There is no shortage of creative, proven solutions to the issues communities of color face. They are, however, under funded. Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color are leading the way in addressing the intersecting crises – such as the pandemic, systemic racism, economic injustice, and climate change – that are disproportionately devastating our communities. Yet BIPOC led nonprofits are forced to implement both frontline and systems change work with fewer resources, smaller budgets, and more restrictive funding than their white-led counterparts.
The Social Justice League (SJL) is our response to this systemic under-resourcing of BIPOC organizations. Building on seven years of work in partnership with nonprofit leaders of color, RVC has brought together funders and stakeholders to invest in a pooled fund that can support BIPOC communities over the long-term, building collective community power by getting unrestricted dollars into the incredibly capable and powerful hands of BIPOC organizations.
Here are the Top 7 Things You Should Know About The Social Justice League
1. The Social Justice League has officially launched! RVC partners are receiving $100,000 this year in unrestricted dollars! 🎉 🎉 🎉
2. We’re Here to Dream Big. We’re Here to Change the Landscape of Philanthropy.
It’s time to fix a funding system that keeps BIPOC-led nonprofits trapped in a cycle of underinvestment and resource competition. The Social Justice League is a dynamic opportunity for individual donors and funders to move from a commitment to trust-based philanthropy to action. We recognize the work of addressing systemic racism cannot be accomplished by a single organization in a single year. It takes partnership and a network of leaders working together over time. The Social Justice League is the opportunity to build together and re-imagine equitable and sustainable philanthropy while funding community-centered, community-led creative solutions on the ground.
3. Big Dreams, Big Dollars.
The League’s goal is to raise $15 million dollars; $100K in unrestricted operating support dollars per year over the course of 5 years for each of RVC’s 24 partners (as of March 2022). We are fundraising alongside values-aligned funders–yes, funders!–who are equally committed to transforming the funding landscape. Through a unique founding partnership between the Satterberg Foundation and RVC, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as an early champion, we’re modeling the trust-based relationships between funders and nonprofit organizations that will raise the bar for funding BIPOC organizations. As stewards of this initiative, RVC has not and will never receive funds committed to the Social Justice League.
4. RVC’s Commitment
It is no secret that RVC advocates for equitable grantmaking and multi-year general operating funds as a key way to create capacity for organizations, especially BIPOC organizations. While we have our own fundraising needs at RVC, we know there is an abundance of resources and have a role to play in moving those resources towards BIPOC organizations. We are determined to play our role as relationship builders, abundance advocators, capacity builders, and experimenters to design and coordinate the fund, convene the players, and do our part to raise funds for the league. RVC is not a philanthropic organization and we are not committing to creating ongoing funding initiatives.
5. We Are Not Doing This Alone. We Are Bringing People Together, and Having Them Do What They Do Best.
Moving money does not mean recreating the wheel, building laborious grant processes, and creating more philanthropic infrastructure. It means partnering together in new ways that allow us all to do what we do best. In the League:
Our Badass Partner Organizations: Create and implement solutions, services, and systemic changes designed by and for communities of color.
RVC: Coordinates the league, building connections among BIPOC organizations, funders, and trusted capacity building partners.
Funding Partners: Commit funding to the League, participate in a learning cohort together, bring more donors on board as they advocate for the League in the philanthropic community, and continue to create additional funding relationships to directly fund BIPOC organizations. Funding partners include Satterberg Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Group Health Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Expedia Group, as well as support from longtime RVC stakeholders.
Philanthropy Northwest: Brings years of experience building equity-focused funder learning spaces to facilitate an equity focused peer-learning cohort of funding partners who will delve into what’s necessary to move forward trust based models of philanthropy.
Social Justice Fund NW: Hosts the pooled funds and facilitates disbursement to BIPOC organizations. Not only does SJF have the infrastructure and experience in funding frontline organizations, we wanted to ensure that our partner organizations received funds regardless of their future relationship with RVC.
6. Impact Happens on the Ground, And The Time is Now!
Powerful change happens when BIPOC organizations are well resourced. But that means getting money on the ground, not waiting for the perfect day. That is why we have decided to launch The League now instead of waiting to raise the full $15 million first (this is where we start celebrating!)
7. We Are Still Fundraising for the Social Justice League!
We are so excited by the momentum we are building and the relationships we are able to cultivate in this process, which have allowed us to get to this point. But! We are not done.
We have a strong start at fundraising for the full $15 million for our Partners. We have committed stakeholders, rooted determination, and the vision to see this all come to life.
And we have you. Join us in this movement to raise the bar for resourcing BIPOC organizations and change the landscape of philanthropy.
Got More Questions about the League? Go to our website or contact Hana Jang, The Lady of the League…The League Lead…The SJL version of Gandalf only way less cool and possesses no magical abilities, at [email protected].
P.S. Friendly reminder, RVC does not accept money from the Social Justice League, so if you’re interested in supporting us directly, please go here.
Written by Roshni Sampath & Hana Jang