In our more than two decades of gender justice grantmaking, Third Wave Fund has learned from our grantees and community partners that social movements are strongest when communities – rather than donors and foundations – are able to retain ownership over the vision, values, and strategies that guide their organizing and engagement. Young people bring critical analysis to movements for reproductive and gender justice, especially when youth-led organizations have the resources to support their self-determination and leadership. The Own Our Power Fund supports community-led organizations to invest in key areas that define the level of ownership groups have over their leadership, finances, and experiences.
We launched the fund in 2017 to ensure that youth-led reproductive and gender justice organizations are able to grow at their own pace while being led by, funded by, and telling the experiences of their communities. The fund currently makes two-year grants to build communities’ leadership development, financial sustainability, self-representation, and strategic communications capacities.
Since its inaugural grantmaking cycle, the Own Our Power Fund has awarded $700,000 in two-year grants to 17 organizations working across gender justice movements at the intersections of age, race, class, sexuality, disability, and geography. Recent Own Our Power Fund grantees used the funding to support those most impacted by gender oppression to lead the work, develop sustainable revenue models and fundraising strategies, and harness the power of self-representation through community-led research, storytelling, or communications.
We are excited to reopen the Own Our Power Fund for new capacity-building proposals. In 2021, we anticipate making 10-12 grants of $25,000 per year for two-year capacity building proposals through an open application process. Organizations with an annual budget of up to $500,000 USD are eligible to apply, with a priority on groups located in regions or focused on issues that are philanthropically under-resourced. The Own Our Power Fund does not make grants for general operating, legislative advocacy, start-up expenses, or capital campaigns.
While this fund welcomes creative approaches to our three focus areas, here are some ideas of work that would be a good fit. Examples of previously funded projects can be found below in our Who Are Former Own Our Power Fund Grantees? section.
Third Wave Fund will be hosting two informational webinars on Zoom for prospective grantseekers. Both webinars will present the same content with time for attendee questions, so it is not necessary to attend both. English captioning and Spanish interpretation will be standard for both webinars; requests for ASL or BASL interpretation and Spanish subtitles should be made through the registration form seven days prior to the webinar you are registering for.