Grant Makers Give Money Fast to Challenge Trump Policies

February 24, 2017

By Rebecca Koenig, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The unprecedented sums individual donors have given to progressive nonprofits since the presidential election have drawn ample attention. The American Civil Liberties Union alone raised $24 million in one weekend after it took on Donald Trump’s travel ban, earning the venerable charity headlines in The New York Times,The Washington Post,USA Today, and Politico.

Foundation responses to the new administration’s policies have flown under the radar. But grant makers worried about how the change in leadership might affect the issues and people they support have indeed been making plans for the Trump era, creating rapid-response funds, hosting webinars, and listening to recommendations from grantees for how to best back their work.

Some have made donations outright. The Rockefeller Foundation gave $500,000 each to the ACLU, the Anti-Defamation League, and the International Rescue Committee for their work on behalf of refugees and immigrants. The Open Society Foundations put up $10 million to protect “those targeted by hateful acts” and government policies.

The NoVo Foundation pledged $20 million over the next four years to new grantees supporting “communities under attack.” And the California Wellness Foundation is shifting its $35 million budget to “advance and defend” work on access to health care, the wellness of immigrant communities, the social safety net, and preventing violence and hate crimes.

“Right now, foundations have a responsibility to step up with courage,” says Pamela Shifman, executive director of the NoVo Foundation. “Our social-justice values and missions demand that.”

To read more, please go to the original article at The Chronicle of Philanthropy.