The Diverse City Fund

For this last post, I’d like to introduce you all to the Diverse City Fund. We are a volunteer-run funding body that makes small grants to grassroots, social justice organizations/groups/projects that are run by and serve people of color in the District. A project of the Community Foundation for the National Capitol Area, we don’t have any official tax status with the IRS (we’re not even incorporated, I don’t think), and that’s just how we like it! So far, in close to three years and over 2.5 grant cycles, we have raised and re-invested $235,000 to groups working to make DC a more just and vibrant place to live for all its residents. Our Board of Instigators (of which I am member) meets monthly to administer the fund – coordinate fundraising activities, plan events, and manage grant rounds. The Grantmaking Team, who actually review the grant applications and make determinations about funding allocations, are comprised of folks who are deeply embedded in the city’s social justice movements. They are also all people of color.

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The grantees from our Spring/Summer 2013 cycle at the Grantee Celebration

Most recently, we have been facing capacity issues with our all-volunteer board. This spring, we decided to postpone our grant round to the summer – and that will only be open to past recipients of funding. We are also holding a dialogue with this group of past grantees in advance of the application period, where we’ll really look at the work that’s going on and how we can best support it as a funding body. Transitions are sticky, but we really emphasize a lot of open discussion. Nothing moves quickly, but when it does, it means we’ve really built a consensus around our choices. I’ll make sure to let y’all know the next time we have a grantee celebration. And of course, if you WANT to donate to us now, you just have to click here!

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