Front Cover

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2020 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report – with image descriptions









Table of Contents

Looking Back on 2020

Inside SJF

Member Profile

Grantee Spotlight: Black Liberation Collective, Idaho

Grantee Spotlight: Western Native Voice

Grantee Spotlight: Southern Oregon Coalition for Racial Equity

2020 Grantees

Financial Overview

2020 By the Numbers

Special Insert: Fund 4 the Frontlines Campaign Breakdown

Back Cover: Art by Raychelle Duazo ft. images from Black Liberation Collective, Idaho and Western Native Voice

Looking Back on 2020

Members, Grantees, Board, Staff, & Donors:

We are grateful, encouraged and buoyed by the outpouring of love, support and trust we received in 2020. It was an incredibly difficult year for so many of us so I would be remiss to only mention the amazing strides we made and the record-breaking fundraising we were able to accomplish, which you will see highlighted in this report. Indeed, if we only focus on recounting how much funding we moved to grassroots organizing, you’ll find that it was our best year ever. Between giving Giving Projects, Donor Advised Funds, and our Fund 4 the Frontlines, we moved a record $$4,119,500 in a year when the need was urgent and immediate and so many of our grantees were responding to unprecedented pressures and attacks. We are overjoyed that we were able to support and fund our regional movement during a pandemic, an uprising, and generational strife.

But focusing only on the wins would leave an incomplete retelling of our organization’s internal struggle. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the hardships and sacrifices we also endured even as we were surviving and thriving. Through 2020 and into 2021, we’ve undergone an organizational transformation in which many of our directors and staff have transitioned out of the organization due in part to stress and to unhealthy workplace dynamics, as well as planned transitions for retirement or joyful family reasons. We’ve seen our staff struggle under the weight of cumulative pressures as we strive to dismantle systemic anti-Blackness, misogynoir, transphobia and other oppressions extant in our internal policies and interpersonal dynamics. In doing so, we’ve had to test our mettle as individuals, as teams and as an organization. All while being unable to truly grieve the many losses we’ve experienced personally and collectively through a hellish year. Given the generational nature of this work, we cannot yet say we’ve completed our transition or even fully processed the full scope of the transition. However, as we’ve built out our mission of centering Black liberation more deliberately, we have already undergone months-long, organization-wide processes to grow in our analysis of anti-Blackness as we intentionally incorporate feedback from staff to operationalize more liberatory models. We’ve also passed a Just Compensation policy with which we aim to equitably compensate Black staff for their tireless and priceless contributions to our institutional Black liberation analysis and praxis.

As board chair, I’ve been honored to see and experience myself the incredible stretch we’ve taken on as we carry out painstaking steps toward a healthier workplace culture. So, it is with hope and optimism that we offer you our annual report and our enduring commitment to resource grassroots organizing in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming led by communities at the frontlines of struggle with joy, passion, and tenacity.

Yen Baynes, Social Justice Fund NW Board Chair


Social Justice Fund NW: What We Do

Social Justice Fund NW funds social justice movements throughout Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. All of our grantees are grassroots organizations on the frontlines of social change. We provide them with flexible funding with the freedom to respond to community needs, to invest in leadership and relationships, and to innovate and take risks for long term systemic change.

We are member-funded and member-led. SJF is fueled by you.

Almost all of our grant making is done through an innovative model called Giving Projects. Each Giving Project is a multiracial, cross-class cohort of volunteers who come together with a shared commitment to social justice. Our staff guide them through a process of political education, community building, collective giving, grassroots fundraising, and democratic grant making; these volunteers raise the money for our grants and make the grants themselves. The result is a more accountable, sustainable, and connected form of philanthropy AND hundreds of donor organizers with the skills and analysis to resource our movements for the
long haul.

We also provide Rapid Response Grants (to help communities meet urgent needs that couldn’t have been anticipated) and Seed Grants (to help promising young groups gain momentum), and host Donor Advised Funds (helping higher capacity donors move money to community). And we run workshops that help people across race and class become more strategic social justice givers and more effective fundraisers, reclaiming philanthropy for all.

Through Social Justice Fund NW, we are all stronger together.
Thank you for being part of SJF and part of a growing movement for justice.

Inside SJF

Responding to COVID-19 and the 2020 Uprisings

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when information was scarce and fear was high, our community responded with an incredible outpouring of donations. SJF put this generosity to use by creating the 2020 Covid-19 Crisis grants. We wanted them to be quick and as low-barrier as possible, available to any organization that had been a grantee of SJF in the last three years. We ultimately awarded 132 grants of $3000 each with funds left to spare.

The 2020 Uprisings began in late May in condemnation of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other Black people by police. Once again, SJF experienced a wave of donations. It was clear to us that all of the money coming in should be granted out with the same purpose: resourcing Black liberation. With these funds and the remaining Covid-19 donations, we launched the Eradicating Anti-Blackness & Covid Recovery grant in July to support grantees who were planning beyond the pandemic to address the long-term, intertwined impacts of Covid-19 and structural anti-Blackness and white supremacy. 17 awardees received these $30,000 grants.

The remaining donations were used to create SJF’s Black Liberation fund, an unrestricted fund that will be used to seed grants for Black-led awardees of future Giving Project grant cycles.


Team Highlights

Development Highlights

  • Began Fund 4 the Frontlines’ Public Phase; raised goal to $4.5 million
  • Shifted to online workshops and engaged more people than ever before!
  • Welcomed new Communications Manager
  • Seattle Donors of Color launched focus on anti-Blackness in philanthropy
  • Began solidifying holistic approach to SJF’s fundraising and overall development work
  • Expanded our definition of what a donor is and engaged in challenging some donors on racist giving practices
  • Launched monthly email newsletter to share updates on SJF programming and grants, jobs, and leadership opportunities in community more accessibly and frequently

Operations & Finance Highlights

  • Piloting a participatory budgeting and work planning process successfully
  • Shifting quickly and thoughtfully to work from home at the start of the pandemic
  • Offering wellness-centered emergency employee policies to support staff health through the pandemic
  • Finance stepping up to the plate as we processed an unprecedented amount of grants for the crisis fund
  • Changed our payroll software for staff accessibility

Grantmaking Highlights

  • Supported grantees in all 5 states in our region
  • Launched a Prospective Grantee Webinar to break down our grantmaking process
  • Increased outreach and relationship building with grantees beyond Seattle and Portland
  • Had an array of different grant opportunities and sizes
  • Awarded the first six Fund 4 the Frontlines Basebuilding grants

Giving Project Highlights

  • Giving Projects successfully moved to an online format; across the five projects that either ended or began in 2020, many reached or exceeded their original goal!
  • Conducted an analysis of Black Giving Project participants’ experience with research specialist Dakota Billops-Breaux; learning were used to launch the Black-only webinar Transforming Philanthropy Toward Black Liberation
  • With SJF’s commitment to undoing anti-Blackness and Black liberation, revised and launched new Giving Project curriculum with the 2020-21 Black Led Organizing and Forced Migration & Displacement Giving Projects
  • Integrated fundraising work with alumni donor organizers

Member Profile

Allister Byrd: Giving Project alumnus, SeaDOC and Fund 4 the Frontlines Committee member

I got involved with SJF for the first time by being a part of the 2018 Portland Gender Justice Giving Project. At the time, I was working in and around foundations, but I hadn’t heard of one inviting people in and using a participatory approach like SJF’s. Through the Giving Project, I experienced a very different way of thinking about how a foundation gives and how it can be accountable to a community. Not too long after the project ended, I moved to Seattle and joined Seattle Donors of Color [SeaDOC is an SJF subcommittee whose mission is to ensure that BIPOC people, regardless of class background, feel they have the power to create radical change through giving]. Getting to work with folks doing all kinds of different work across the city was awesome. From there, I was invited to join the Fund 4 the Frontlines (F4tF) Public Phase committee [Read more about F4tF on page 11]. The campaign’s focus on basebuilding was new to me — at every level, SJF has really expanded my understanding of radical philanthropy is and what is can look like!

Fundraising is difficult; it’s a lot of work, and deeply involved. Whenever I’m able to connect with donors, especially Black donors, it means so much more. I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandfather who was a pillar in his community and did a lot of — he wouldn’t call it organizing or philanthropy — getting people involved in community events and raising money. I’m using that legacy as a backdrop to understand the power people have. It goes beyond money to your time, your passion, your connections with people. There’s so much more than the money: with donor organizing, you can do community building. Collectivism is so important, and actually at odds with a lot of what we do under capitalism. We think about taking care of each other, of sharing. It’s not about power — you do it out of love and because you see yourself reflected in that cause. I love SeaDOC because that’s our operating philosophy: that Black and brown people are philanthropists. We’re doing away with the gatekeeping.

Our first F4tF Public Phase Committee meeting was actually in person. I walked into a room of Black and brown people, got to know them, heard their stories, and felt all the power and passion for the work. I knew it was something really special because of who was in that room. We transitioned to Zoom not too long after that. It was revelatory to feel how willing people were to pitch into the campaign. We’re in 2020, people are scared, the economy is all over the place, but people kept responding with “Yes, I want to be a part of this.” People walk their talk in SJF’s community, and I felt so much support from mano and Palmira [the SJF staff supporting F4tF]. The six organizations who got the first round of F4tF Basebuilding grants are doing tough work around anti-racism, centering Blackness, supporting LGBTQ+ siblings. I’m really excited about what it means to have a cohort doing such great work, connecting with each other, leveraging their accomplishments, and working collectively with their communities.

Now that I’ve changed jobs and am in the philanthropic space as a funder, I recognize the immense power and responsibility that’s necessary to move resources to folks. After last year, a sustained focus on racial and gender justice is not going away. It’s not a trend. As we think about how we continue to shift power to communities, the answer is always to give communities resources. People know what they need, we saw that with mutual aid, that people know how to deliver resources to each other. I want us in philanthropy to step back and let that happen.

Grantee Spotlight: Black Liberation Collective, Idaho

Black Liberation Collective, Idaho, is a Black, trans-led organization based in Boise that works to build a unified, cohesive, and inclusive effort to end police brutality, gender violence, and Black oppression. Officially formed in 2020 (but taking shape long before), Black Liberation Collective uses community building, advocacy, and mutual aid to lay the foundation for an intersectional, abolitionist, and liberated future for their community. As youth organizers growing up in Idaho, many of the people behind Black Liberation Collective had dreams and hopes for what was possible. They witnessed scattered but powerful grassroots organizing projects that shared a collective vision, but lacked a collectively held space. Their community built slowly, growing from relationships and projects that brought Black folks gifts, resources, and joy. Recognizing that these projects were liberatory and rare in Idaho, the organization began laying the groundwork to build unity and bring the work together under the same roof.

Throughout 2020, Black Liberation Collective worked diligently to serve Black Idahoans with care and joy. In partnership with another local organization, they formed a mutual aid network within two weeks of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising and distributing over $30,000 and other resources directly to their communities. They were a leader in the effort to defund carceral systems and reinvest in community-led safety and wellness. This effort will continue in 2021 through their upcoming zine providing safety alternatives to policing in Boise, one tool to help their community move into a holistically-safe future.

In 2020, Black Liberation Collective also held the city’s first-ever Juneteenth event, an all-Black day of flowers, sun, gifts, food, music, beauty, safety, and Black excellence. In the midst of the uncertainties of the pandemic, its many subsequent impacts, the horror of police violence, and the mobilizing needed to address it all, the event was a balm and a blessed space. That ethos is woven into the collective’s work. Beyond their organizing work in community, Black Liberation Collective strives to make time for ease, to compensate Black trans folks not just for what they produce, but also for the radical act of rest. From this place, they can dream, find heaven together, and allow their work to grow upward from the magic of making the “impossible” a reality.

SJF encourages our community to support Black Liberation Collective’s work, rest, and vision by donating directly! Please mark donations with “BLC.”

CashApp: $AlyssaWainaina
Venmo: @AlyssaWainaina
PayPal: @AlyssaWBoise

Grantee Spotlight: Western Native Voice

Western Native Voice is a nonpartisan social justice organization based in Billings, Montana, inspiring Native people through civic engagement, leadership development, education, and advocacy. Founded in 2011, Western Native Voice (WNV) engages urban and rural Native communities throughout Montana with the ultimate goal of building political and personal power for self-determination.

A cornerstone of WNV’s work is culturally tailored community organizing. In addition to urban areas — 50% of Montana’s Native American population lives off the reservation — WNV organizes in all seven Montana reservations and urban areas, with partners in North Dakota and plans to expand across the five Tribal Nations in Idaho. WNV adapted to the limitations of the pandemic by moving their outreach efforts online and creating original content to connect with communities across the isolation of COVID-19. They launched a virtual news show, Tipi Talks, and hosted a comedy show featuring artists from across Indian Country. It was a place for watchers to relax, connect, and hear about WNV’s GOTV efforts for the 2020 general election. Native Americans believe laughter is medicine; listeners healed as they laughed, a bright spot of joy and community in a time of significant grief.

In addition to their digital organizing, WNV worked to make information on COVID safety accessible through community trainings. They also founded the country’s first Native-led mutual aid fund, collecting and distributing essential items in partnership with Tribal Nations. As the 2020 election approached, they developed contactless voter registration centers; when Montana switched to vote-by-mail, they supported voters on reservations whose addresses weren’t federally recognized or didn’t have easy access to a post office. Despite these challenges, WNV saw a 5% increase in Native voting in 2020. With the vision of political power and engagement, one of their current priorities is engaging youth. WNV recently began a Native Youth Leadership program, focusing on history from pre-contact times to the struggle for voting rights and contemporary issues. The space gives Native youth from different Nations the opportunity to connect and learn from Native professionals across various fields; as part of the program, they take a voter registration pledge.

WNV believes liberation looks like a seat at every table, at every level of government. While WNV is unsure exactly when their work will be done, they hope to make civic engagement a part of the lives of the Indigenous communities they serve. Native Americans were only allowed to become citizens of the US in 1924 and were not solidified voting rights in all fifty states until 1965; with every passing year, WNV works to make sure Native people build and maintain education, power, and self-determination so all their communities can flourish.

SJF encourages our community to directly donate to and engage with Western Native Voice

Connect with Western Native Voice:
Donate directly to support Western Native Voice:

Grantee Spotlight: Southern Oregon Coalition for Racial Equity


We are Southern Oregon Coalition for Racial Equity, SOEquity. The goal of SOEquity, is to create an equitable and accessible Southern Oregon through an antiracist lens. We serve all the communities in Southern Oregon from Ashland to Applegate to Grants Pass to Cave Junction and everywhere in between.

It all started with, what was meant to be, a casual family-oriented community listening session in Rogue River to provide a voice to BIPoC youth who reached out to us wanting to discuss racism in their community. This turned into a giant protest with Rogue River residents clashing against SOEquity supporters in front of City Hall. That event got us on the map, and we haven’t slowed down since being very involved in fire relief and mutual aid for the Almeda fire, creating a mutual aid/feed program for our houseless neighbors in Hawthorne Park, helping to create a bias reporting system, and that was just within our first few months as a new organization. All our work is done thanks to grants and generous donations from the community. We focus most of our limited funding towards the community and very little actually goes to pay our leadership team.

Aside from all our work with mutual aid for Alameda Fire victims and our daily feeds at Hawthorne Park we have also provided many other programs and partnerships. We hosted SOEquity Info Sessions each Thursday in May to answer questions about the work we do and programs we offer. We participated in the iAm Enough campaign which was fighting against an anti-trans movement that was trying to get traction by two teachers in the Grants Pass school district. We have been involved in city council meetings, protests, vigils and anything that comes up in the community. On June 13th we celebrated our 1 Year Anniversary and hosted a potluck for our members at Bear Creek Park. Starting July 11th to August 29th our own Dominique Toyer will be hosting a book club discussion about Uncle Tom’s Cabin in partnership with Jackson County Libraries. Mid-August we will be completing a research project we did in partnership with the Fair Housing Council researching Fair Housing here in our own valley.

Our work won’t be truly finished unless Southern Oregon and our Country can become a community of antiracist folx working together to uphold equitable principals and systems. We want to tear down the systemic white supremacy and patriarchy our country was built upon and start over with as system built on inclusivity and equity. We will continue to fight every day to make our corner of the world a more equitable place for everyone living here. The work we do is mentally and emotionally draining and it does not stop. I think one of our main messages would be that if you want to be an ally…pay BIPoC folx for their work. Commit your time through volunteering. Posting a black square, putting a BLM sticker on your car, liking posts on Facebook, being outraged, none of that is enough and none of that will achieve equity and justice. To be a true ally, you must do the real work. We can’t do this alone and we need your help to achieve true change!

SJF encourages our community to directly donate to and engage with SO Equity

Connect with SO Equity:
Donate directly to support SO Equity:

2020 Grantees

Full list of SJFs 2020 grantees

Financial Overview

Financial Overview page displaying bar graphs with information about SJFs 2020 income and expenses

2020 By the Numbers

Special Insert: Fund 4 the Frontlines Campaign Breakdown, 2016-2021

First page of the special insert. Includes committee member quote, introduction text, and timeline of the campaign

“What is the audacious vision or goal that will not only help us through these next four years, but really build on the movement that’s already started?”

Ubax Gardheere, F4tF Public Phase Committee Member

In 2018, Social Justice Fund NW launched Fund 4 the Frontlines (F4tF), an ambitious fundraising campaign with a singular focus: to level-up our region’s grassroots organizing by resourcing powerful, long term basebuilding for people at the frontlines of struggle.

The response from our members in the initial phase was huge. By early 2020, we had raised enough toward our goal to make the first round of $250,000 basebuilding grants to six brilliant grassroots organizations, all helmed by leaders who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). We decided to increase our goal with an extra $500,000 dedicated to grantmaking, and deepened accountability by recruiting a BIPOC-led committee of community members who guided and sharpened the work.

F4tF has allowed us to resource some of the most transformative organizing in our region, helped SJF and our abilities grow in a time of transition, and brought together community leaders with insight, passion, and the vision to make this campaign truly special.

Graphic displaying the timeline of the campaign

Final Donor Pyramid

Image depicting the range of donation amounts to the campaign

The First Six Basebuilding Grantees

Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) | Woodburn, OR

Since 1985, PCUN has worked to give Latinx communities tools to influence policy in ways that will improve their lives for the better through community building, political action and grassroots political advocacy, and union organizing.

Imagine Black (Formerly Portland African American Leadership Forum) | Portland, OR

Imagine Black helps Black community imagine the alternatives they deserve and builds their civic participation and leadership to achieve those alternatives.

United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance, Washington (UTOPIA WA) | Kent, WA

UTOPIA is a queer and trans Pacific Islander-led, grassroots organization born out of the struggles, challenges, strength, and resilience of the Queer and Trans Pacific Islander community in South King County.

Village of Hope | Seattle, WA

Village of Hope organizes with Black families and communities to reclaim history as a strategy for moving families and communities towards wholeness and health and creating communities where everyone is thriving.

Washington Building Leaders of Change (WA-BLOC) | Seattle, WA

WA-BLOC seeks to transform culture and space at Rainier Beach High School (RBHS) and in South Seattle by building intergenerational place-based leaders of change to disrupt educationally embedded systemic racism.

Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) | Burien, WA

WAISN is a grassroots coalition made up of nearly 100 immigrant and refugee rights organizations and individuals in Washington. WAISN’s mission is to protect and empower communities by providing support, capacity and resources to build power and a united voice.

The Public Phase Committee

As the events of 2018-2020 unfolded, we more plainly understood the impact F4tF could have on grassroots organizing — both as a resource and as an opportunity to engage people newer to the movement. We decided to raise our goal an extra $500,000 completely dedicated to grantmaking, increase the number of small gifts, and deepen accountability by recruiting an all Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) led committee of community members, some of them long-time SJF supporters and some new to our work.

In the spring of 2020 we convened our F4tF Public Phase Committee. This group of nine came together to oversee the final phase of the campaign, with the support of Palmira Figueroa, the Campaign Manager, and mano (Emanuel da Silva), the Donor Organizing Manager.

The Committee helped plan and put into practice the public phase of the campaign by creating strategies, developing materials, organizing events and cultivating donors and volunteers. They were the connectors, ambassadors, solicitors, and advocates for the last year of our campaign. Most remarkably, the Public Phase Committee did this all during the COVID-19 pandemic when it wasn’t possible to meet people or organize in-person events.

This final phase was perhaps the most unique part of F4tF, challenging the common practices of traditional capital campaigns which typically rely on staff and consultants to do the planning and fundraising. Incorporating community leadership brought greater accountability, perspectives, and grounding to the campaign. By the same token, the F4tF Basebuilding Grantmaking Committee was also made up of organizers and leaders from SJF’s community. We are so grateful for their contributions!

Illustration of the Fund 4 the Frontlines Public Phase Committee members

Back Cover: Art by Raychelle Duazo

Cover art by Raychelle Duazo

This art piece depicts elements from Western Native Voice and Black Liberation Collective, Idaho’s images. It includes the Sootka rose, dandelion, and salal leaves: plants native to SJF’s region that also have healing properties.