Dear Friend of the Grassroots Fund:
Thank you for joining us on this shared journey to support community based, community led grassroots environmental organizing. Together we’ve made great progress in growing a strong response to the threats and solutions in our neighborhoods and communities, with a particular focus on ad hoc, nimble, emergent groups. And increasingly we are, together, keeping our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion as we embrace deep participatory grantmaking practices.
Your investment in grassroots organizing has seldom been as critical as we face this new, deeply cross-cutting threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.Not surprisingly, it’s at the grassroots level that we are seeing some of the most innovative and compassionate solutions. But still the feedback we’re getting from the multitudes of impacted communities is--once again--that issues of injustice and inequity are coming sharply into focus.
The Grassroots Fund has been on the front lines of responding to community needs over the past few weeks. Since March 17, Grassroots Fund Emergency Seed grants totaling over $130,000 have gone out the door to over 130 groups to aid grassroots and community responses to the COVID-19 crisis. More than two-thirds of the grantees are new to us. Almost half are ad-hoc (that is, not incorporated as nonprofits, which makes fundraising more difficult). Over 25% are led by people of color. All are actively answering the question of how to organize and mobilize at a time when we are called to practice social isolation. They are coordinating mutual aid, providing emergency food and supplies access and distribution, planning for increased growing season production, combatting the detrimental effects of social isolation, and so much more.
Will you help us continue to respond? Requests for support are coming in daily and we want to welcome all the on-the-ground responses that are already happening into our network of changemakers. Please become a sustaining donor to keep the resources flowing and the network building growing.
We’re clear eyed about the seriousness of these ongoing disruptions: both the suffering they cause and the opportunities for larger system change they uncover. Your investment will both fund the needs that exist now and build toward a common vision that values justice, environmental sustainability, health, and safety for all.
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Board Chair
Julia Dundorf, Executive Director
On behalf of the whole Grassroots Fund team
PS: Ongoing critical COVID-19 response work requires going well beyond originally budgeted expenses. For most of the groups applying for these funds, the Grassroots Fund is the only source of rapid response funding available. We’re counting on our community of donors to step up during this critical time. Will you join us?