Thank you for participating in Beyond Impact 2020! We were energized by the brilliance shared throughout our strategy and learning virtual series. This page includes key insights and video recordings from the series to support your power building efforts in 2020 and beyond.
This session helped us reflect on major shifts over the first half of 2020, understand their impact on our social justice agenda, and surface opportunities to expand the political influence of BIPOC communities through 501(c)(4) organizing, with a focus on policy, community mobilization and electoral strategies.
- Marcus Bass, Executive Director - Advance Carolina
- Romy Justilien, Chief Executive Officer -Tides Advocacy
- Angela Lang, Executive Director - Black Leaders Organizing for Communities
- Yadira Sanchez, Executive Director - Poder Latinx
- How do we forge a new path ahead, building upon the legacy of John Lewis to build a new liberatory space that we haven’t seen before? It’s about new tactics, independent power, communities coming together to support Black lives, coming together for our undocumented, and folks targeted by the president. This means that we have to think beyond the non-profit industrial complex, and explore all the tools that can help us get to that liberatory space that we’ve never seen before.
- There are times that we can’t lead our electoral work with the candidates but need to center on relationships. Especially given the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on people of color, organizers needed to take a step back to address community needs and continue to build meaningful relationships as part of long-term organizing. We have to understand that issues are going to remain critical after the election.
- Electoral years are moments to build political capital that is meant to be spent the day after the election. This is so that our community can see real, tangible wins and can witness that they’re a part of the political process.
- We have to begin laying a new course for political power if we’re to have any sort of economy, democracy, education or health future in this country. We do this by building an independent expenditure process that is based on BIPOC community leadership and experience.
- We need to set our sights on long-term change through multi-cycle organizing, engaging voters in at least two cycles to make substantive changes in people’s lives and build a new political future.
This session focused on supporting community organizers and C4 activists to shape their fundraising strategies in a way that’s consistent with movement building principles.
This session was facilitated by Marjorie Fine, a leading fundraising consultant with over 20 years of experience supporting social justice organizations to mobilize resources through practices that align with community organizing principles. Learn more about Marjorie’s experience here.
- Fundraising is another way of organizing our communities. All team members should contribute and have leadership in moving resources for your political work. Community members can exercise their political leadership by contributing their financial and volunteer resources.
- Fundraising needs to be built into the Executive Director job description, with a significant portion of time committed to mobilizing resources.
- Practice deep listening with your community, leaders and donors; invoke the power of sharing good, powerful and effective stories.
This session explored the choices activists are making in designing or pivoting political strategies, with a focus on the role of political infrastructure. The discussion focused on how we might strengthen our political strategies at different stages of organizational development and make the most of available infrastructure vehicles (e.g. 501(c)(4)s, PACs, etc.) to build mature political organizations.
- Ben Malley, Political Director - Tides Advocacy
- Audrey Sasson, Executive Director - Jews For Racial and Economic Justice / The Jewish Vote
- Michelle Tremillo, Executive Director - Texas Organizing Project
- C4 infrastructure allows us to fight with both fists, integrating community organizing, issue-advocacy, and electoral engagement to have greater influence in politics and hold elected officials accountable.
- Housing your work at a c4 gives you the most flexibility, allowing activists to name the political nature of the problems they’re facing and to promote candidates that advance a social justice political project.
- Funding independent c4 organizations and PACs will contribute to government accountability, as opposed to giving directly to candidates.
This session focused on sustaining long-term 501(c)(4) infrastructure and political leadership in BIPOC communities, both by sharing case studies of innovative resourcing models and generating ideas for mobilizing c4 dollars beyond the boom and bust cycle.
- Adriana Loson-Ceballos, Director of Network Resources -Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
- Jonathan Bix, Executive Director - Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
- Peter Martin, Director of Philanthropy - Tides
- Vanessa Huang, Senior Director of Advancement - Movement Strategy Center
- Saru Jayaraman, President - One Fair Wage
- Grassroots fundraising is a powerful, viable strategy for organizing and building lasting community power. Community members are most knowledgeable of the issues affecting their lives and are willing to put money into the solutions.
- Integrate fundraising asks within your volunteer and community engagement work-- it doesn't have to be cumbersome or time-intensive! Combining fundraising, discussions around key issues, and voter engagement in outreach work can help build an invested base of support.
- Advocate for more primary purpose grants from c3 public foundations such as Tides Foundation or your local community foundation.
- Don’t let the mysterious world of DAFs be intimidating. DAFs hold significant resources that need to be mobilized! Reach out to DAF advisors to share your work and explore opportunities.
- It’s never too early to start talking about what comes after the election. Engage your funding base early on your post-November strategy and opportunities to build momentum in 2021.
- Center your c4 work, and advocate for general operating, multi-year grants in as many spaces as possible.
Download the presentations here.
This session facilitated a safe space for teams to discuss trends they are seeing in the funding landscape, what teams need in order to overcome the funding boom and bust cycle, and what funding power-building actually requires.
- Amber Goodwin, Executive Director - Community Justice Action Fund and Community Justice Reform Coalition
- Anathea Chino, Co-founder and Executive Director - Advance Native Political Leadership Action Fund and Advance Native Political Leadership Education Fund
- D’atra Jackson, National Director - BYP 100
- Jonathan Paik, Executive Director - Orange County Civic Engagement Table (OCCET) and OCCET Action
- Erika Washington, Executive Director - Make It Work Nevada
- We need to fund progress, not crisis. Movement organizations are looking to build relationships with funders who want to build together, not just give funding in response to a tragedy.
- Fund elections-related work early. For election-related work, we need to meet our communities where they are, with messaging and programs that are crafted to reach them. Organizations can’t plan ahead when they get money late in election cycles. With late funding, organizations get the blame for work that is generic and doesn’t resonate with the communities they work with.
- Funding must sustain organizations beyond elections. 501(c)(4) work encompasses far more than elections and lobbying. Organizations that are building long-term power in communities need more flexible c4 funding to organize year-round, advance long-term policy change, and hold elected officials accountable. Some elections-related work may in fact end the day after elections, but the people who got us to those victories still need jobs and still have deep organizing to do. We want to resource work that is year-round, so we are not laying off people after every election, especially right before the holidays.
- Sustained c4 resourcing is critical to building organizational infrastructure. Movement work requires building organizational infrastructure, which also requires c4 dollars.
How can donors best help resource a growing political movement led by BIPOC communities during a pivotal year? This peer-exchange session explored key lessons from donors supporting C4 work and generated ideas for building power through the upcoming election and beyond. This session was not recorded.
- Shannon Baker, Managing Director - New Media Ventures
- Romilda Justilien, CEO - Tides Advocacy
- Michael Kieschnick, President - Green Advocacy Project
- Myrna Orozco, Director of State Partnerships - Movement Voter Project
- Vini Bhansali, Executive Director - Solidaire Action Fund
- We’re looking to build a progressive decade! Building lasting political power among BIPOC communities requires a 5- to 10-year strategy, coordinated donor support, and multi-year commitments. This includes being smart about multi-cycle electoral engagement and supporting power building organizations every year.
- Gaining power and transforming our political system starts at the state and local level. There’s momentum for building a political culture that sees electoral influence as one step in a broader social change process, ranging from community organizing to government accountability.
- Addressing capacity and infrastructure priorities in addition to programmatic support is key. For example, organizers who are challenging the balance of power face higher risks and require safety and security support as well as a space for healing.
- Efforts that help donors align can help activists focus on their work and strengthen our contributions. Pooled funds and donor communities can help strengthen the social justice ecosystem by facilitating coordination, contributing at a larger scale, and promoting learning.