Giving Compass' Take:

• Justice Funders discusses the importance of trust in grantmaking work that involves socially progressive movements: Have faith in people on the ground.

• Minimal paperwork and general operating support: Two keys to success in this area. How can you apply these lessons?

• Learn more about social justice philanthropy.

Rapid response funding fills a critical need in movement work today by providing urgent and timely funds when traditional funders are unable to move swiftly. Yet, there are very real problems with rapid response funding. It can perpetuate dependency on philanthropy and doesn’t focus on building long-term infrastructure. How do we begin to understand the benefits and problems with rapid response funds?

Solidaire Network, a network of funders supporting socially progressive movements, started a rapid response fund in 2013. We built an approach that allows members to move funds immediately during emergency moments. In 2017, Solidaire moved more than $2,000,000 to movement groups through this fund alone.

For rapid response to work, Solidaire members have to let go of power while collectively trusting one another and movement leaders. This means treating the fund as part of building and sustaining relationships with movements.

We provide general operating support grants whenever possible and ask for minimal paperwork. What little reporting is required involves inviting grantees to share a brief update on what they know their impact is, rather than a set template by Solidaire. This enables movement groups to own the narrative of the work they know best. This is one way in which Solidaire is working to liberate philanthropy from how the field has been constructed  —  to shift power back into the hands of those most affected by injustice.

Read the full article about trust first to act in solidarity by Eugenia Lee and David Roswell from Justice Funders at Medium.