in their work we can help them flourish and sustain their work in the future.

PDF has been supporting grassroots organizing for over 37 years, and we have seen not only the landscape of organizing change, but also the landscape of how funds are raised for this work. Organizations today need to have a strong online presence, and emergent organizations with limited resources do not always have access to social media and other online platforms.

PDF’s Grassroots Funding Week is a way for us to get the messages of grassroots organizers out to a larger audience, another avenue by which PDF aims to help grow organizations’ network of visibility and support. Each day over the course of a week, April 29 to May 3 , we showcase the work of different groups, and spread the word across our broad community.

Each day over the Funding Week we highlight a different area of social justice work – such as housing rights, racial justice, or LGBTQ+ rights – not to isolate these issues but to acknowledge how they connect within a broader movement. Donors who may be interested in a specific area of justice work can learn about the different focuses within this area, and directly support groups that they may not have known before.

PDF's Grassroots Funding Week is an opportunity for you to take part in the grantmaking process by directing your funding to the front lines.
Great Beginnings
The Success of Last Year's Grassroots Funding Week
Last year’s inaugural Grassroots Funding Week proved to be a great success. But that success went well beyond dollars raised. Organizations that took part in Grassroots Funding Week made critical connections and inspired both long-time and new donors.

For example, Students Deserve , an organization of students, educators, families and community members working for justice in Los Angeles schools told us, “As a result of PDF’s highlighting our work, foundations we had no previous relationship with have been contacting us and mentioning PDF as the foundation that turned them on to Students Deserve.” They shared, “The money SD has received due to PDF’s promotion of our work has helped our organization grow and we are poised to hire a Campaign and Operations Director, a brand-new position for Students Deserve."

Another group featured last year was Adelante Alabama Workers Center . Being featured on the PDF website, social media pages and in our e-blasts energized the Adelante community and led to an increase in giving. Adelante said, "Seeing Adelante and our work being highlighted by PDF during Grassroots Funding Week motivated our individual supporters tremendously. In the past year we have more than tripled our number of recurring monthly donors, and visibility is the key factor to increasing public support.”

We are beyond delighted at the success of our first Grassroots Funding Week in raising awareness and support for our featured groups. This year we will be featuring a new set of organizations, chosen from the finalists of our 2019 Community Organizing grant cycle. We invite you to go to PDF’s website or Facebook each day between April 29th and May 3rd to learn about this year’s featured groups and participate in supporting them. 

For more information about Grassroots Funding Week click here .
PDF's Four Pillars

PDF uses “Four Pillars” to frame our grantmaking. We look at organizations that are organizing to shift power, working to build a movement, dismantling oppression and creating new structures.

In order to shift power (the first pillar) we look for leaders who are accountable to their communities, we want to see collective decision-making within the organization, and who are from the communities affected by the problems.

With our second pillar, working to build a movement, we look for organizations that are creating systemic change. We want to see organizations that are developing strategic alliances, and for the organizations that have a long-term vision of their impact and role in their community.

The third pillar of PDF grantmaking focuses on dismantling oppression. Organizations that are dismantling oppression are challenging existing institutions and structures, connecting different forms of oppression together to better understand their origins, and confronting privilege where possible. We support organizations that have a deep analysis of the root causes of injustices and can map out how their work will create lasting change.

Our fourth and final pillar, creating new structures, means allowing power to flow from the bottom up. We know that people who know the issues and are directly affected by them also know best how to create changes within their communities. Organizations that are working with community partners and are sharing resources are often the ones that are creating new structures.

PDF’s Community Organizing grantmaking is inspired by the desire to fund front-line up-and-coming grassroots organizations that are working to create more peaceful and just communities. We grant to organizations that give oppressed persons a platform through which they can voice their concerns, working to create permeant solutions. We stand with them.

To learn more about our four pillars click here .
Thank you for your support.