Frequently Asked Questions

The Powering a New Economy Fund is a collaborative fund that supports local and state-based grassroots-led organizations and coalitions in a targeted set of states working to realize a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

The Powering a New Economy Fund is a pooled fund. Current investors include Omidyar Network, Ford Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation., and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. We welcome additional funding partners. For more information on how to join this effort, contact Sophia Kerby.

The Fund prioritizes organizations and/or coalitions that:

  • Serve a multi-racial constituency and are focused on representing communities of color;
  • Have a base and build and engage that base through organizing; and
  • Work to advance structural changes by aligning their efforts in formation with others in their ecosystem to shift the political-economic paradigm in any of the following arenas:
    • Fiscal policy, including progressive taxation and/or revenue fights
    • Green industrial policy for a just transition
    • Public options for equitable social investment in healthcare, housing, access to capital, and other areas
    • Worker power and corporate campaigns to build worker voice, power, and control

We plan to award up to $3 million in pre- and post-election investments.

This is a new funding initiative.

Organizations that receive support from the Powering a New Economy Fund will most often be multi-issue groups. However, this fund does have an explicit focus on efforts aimed at increasing the economic power of communities of color and those supporting individuals with low income by addressing structural reform, check corporate power, and build leadership.

At least 80 percent of the funds will go to grassroots organizations working in Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, or Minnesota, either at the state or local level. To extend the reach of these funds, we will focus on long-standing or promising new alignments and coalitions, with a focus on organizations that directly organize communities of color or are multi-racial and seek to build governing coalitions that are multi-racial. Limited funding (no more than 20 percent) may be awarded to national groups that are explicitly working to support the work of state and local groups.

To maximize and focus our funding, we selected four states (Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, and Louisiana) that align with the priorities of the philanthropies involved in the fund and are ripe for policy action that improves economic conditions for a large number of households. Additionally, we identified states that have the greatest opportunity and capacity to overcome political hurdles and achieve economic reforms in the next two to five years and where the New American Majority is well-positioned to lead this charge.
Communities with economic power have the ability to improve their own incomes, benefits, mobility, market choices, and voice in the workplace. Often, establishing economic power requires the redistribution of market and political power from those who have it to those who do not.
We believe the role of philanthropy in building economic power is to solve problems that stem from a lack of access to resources, both financial and technical. Through this fund, we will directly support grassroots organizations focused on power building so that they can create the political and economic conditions needed for communities to have their own economic agency. If successful, this effort will support the efforts we traditionally fund. However, we are excited about the prospect of funding new organizations, especially at the state level.

To ensure our funding reflects the needs and goals of the field, we have established two decision-making bodies. A Movement Oversight Committee focuses on sharing power with movement/grassroots leaders. The chair of that committee sits on the Grantmaking Advisory Committee as a voting member, which is also made up of representatives from the contributing philanthropies.

To inform the Fund’s understanding of how to be most effective and meet the greatest need, we have tapped individuals with experience in grassroots organizing and movement building to provide strategic insight to inform our grantmaking decisions and bring a more diverse range of voices to the table. The Committee includes individuals who have a strong understanding of economic power analysis and governance work. The Committee members are listed here.

Recipients selected for an initial round of funding will be notified in November. In each case, we will work to ensure organizations have funds in hand in 2020. A smaller, second round of funds, will be distributed through an open RFP process in early 2021.

We aim to help grassroots organizations maintain their capacity to sustain their advocacy after the 2020 election by providing c3 and c4 funds to retain organizers, fund advocates, and develop strategic plans that extend their impact beyond electoral cycles in support of larger systemic reform.

Powering a New Economy Fund dollars are restricted to existing organizations to build their power so that they can more effectively advance economic change campaigns, in an effort to strengthen and expand the ecosystems of actors fighting to experiment with policy and reorganize state political economies.

Additional funding partners are welcome to join this effort at any time. Please contact Sophia Kerby to learn more.

The Powering a New Economy Fund does not accept unsolicited grant applications.

Learn more about Powering a New Economy Fund