Supporting Grassroots Power: A Call to Action


The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions hosted a dynamic conversation between funders who are moving money to the front lines of social change organizing efforts. These leaders explored what it takes for funders to authentically share power with community in grantmaking. while discussing what is needed from philanthropy to support people, place and power.

They call on their peers in philanthropy to examine how they fund community change work including who they fund and why.

Farhad Ebrahimi, Founder and President of the Chorus Foundation tells leaders in philanthropy to take risks because the greatest risk is inaction. We can’t say “it’s just too hard to figure out how to democratize this…too hard to figure out how to share power…we don’t trust each other enough yet.”

Deputy Director for the North Star Fund, Elz Cuya Jones, tells us we need to “fund BIPOC leaders like you want them to win, not like you’re taking a test drive or it’s a first date, or that you want to sleep better at night, or you want your name connected to the movement for black lives. Instead…fund like victory is at hand.”

Janis Rosheuvel, Director of Movement Partnerships at Solidaire Network says we need to be building a generational strategy – ten plus years out to win.

The panel was moderated by Sheri Brady, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.