Giving Projects

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Building strong coalitions to win policy change, shift the political landscape, and build strong cross sectoral progressive movements is key to achieving social change. This grant will support coalition strategies that prioritize leadership and representation from grassroots community organizing groups that are led and directed by the people most impacted by the issues they work on. Coalition work can look a variety of ways, including ongoing sustained organizations with structured membership, shorter term tactical alliances formed in the face of intense opposition, and other models.

As a member of the Coalitions & Alliances Giving Project you’ll learn about and have a concrete impact on a wide variety of coalition efforts and gain a deeper understanding of why coalitions and alliances are especially strategic in this current political moment. All while developing your own leadership, building community, gaining analysis, and learning new skills.

For examples of organizations that receive funding from SJF, take a look at our grantee list.

“I learned a ton, there’s so much more that we get out of the giving projects than just the grants.  It’s a great way to plug into the organization, learn about cool organizations, contribute money, and gain useful tools to take away.” – (Tesia Forbes, Environmental Justice Giving Project member, 2011)

Commitment: February 24th, 2018 – September 5th, 2018 (All meetings will be in Portland, OR – exact locations TBA)


Session 1 – Introduction

Saturday, February 24th, 10am-5pm

  • Get to know one another
  • Establish commitments, expectations, and goals

Session 2 – Issue Area

Wednesday, March 7th, 6pm-9pm

  • Learn about coalitions & alliances from experts in the field

Session 3 – Race and Class Analysis Workshop

Saturday, March 24th, 10am-5pm
Sunday, March 25th, 10am-5pm

  • Build shared analysis of race and class
  • Learn about racism and classism in context of environmental justice
  • Begin to build a cross-class, multi-racial, progressive philanthropic community

Session 4 – Fundraising & Grantmaking Training pt 1

Saturday, April 7th, 10am-5pm

  • Learn the nuts and bolts of grassroots fundraising
  • Learn SJF’s grantmaking process
  • Practice with the group
  • Set personal fundraising goals and accountability structure
  • Participants begin fundraising and reading and screening grant applications

Session 5 – Grantee Summit

Saturday, April 21st, 11am-3pm

  • Learn directly from SJF grantees about their organizing strategies and funding challenges
  • Open to the public

Session 6 – Fundraising & Grantmaking Training pt 2

Wednesday, May 2nd, 6pm-9pm

  • Continue to learn about and practice grassroots fundraising and social justice grantmaking skills

Session 7 – Screening

Saturday, June 2nd, 10am-5pm

  • Democratic grantmaking process to decide which applicants will get site visits
  • Site visits as scheduled (participants commit to at least one)

Session 8 – Final Decisions

Saturday, August 18th, 10am-5pm

  • Review site visit reports
  • Democratic grantmaking process to review site visit reports, discuss finalists, and choose grantees

Session 9 – Celebration & Evaluation

Wednesday, September 5th, 6:30pm-9:30pm

  • Celebrate our success and evaluate the process

Giving project structure

  • All Giving Projects have the same basic structure:
  • A cross-class, multiracial group of 15-25 volunteers commits to the entire process.
  • Each person makes a meaningful gift — whatever that means for you.
  • Through workshops and trainings we develop a shared analysis of race, class, and the issue focus of this Giving Project.
  • We train you in grassroots fundraising and provide lots of hands-on support as you raise money from your friends and family.
  • We train you in our grantmaking process and support you as you read and score proposals, participate in site visits, make collective deicisions, and move money to some of the most inspiring, effective social change work in the region.

“One thing that sticks with me is how much I enjoy and get energy from these issues. I came in tired, and now feel energized.”

Brittany Alsot Economic Justice Giving Project member, 2012

Meet Our Giving Project Members

Mike Beebe

Native-led Giving Project
This Giving Project is my third (Environmental Justice in 2011/Movement Building Giving Project in 2015) and each time I find them highly educational, rewarding, and inspiring....
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Andrew Johnston

2015 Spring Momentum Giving Project
Asking people to support this work required that I be vulnerable, and sometimes voice strong opinions that might differ from the opinions of my family, friends,...
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Emiko Badillo

Giving Projects in Portland in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
We as individuals are so powerful. An action makes such a huge impact when we are working together with other dedicated individuals.
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Jose Vazquez

2018 Immigration Justice Giving Project
As an undocumented individual who received the opportunity to join the professional workforce thanks to DACA, I wanted to be part of the solution to address...
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Tracy Gagnon

Economic Justice Giving Project 2017-2018
Joining a Giving Project was a way for me to take action after the haze of the election. I wanted to be a part of the...
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Sanne Stienstra

Portland Economic Justice Giving Project
Social Justice Fund NW provided me with an opportunity, as a white cisgendered person, to play a role in the movement that felt appropriate and fulfilling...
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Carol Brown

Intergenerational Giving Project
SJF’s focus is on organizations led by and communities most affected systemic racism, organizations addressing the root causes of oppression and racism, and organizations that are...
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Chieko Phillips

2018 Immigration Justice Giving Project
An interview with Chieko Phillips, Immigration Justice Giving Project member. Why did you sign up for a Giving Project?  Immigration has never been “my issue” and...
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Maxx Tomlinson

LGBTQ Giving Project twice, Gender Justice GP, Criminal Justice GP
I always wanted to figure out a way to be active in social justice issues and what my action would be. I am not the kind...
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Jasmine Fleenor

Gender Justice Giving Project
I am so amazed at how much I learned during this process. One of my main takeaways from this project is the importance of a broad,...
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Lilliane Ballesteros

Intergenerational Giving Project
I signed up for a Giving Project because I wanted to learn more about who was leading change in our communities in the Pacific Northwest. I...
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Jimmy Pasch

2015 Environmental Justice Giving Project
October 13, 2015 My name is Jimmy Pasch, and I am a part of this year’s Environmental Justice Giving Project. Six months ago, I joined this...
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Callie Lambarth

Economic Justice Giving Project 2017-2018
The entire Giving Project process was an incredibly powerful experience. One of the most meaningful takeaways for me was being able to engage with the discomfort...
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Saara Ahmed

2015 Gender Justice Giving Project
One of the most important things I learned about gender justice work is that we need both organizations with proven strategies AND organizations coming up with...
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Margaret Weihs

2015 Next Generation Giving Project
In addition to expanding my personal analysis of race and class, the giving project positively challenged my understanding of how social change happens. I came into...
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Vinnie Tran

Economic Justice Giving Project 2017-2018
I learned about the Social Justice NW Fund through a random search online and was intrigued by the organization’s social justice lens to philanthropy. I joined...
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