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For SJF, 2020 has been an intense, confounding, challenging and at times inspiring year. You’ve stuck with us through the best and worst of it, and we appreciate all the support we’ve received — much of which we’ve been able to pass on in the form of grants to grassroots organizations, making 2020 our biggest year of grantmaking ever.

We know that the defeat of President Trump in November was the result of year-round, community-based, grassroots organizing around the country —including right here in the Northwest. That’s why Social Justice Fund NW continues to make grants to those organizations that are grinding it out in the trenches, doing the painstaking work of social change. Our grantees inspire us to keep up the fight in the face of challenging conditions.

If you haven’t already made a donation to SJF in 2020 now is your chance to make a year-end gift and help set us up for the fights ahead in 2021.

We’re proud of our grantmaking accomplishments in 2020:

  • We granted out nearly $1 million in Covid related grants, first through our spring Crisis Fund that was launched shortly after the pandemic took hold, and then through the Eradicating Anti-Blackness & Covid Recovery grant.
  • The first round of Fund 4 the Frontlines grants – supporting six base-building organizations throughout the region – totaled $1.5 million in 5-year grants.
  • Our spring Giving Projects (Criminal Justice and two Economic Justice projects, one in Seattle and one in Portland) granted $660,000 to 22 organizations.
  • We also made 11 rapid response and 22 seed grants this year, totaling $110,000
  • Finally, we’ve made $1,020,000 in Donor-Advised Fund grants so far in 2020 with more to come before the end of the year.

All told, SJF has granted out over $4.3 million in 2020.

Some of our most recent funding was made to organizations receiving their first ever grant from SJF, such as:

  • Black Liberation Collective in Meridian, Idaho: Following‌ ‌the‌ ‌leadership‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Movement‌ ‌for‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Lives,‌ ‌Black‌ ‌PIC‌ ‌Prison‌ ‌Abolitionists,‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌Black‌ ‌leaders‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌country,‌ the Collective ‌bring‌s ‌Black‌ ‌Excellence‌ ‌to‌ ‌Boise‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌more‌ ‌unified,‌ ‌cohesive‌ ‌and‌ ‌inclusive‌ ‌effort‌ ‌to‌ ‌end‌ ‌police‌ ‌brutality,‌ ‌gender‌ ‌violence‌ ‌and‌ ‌Black‌ ‌oppression.‌
  • PDX Alliance for Self Care | Portland, Oregon: PDX ASC’s mission is to connect marginalized and vulnerable communities with self-care resources, practitioners, education, events, and advocacy. In addition, they offer diversity training for practitioners who want to support their vision of community care by providing self-care resources.
  • WA Black Trans Task Force in Tacoma, Washington: The WA Black Trans Task Force is an intersectional, multi-generational project of community building, research, and political action addressing the crisis of violence against Black Trans people. They provide resources for Black trans people in Washington in collaboration with community partners in order to broaden safety nets and increase avenues for justice.

Beyond grantmaking, SJF also doubled down on donor organizing in 2020, particularly through our Social Justice Giving Plan workshops. All told, SJF organized 8 of these workshops (some in collaboration with other organizations), the majority of them through Zoom after pivoting to online workshops in March.

In these cross-class workshops, SJF staff support participants in developing a more radical framework for their personal giving. We talk about:

  • Why donating to community organizing – especially groups led people most affected by oppression – is a great strategy to help bring about systemic change;
  • How the history of white supremacy in this country should be a motivating factor in supporting BIPOC-led organizations working for racial justice;
  • Why it’s important to give in different ways, including supporting mutual aid, political giving, and other groups who don’t have 501(c)(3) tax status;
  • How to let go of perfectionism and work through giving paralysis in order to trust organizations and give more money;
  • What it means to give with humility, empathy, trust and no strings attached
  • How to be a donor organizer by encouraging others with more capacity to step up their giving to BIPOC-led, grassroots organizations

At the end of each workshop we encourage participants to put their new knowledge and analysis to work by making some donations — not necessarily to SJF but rather to a list of partner organizations that share many of our values. In that spirit, we ask you to consider supporting some partner funders as you sit down to write your year-end checks or donate online:

  • The Potlatch Fund, SJF’s sister fund that supports Native-led organizations in our same NW region.
  • MRG Foundation, a long-standing Oregon-based foundation with a similar mission and some grantee overlap with SJF.

And if you haven’t already made your gift to SJF’s annual fund in 2020 then now is your chance to support us. Thanks for continuing to be part of our community.