RIFF supports community organizations and movements advancing racial, economic, gender and environmental justice.
We focus on aligning our work with the values, strategies and priorities lifted up by community organizations. We offer heartfelt gratitude to the many leaders whose experience and perspective have informed our approach.
The Foundation’s core strategies are organized around the seven themes described below.
Communities at the Center
Celebrating the power of community, we prioritize support for those most affected by inequality and injustice. Those who have been most affected by discrimination are best positioned to shape and advance solutions to these issues in their communities. This includes communities of color, low-income communities, Indigenous and immigrant communities, and those who experience discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. As primary agents for education, leadership, and direct action, grassroots organizations play a key role in building broader movements to bend the arc of history toward justice.
We support organizations that employ a community organizing and collective leadership development approach. Those who are directly engaging local leaders and a large number of community members are in the best position to advance systemic change.
Intersectionality is a framework conceived by Black feminists, recognizing that working class black women, along with other marginalized groups, experience overlapping systems of oppression, from racism, sexism and classism, to discrimination against LGBTQI and differently abled individuals. With grantmaking focused on solutions across multiple dimensions, we support systemic solutions that are inclusive, linking change across these intersecting issues.
Historic structural inequality of power plays a prominent role in perpetuating inequality on a range of fronts. Building community power within and between marginalized communities is essential to advancing equity and justice more broadly. We support leaders working to equalize the balance of power in the political, economic and cultural realms. Community organizing, education, and civic empowerment are key means to these ends.
We also support movement-building efforts that serve to aggregate and amplify the power of organized communities while fostering solidarity, strategic alignment and long-term collaboration.
Supporting the Sparks!
Transformational sparks, the creative ideas and solutions that emerge from communities, are key to our strategies. We seek to amplify effective community led efforts, responding to critical priorities that motivate and inspire action.
Culture change strategies confront discriminatory cultural norms by asserting new values in society, thus laying the groundwork for broader policy and systems changes. Reclaiming culture is also central to healing and rebuilding community health.
Healing & Resilience
Healing and resilience are important strategies to address the violence and trauma generated by persistent inequality. They are essential for organizers, leaders and community members who have suffered chronic discrimination. We also support individual and collective resilience efforts to address intersecting social and environmental crises.
RIFF has built a community guided grant-making process, informed by the perspectives and wisdom of our advisors and grant partners.
We favor multi-year general support grants recognizing that transformational change is a long-term process and that community leaders need the flexibility to deploy resources in the most strategic way possible.
With longer-term partnerships as a priority, there are limited opportunities for new grants in a given year. For this reason, grant applications are accepted by invitation only.