In philanthropy, there is often a gulf—both literal and metaphorical—between grantmakers and grantees. In doing this work, it’s important to hold a mirror to ourselves to look at the ways we can avoid working against our desire for a better world. Some of the self-reflective practices we’ve adopted in our organization within the last few years include:

1) Focused programming and funding where it’s needed most. Our mission calls us to “promote women” within the movement. That’s why we feature women as speakers for all our events, and make
grants to women and their organizations. We especially prioritize women of color as they are largely overlooked in philanthropy, and
their work is essential for achieving a thriving and healthy planet. In 2023, 100% of our collective funding went to women and their initiatives, with the majority of that going to women of color.

2) Providing multi-year unrestricted gifts. Nonprofits spend an inordinate amount of time applying for grants. We provide three-year commitments to Catalyst Awardees so they have some predictable income, and we support movement leaders as individuals.

3) Minimizing application requirements. The “Fix the Form” campaign is encouraging funders to simplify their grant requirements so grantees can spend more time doing the work that makes a difference. We’ve iterated our Catalyst Award application each year to limit the burden on time-strapped candidates.

4) Taking steps to create a board that’s accountable to the community. Boards have legal and financial requirements, but often aren’t accountable to the mission or the community they serve. By
changing our bylaws to allow those who aren’t funder members to take part in governance, we’ve taken a first step to increase our accountability to our mission.

If you are a funder, we encourage you to adopt practices like these too. You can learn more at There’s still so much more to do, but we’re excited for the journey ahead. If you’d like to join us in this journey, contact us here – we’d love to have you in our circle.

Art and design: Simone Martin-Newberry and Monique Meyer (respectively)

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