August 3, 2015
I wanted to share my experience with you as a member of the Momentum Giving Project. Momentum grants are designed to be responsive to the “movement moment” that is happening at the time. Social Justice Fund grantees are organizing — strengthening communities, training activists, building analysis, developing leaders, making change — all the time. But sometimes, a spark catches. That spark was around Police Accountability.
As a member of the first ever Momentum Giving Project, 13 Social Justice Fund Giving Project alums came together because we felt the importance of this movement moment to end police violence. Our goal was to raise $70,500.
In just 11 weeks, we blew our goal away and raised $115,502! 249 donors gave anywhere from $5 – $10,000.
There are three reasons why this Giving Project experience was so rewarding:
- There are lots of ways I could’ve been connected to the work being done around Police Accountability, but I was able to join with this group of Social Justice Fund members and do more together than on my own. I learned so much about the issue and the movement. The passion from my cohort and from community leaders was contagious. I fed off of that passion and it helped me when asking my friends and family to join me in making a gift to support this work.
- 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, and co-workers. Yes, being able to raise the resources for this movement is important, but creating these moments to talk about Police Accountability and help build this movement through ourselves and our own communities is just as important. These powerful conversations might not have happened, if it weren’t for my involvement in this Giving Project.
- We’re not just funding organizations. We’re funding movements. Living in Seattle, I’m insulated from the issues affecting people in rural Oregon, Native communities, and Montana and therefore am less likely to write a check to support their roles in this movement. Through Social Justice Fund’s Giving Project model, I was exposed to, and able to support, the diversity of work being done in our region.
Read about the organizations in this movement that we were able to fund for the next two years! I hope you will be as inspired by their work as we are.
P.S. There’s another Momentum Giving Project starting in the Fall that will be focusing on Black-Led Organizing. This Giving Project is for Alumni only and is a shorter commitment than a regular Giving Project. If you’re interested in joining, please contact Karen Toering.