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Rectangular banner with a light orange sunburst and little yellow stars radiating from center. Text reads Fund 4 the Frontlines Base Building Grant. Applications due February 18 3PM PST

Applications for this grant closed on February 18, 2022. We will keep this page up for reference.

These grants of $250,000 ($50,000 a year for five years) will support base building strategies across our region; there will be 10 total grants made. The first round of six grants were awarded in 2020. This second round of four grants is now open; decisions will be announced in May 2022. Please read the following information carefully before starting your application.

For more information about this grant opportunity, email Essex Lordes, Project Manager.

Key details:

  • Grant amount: $250,000 total, five year grant ($50,000 a year for five years)
  • Eligibility: Applicants have previously received an SJF Giving Project grant, see below for more eligibility details
  • Application open: January 10, 2022
  • DEADLINE EXTENDED: February 18, 2022 at 3PM PST
  • Application portal (please read the following information carefully before beginning your application)
  • Questions? Email Essex Lordes, Project Manager


What we will fund: SJF’s Base Building Framework

We understand base building as a community organizing tactic that grows the breadth and depth of people who share a vision for social justice and who develop and execute the organizing strategies to make that vision a reality. With strong base building organizations as part of our ecosystem, our movements have more leadership and more power to change policies, transform culture, and build new models and institutions — and to defend and maintain those victories over time.

Because there is no one definition of base building, we interviewed community organizers across the region and country to determine the markers of good base building strategies. We asked them to pinpoint what made base building different from other community organizing, share examples of good base building, and explore potential regional, cultural, and constituent differences we may encounter. Through this process, we determined the following parameters for the Fund 4 the Frontlines Base Building Grant.

We are looking for organizations that fit our community organizing framework AND whose work demonstrates EACH of the following four areas:

  1. Collective Power
    • Working with a diverse membership to build collective power
    • Building a critical mass of collective power that can win changes in policy, culture, or institution-building, and defend those wins
  2. Widening the Base
    • Building authentic relationships with those in the base who are most affected by the issues the organization works on
    • Bringing new people into the base who are not already engaged in organizing work
    • Using varied methods of recruitment by uplifting differences through tailored communication and outreach
    • Engaging in face-to-face (physical or virtual) conversation and relationship building
  3. Leadership Development
    • Provide clear entry points for members to move to leadership positions
    • Clear and accessible programs for political education and meaningful engagement
    • Continual education and agitation
  4. Strategy and Long-Term Planning
    • Developing, using, and continually adapting a base building plan which includes goals, timelines, infrastructure, leadership, opportunities for engagement, etc.
    • Organizing strategies with clear goals
    • Structures that hold the leadership accountable to its base



Eligible organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • Organizations that have been funded by an SJF Giving Project grant in the past
    • A list of all SJF Giving Project grantees can be found here
  • Nonprofit organizations or tribal agencies, or groups sponsored by a nonprofit organization or tribal agency
    • This grant can fund:
      • Organizations with 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 status as determined by the IRS
      • Federally recognized American Indian tribal government or agency
      • Organizations that are fiscally sponsored by 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 organizations or by federally recognized tribal governments
  • Organizations that use community organizing as their primary strategy and do base building as described in the section above: collective power, widening the base, leadership development, and strategy and long-term planning.
  • Organizations that are led by people who are most directly affected by the problems that the organization or project is addressing
  • Organizations that carry out most of their work in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and/or Wyoming


Grantmaking timeline

  • January 10 — Application open to all eligible SJF grantees
  • January 19 & 26 — Application process webinars
  • February 18, 3PM PST — Application deadline
  • March 28 — Finalists are notified of grantmaking committee’s site visit decisions
  • April 4 to April 22 — Finalists receive site visits
  • May 2 — Finalists are notified of award decisions
  • Week of May 16 — Grant awards are announced


How to apply

  1. Click this link to visit the application portal
  2. Click “Create new account” or log in if you already have an account
  3. If you need to create an account, you’ll be prompted to enter information necessary to establish a new account
  4. You’ll then be prompted to create a password and verify your email. After doing so, your account will be active
  5. Once you are logged in, the link to the application portal will deliver you to the application page
  6. Click the blue “Apply” button on the 2022 Base Building grant application; this will bring you to the application form
  7. Begin working on the application; save to return to the form later, submit only when you are finished

If extra support is needed, please review this help video or plan to attend one of the two webinars on how to apply for this funding opportunity (see above).

For any other questions regarding this grant cycle, please email Essex Lordes, Project Manager.


About Fund 4 the Frontlines and the Base Building Grant

In anticipation of our 40th anniversary, SJF launched the initial phase of the Fund 4 the Frontlines campaign in 2018 with the ambitious goal of raising $4 million over three years to grow SJF’s capacity and level-up our region’s grassroots organizing by resourcing powerful, long-term base building for people at the frontlines of struggle. $2 million was allocated for SJF’s growth and $2 million was allocated for the Base Building grants.

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 base building 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 for a total of 10 grants.

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.

You can read more about the campaign here and learn about the first six Base Building Awardees here and here.


*Ready? Begin your application in our Grants Portal.*