“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.
Image description: Image depicting the campaign timeline. Brief descriptions of significant events in the timeline are displayed in order on a snaking red line. In order: 2016: F4tF dreamt up at SJF board and staff retreat. Campaign goal set at $4 million; 2018: Campaign has a soft launch at SJF’s 40th Anniversary Celebration; 2018-19: Quiet Phase of F4tF fundraising; Early 2020: $4 million goal is nearly reached! Goal raised to $4.5 million; Spring 2020: Public Phase Committee of nine SJF community members forms; Summer 2020: First 6 F4tF Basebuilding grants are awarded; Fall 2020: F4tF Public Phase is launched at SJF’s annual celebration; Spring 2021: $4,500,000 raise = 10 $250,000, 5-year grants; Summer 2021: Collecting final donations and pledge payments; Fall 2021: Second round of F4tF Basebuilding grants will be awarded
Image description: A picture depicting the final donor pyramid. 9 repeating red, orange, yellow, and blue stripes form a pyramid. Aligned next to each stripe is a giving level and number of donors, descending from large to small donations. In order: 1 donation of $400,000; 5 donations between $200-300,000; 11 donations between $100-199,000; 17 donations between $25-99,000; 26 donations between $10-24,999; 32 donations between $2-9999; 67 donations between $500-1999; 77 donations between $100-499; 77 donations between $100-499; 35 donations under $100
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| Portland, OR
Imagine Black (formerly known as Portland African American Leadership Forum) helps Black community imagine the alternatives they deserve and builds their civic participation and leadership to achieve those alternatives.
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.
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!
Image description: Rectangular image with light yellow background depicting 11 illustrations of Fund 4 the Frontlines Public Phase Committee members and two SJF staff members. From left to right, Allister Byrd, Andriana Alexis, Brenetta Ward, Carolanne Sanders, JeeYoung Dobbs, Joaquin Uy, Keiko Kozumi, Margo Huang, Ubax Gardheere, mano, Palmira Figueroa