San Francisco, CA – The Libra Foundation announced today that the Board of Directors approved doubling its grantmaking from $25 million in 2019 to $50 million in 2020. The doubling represents the Foundation’s focus on the historic importance of 2020 and a deep commitment to supporting organizations led by and building power with those most impacted by systemic oppression. The funds are designed to enable grantee partners to respond and adapt to the grave threats our democracy is facing as well as the economic and public health impact of the COVID-19 crisis as they set about the difficult work of rebuilding our communities and greater society.
In the first docket of this year, Libra has approved grants to 57 existing grantees, grassroots social justice organizations that are building progressive power to meet this moment and creating a better future for us all. In addition, these grants are for general operating support to fuel grantees’ organizing and long-term power-building work as well as to enable these organizations to support their communities in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. These 57 grantees are engaged in base-building, electoral and civic engagement, movement networks, coalition-building and census work. The organizations in this docket were not required to submit an application to be considered for this funding, nor will they be asked to submit formal reports.
“2020 is a major turning point for America – attacks on democracy, rampant voter suppression, rising income inequality and now, the coronavirus pandemic– all reveal what marginalized people have always known to be true,” said Crystal Hayling, Executive Director. “Working people are getting left behind, and Libra is dedicated to lifting up people-powered solutions that strengthen public health and advance social and environmental justice.”
The Foundation supports organizations in the program areas of criminal justice and social policy, gender justice, and environmental and climate justice. This latest docket includes existing grantee partners that are organizing locally and trans-locally to build a world where low-income communities of color have the power to determine their own freedom, define safety, and thrive in healthy environments. Libra also prioritized organizations whose leadership reflects those that they serve, and especially supports groups led by women and nonbinary, trans, and queer people of color, migrants, the formerly incarcerated, and other marginalized identities.
Libra is calling on other funders to listen deeply to their grantee partners and ramp up their grantmaking at this urgent juncture. “We are inspired by and grateful for our community of movement leaders and allied funders that is pushing us to step it up by increasing Libra’s grantmaking, removing requirements, taking bold action, and being humble,” said Crystal Hayling. “These organizations are generative, they are visionary, and they are responding to COVID-19 in a way that keeps us connected to who we are and what we are fighting for.”
Board member Susan Pritzker remarked, “Philanthropy must step up in this pivotal year. In 2021, no one wants to look back and wish they’d done more.”
In these challenging circumstances, The Libra Foundation will also maintain commitments to all existing grantees.
For a full list of the grantees in this docket, please click here.
The Libra Foundation’s guiding principle is that those who are closest to the issues understand those issues the best. They are not only the most equipped to build solutions, they are the most effective at implementing those solutions. The Libra Foundation is a family foundation with an endowment of $500 million invested for impact. Over the past decade, the Foundation has granted over $98 million to 233 grantee partners in the areas of criminal justice, environmental and climate justice, and gender justice.