The Programs Our Communities Need Now

Larger Grants & More Equity

Integral to our model of shared power, DC Fund’s organizing communities were partners in designing our programs via the Compass Council. They set the direction so that we can now move with a longer-term vision and 2024 marks the beginning of a new DC Fund chapter

Our main goals for the restructuring of our grantmaking and capacity building programs are to:

  1. Enhance equity and power in our grantmaking process and
  2. Strengthen our ability to support the emergence and growth of systemic change efforts of DC community organizing, advocacy, and healing justice groups

DC Fund’s new grant programs have two significant updates:

  1. After almost 13 years of offering $5,000 grants as a maximum, we are increasing our grants to up to $10,000 for Launching projects and $25,000 for Growing projects
  2. Rather than having a single funding pool where both new and established changemakers compete for the same resources, we are dividing the grants into three distinct groups. Each group has different eligibility guidelines and varying minimum/maximum grant sizes to facilitate equity in our grantmaking process
  • Grants continue to be for general operating support as they have been since 2011! Applications are not restricted to an organization’s/group’s specific project or program. Ex. Groups/Organizations can use funds for salary, rent, food, stipends, or expenses to support racial justice work and create systemic change.
  • Group/organizations with a yearly budget of $50,000 or less that meet the eligibility criteria may be awarded up to $10,000.
  • Groups/organizations with a yearly budget between $50,000+ to $2M that meet the eligibility criteria may be awarded up to $25,000.
  • For our Spring 2024 cycle, DC Fund is prioritizing new groups and organizations to DC Fund with yearly budgets of no more than $50,000. DC Fund welcomes returning grantees that meet our eligibility criteria.
  • DC Fund will no longer fund any organization or project which has an annual budget of more than $2M.

A Rolling Fund

The Compass Council and our grantee community recommended that we create a rolling fund that allows them to access additional funding when challenges emerge. With that end in mind, we create the rolling fund to respond to emergent grantee funding needs outside our Spring and Fall cycles. Eligible grantee partners may apply for up to $5,000 in additional grant funding to meet goals supported by DC Fund grants.

Capacity and Community Building

Unrestricted funding is our primary way to build capacity within BIPOC-led groups.
Our capacity and community-building offerings will offer a starting point for emergent groups and work, to build relationships, and to individualize support. In 2024, we’ll offer:

  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Skill building webinars for folks just getting started
  • Spaces for thought partnership
  • More community spaces for groups to connect with each other
  • More resources beyond dollars!

Stay tuned for updates here.

We are grateful to the Compass Council for their leadership, affirmations and recommendations. With their support, we redesigned our programs to strengthen and sustain a vibrant ecosystem of racial and social justice work by more intentionally supporting DC’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) groups.