What We Fund

Diverse City Fund is a grantmaking organization dedicated to racial justice that invests financial and social capital to transform systems in DC. We fund and support efforts led by and rooted in communities of color to realize liberation, spark solutions, organize against oppression of all kinds create systemic change.

We Fund Groups That Are:

  • Led by people of color and focus on DC residents.

  • Taking action to create equitable outcomes.

  • Employing approaches and strategies (like power building) to tackle problems at the root by engaging affected communities to find solutions, organize against oppression, and create systemic change. 

  • Amplifying the leadership and voices of those directly affected by the issues and needs being addressed.

  • Transferring power and resources to directly affected communities.

  • Sounds like work you do? Read more about our new programs & eligibility criteria for spring 2024 and learn how to apply!

*Groups do not need to be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to apply.

Funding Priorities & Root CauseWork

  • Diverse City Fund supports groups that center the following Funding Priorities

    Mobilizing: groups mobilizing people for direct actions.

    Advocacy & organizing: groups engaged in community organizing focused on power-building, campaigns or other systemic change, or advocacy focused on policy, administrative or legal changes.

    Healing Justice & liberation: groups supporting organizer and/or community wellbeing (emotional, mental, spiritual, and/or cultural) toward building sustainable movements.

  • Root Cause Work vs Symptoms Work

    We use an analysis of symptoms and root causes to distinguish work that aims to change systems. This is meant to be clearer than distinguishing work by strategy because the same strategy to address community issues could only address symptoms, or it could also address root causes, especially if there’s an effort to meet people’s material needs. Learn more about how we understand addressing symptoms vs. root causes here.

We do not fund:

  • Direct service programs that are not linked to organizing, advocacy, or policy change.

  • Regional organizations/projects that do not primarily impact DC residents, government agencies, national organizations, and corporations.

  • Anyone who has received a grant through a Fall / Spring grant cycle within the last 12 months. For the spring 2024 cycle, groups that received funding in fall 2023 will not be eligible to reapply until fall 2024.

  • Organizations with budgets over $2 million.

Examples:

We will most likely fund:

  • A cancel rent campaign whose organization members are residents who live in Ward 7 and former residents who have had to relocate to Prince George’s County.

  • A newly formed coalition organizing resources to meet basic needs for excluded workers and their families, in mutual aid, as part of a long-term community building strategy.

  • A healing collective curated by people who identify as BIPOC that creates healing circles for organizers of color throughout the city.

  • A coalition of organizations throughout DC developing youth leadership and fighting for policies that center youth voices and needs.

  • A community group led by and serving Black residents tackling food insecurity by both teaching people how to grow their own food and advocating for systemic changes in our food systems.

We probably won’t fund:

  • A white-led economic policy nonprofit with a majority white-board in which a community outreach project is facilitated by staff of color who do not have organizational decision making power.

  • A Virginia statewide organization, with a chapter in Northern Virginia who is organizing an affordable housing campaign with a few members who are DC residents.

  • A food pantry or farmers market project, organized by a neighborhood church, to solely feed their food insecure members.

  • An afterschool program that offers recreation, sports, or professional development for youth but does not serve a community organizing or collective advocacy purpose.

  • A scholarship program for underserved youth.

  • A program that equips DC residents with entrepreneurial skills and encourages individual empowerment.