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Rapid Response Fund (RRF)

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Respond to Urgent Needs and
Opportunities to Promote Social and Reproductive Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Groundswell Fund

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Grants of up to $20,000 to USA nonprofit organizations for projects that address urgent and immediate needs and opportunities, especially to protect the social and reproductive rights of women of color, trans people of color, and low-income women and trans people. Funding is meant to allow organizations to respond to time-sensitive crises.

Groundswell’s Rapid Response Fund (RRF) will continue to center its criteria around:

1. Urgency

  • The request is responding to an unanticipated event, political moment, and/or requires urgent or timely action. It is a new/unexpected critical opportunity or threat.

2. Leadership

  • Must be majority women of color and/or transgender, gender non-conforming (TGNC) people of color-led organization.
  • Groundswell Fund defines majority leadership that is more than 50% in decision making.
  • Definition of Women of Color and/or Transgender/GNC (TGNC) Led:
  • (a) organizations with a majority WOC/TGNC board, staff, and volunteers in leadership positions;
  • (b) a WOC/TGNC-led effort that is a core strategic priority within a majority white/cisgender people of color/white trans-led organization. This organization must have WOC/TGNC in decision-making positions at the staff and board level;
  • (c) a WOC/TGNC-led coalition; or

3. Organizing + Base-Building

  • Groundswell Fund’s RRF aims to support organizations with a history of dismantling systems of oppression by way of organizing as a central strategy.
  • Groundswell defines organizing as ongoing, systematic engagement and relationship building with an ever-expanding and increasingly committed number of constituents and leaders who act collectively to change the conditions harming the community due to systemic oppression and state-sanctioned violence.
  • Specifically, this is achieved by building a base. Groundswell defines base building as using strategies to build the leadership of directly impacted communities to create solutions to the issues negatively impacting their lives, and gain skills, abilities, and collective power needed to transform and dismantle policies and systems that affect their lives.

What might the Rapid Response grants support?

  • A strategic organizing response to a public attack or a community crisis.
  • A strategic organizing response to advance solidarity and coordination of organizations working across issues to defend the most vulnerable communities.
  • A strategic organizing response to an unforeseen legislative or policy development.
  • A strategic organizing response to a new opportunity that is immediate, has a specific time frame, and is aligned with Groundswell Fund’s approach and priorities.
  • A short-term project or action that creates opportunities to organize and build coalitions and/or educate public officials or the general public.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184165

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $20,000. On rare occasions, Groundswell may consider requests of up to $25,000, yet the average grant size is $8,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Who can apply?
- Organizations based in the United States seeking funding for work within the United States
- Organizations that are already Groundswell grantees or organizations that have never received funding from Groundswell
- Organizations that center organizing, base-building, and advocacy as key strategies for building power and achieving social and reproductive justice
- Organizations that define themselves as women of color-led, trans people of color-led, and/or led by low-income women and/or transgender people
- Alliances, coalitions, and collaborations that are led by the above organizations working in solidarity to achieve social and reproductive justice

Who is not eligible to receive a Rapid Response grant?
- Organizations that have received Rapid Response Fund grants in the last 12 months
- Organizations seeking support for candidate campaigns or other partisan activity
- Organizations seeking support for ongoing program work, for leadership transitions, for start up costs, or to address financial crises or funding shortfalls
- Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor

Pre-Application Information:

Submission Deadline: May 14, 2021
Notification: May 25, 2021

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2021
Notification: June 25, 2021

*Dates subject to change

Organizations are notified about their grant request on or around the 25th of each month.

How to Apply:
Review the process, deadlines, and criteria, then complete the criteria self-assessment (found on the URL for Full Text (RFP) below). If the request is a match to Groundswell’s RRF criteria, you will be prompted to schedule an intake call. Staff may cancel your request if they conclude it is not a fit to RRF criteria.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Groundswell Fund
PO Box 71642
Oakland, CA 94612

Sheena Johnson
Senior Director of Grantmaking

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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