FUND
CHANGE
FROM THE
BOTTOM UP
Blue Heart Giving Guide 2022
Art by Celeste Byers / Amplifer Art

 

Welcome to Blue Heart’s Grassroots Giving Guide! We elevate the work of the under-funded, grassroots organizations who are boldly building the power across the United States.
 

During the end-of-year giving season, the non-profits that get the most donations are those that have big PR budgets to shout their message from the rooftops (and into your inbox).
 
Yet there are many organizations that have less visibility, and are doing transformational work to help Black, brown, gender-marginalized, queer, disabled, and low-income people survive and thrive.

We invite you to support these visionary organizations who are creating change

from the bottom up.

 

This year members of the Blue Heart community have stepped up to commit over $25,000 in matching funds. This means for every donation you make to organizations in the guide, your donation will be doubled!

We will match collective donations up to $500 total to any single organization. Any leftover matching funds will be distributed across all the organizations in the Guide. Our aim is to motivate donations to these groups, while ensuring that all groups, regardless of their website presence or popularity, receive some support.

 

 

share this guide

Most people donate to organizations that are personally recommended to them. Invite your friends and family to #GiveBoldly this season. Together we can amplify the work of these grassroots changemakers..
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
Share with your networks:

How This Guide Was Created

At Blue Heart, we help people learn about and donate to grassroots, community-led organizations who are building the political power of low-income communities and communities of color across the United States (to join our community, sign up here). We also create an annual giving guide to help these visionary movement-builders get the recognition they deserve among donors. 

 

Each organization is recommended to us through our network of partners and advisers. We researched each one further and developed this set of recommended organizations based on:

 

1) the trust and respect grassroots organizers and organization staff have for their work; and 
2) their size (e.g., under 10 staff members) as a proxy for fundraising capacity and budget.

 

We recognize that grassroots does not mean small. Many grassroots organizations are international in scope and represent millions of people. We have come to understand that movement building is nonlinear and requires healthy movement ecosystems. Small, community-based organizations that fly under the radar of traditional philanthropy are often those first to creatively meet the material needs of impacted communities or most nimbly responding to local advocacy opportunities. Those organizations are in this guide.

While not comprehensive, this is a starting point for those who want to invest in the organizations doing powerful work resisting systemic injustice and building community alternatives. We recognize that the majority of wealth in the U.S. has been extracted from the Global South, and wealth redistribution needs to reflect that. This guide is limited to the U.S., and we encourage donors to check out grassroots-accountable intermediaries that work globally. 

Funding social change isn't 'silver bullet philanthropy'. Rather, it requires investing in diverse strategies and long-term visions. Trusted leaders have personally vouched for the creativity, passion, and efficacy of each of these organizations. If you know of or work with an organization that you think should be considered, please tell us about them. 

Art by Christina Whipple and Leilani Salvador / Blue Heart Creator Fund
IMG_3315.jpg

How to use this guide

  1. Recognize you’ve started, even though it is overwhelming!

  2. Watch out for perfectionism. Acknowledge all the work these orgs are doing is interconnected. So, no need to agonize over what issue or organization to invest in.

  3. Try starting with 3 or 5 organizations to give to.

  4. Report your donation to Blue Heart to get it matched.

  5. Follow them on social media if they have it (IG and Facebook are best), and revisit their updates quarterly. 

  6. Deepen your relationship with each organization and with time your own personal giving ethic will evolve!

Before you dive in, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want to support organizations working near where you live and/or in places that receive the fewest philanthropic dollars? Use the icons next to the organizations to identify the organizations working in your region (West, Midwest, South, East, Puerto Rico).

  • Do you want to focus your giving on a specific issue? Below you will find 12 different issue-specific portfolios. Click on the portfolios to see the list of organizations in each category. 

 

  • Do you want to get your money out of the urban bubble? Rural non-profits are dramatically less-resourced than urban ones. If you want to support grassroots organizing in rural communities, check out our "Rural Organizing" portfolio
     

  • How can a reparations lens help shape your approach to giving? Specifically, who are the Indigenous peoples who lived/live on the land you now inhabit? How do you benefit from an economy built on the stolen labor of Black people (slavery), the land of Indigenous peoples, and the extraction of resources from the Global South? How might you move money to make amends for people’s erasure, exploitation, or native communities’ dispossession from this land?
     

  • Does your gift need to be tax-deductible? Organizations registered as a 501C3 or have fiscal sponsorship through a registered nonprofit allow for you to make a gift that is tax-deductible. Some organizations that are doing transformative work may not have this statuswe’ve noted these on the guide with a [*]. If the tax benefit is not critical for you, consider giving to a non-registered organization. 
     

  • Having a tough time deciding on a set of organizations to donate to? You can donate to our Giving Guide here. Your contribution will be added to our matching funds which are used to match donations submitted through the Giving Guide.

Decision biases to be aware of:

  • The "design bias": When evaluating organizations to give to, donors (especially urban millennial donors) tend to prefer organizations that have a slick, well-designed website. In our experience, an organization's web presence is not reflective of its efficacy on the ground - just that it's prioritizing other things or doesn't have the resources to maintain an online presence. Some rural organizations don't even have websites because their constituents don't often use computers. We encourage you to be aware of this bias when you are comparing organizations in this guide.  

Recommended Grassroots Organizations

Image by William Recinos

Arts & Culture

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 5.05.17 PM.png

Health & Food Justice

226077030_1315648665517192_1604113408448099241_n.jpg

Mass Incarceration

Image by Glodi Miessi

Black Liberation

file (7).jpeg

Indigenous Self-determination

Screen-Shot-2019-11-29-at-10.17.42-AM-1024x682.png

Rural Organizing

Image by Jesse Dodds

Climate Justice

241094127_10160763873929305_4135416155532972699_n.jpeg

Immigrants & Refugees

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 5.09.44 PM.png

Women

moms_4_housing.jpeg

Economic & Housing Justice

187600894_868854463714742_2454256652127268440_n.jpg

LGBTQ+

52527130_10156769451960837_5204001058388443136_n.jpeg

Youth Leadership

 

become a blue heart member

Want to support grassroots power-building all year long?

Join a community of over 100 member-donors who are supporting grassroots change. Each month, we send you a profile of the organization you are funding, stories from their work, and actions you can take to support them. We have channeled over $300,000 to under-the-radar changemakers, artists, and visionaries.

sogoreate.jpg

arts & culture

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 7.58.09 PM.png

An Oakland-based arts organization that hosts the EastSide Cultural Center, dedicated to the development of young artists and fostering Black pride in East Oakland.

CALIFORNIA

vision_lg.jpeg

An organization that educates and empowers youth through participation in the arts, offering year-round youth development programs in East Palo Alto and San Francisco.

CALIFORNIA

2U9A6966.jpeg

An organization of working class artists and cultural producers transforming politics and healing through art in Puerto Rico.

PUERTO RICO

311472679_411359541151906_4490422450354397730_n.jpeg

An Oakland workspace bringing together makers, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, and programmers around project-based education.

CALIFORNIA

covid book thing.jpeg

A poor people-led & Indigenous Peoples-led arts organization providing revolutionary media access, art, education and advocacy to folks in poverty.

CALIFORNIA

255175998_5017360881610299_7598257374099611729_n.jpeg

Using grassroots activism to educate people about socio-economic injustices and advocate solutions through Hip Hop culture. We raise funds for local causes that enrich marginalized and historically oppressed communities.

CALIFORNIA

48685327801_6ec1be2a1c_k.jpg

A regional arts service organization providing support to more than 500 artists and countless communities in the severely under resourced American South.

SOUTH

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 8.10.54 PM.png

An Oakland cooperative supporting the creative needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color by providing physical space for community care and collaboration.

CALIFORNIA

Screen Shot 2021-11-09 at 3.08.03 PM.png

A disability justice based performance project that celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and LGBTQ / gender-variant artists.

CALIFORNIA

17240393_1112052448901382_6075604010644107324_o.jpeg

An arts-based alternative to incarceration for young people in King County, Washington.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

black liberation

119153524_3780158715337567_2398421268331685686_n.jpeg

A Greensboro community center rooted in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of proactive struggles for racial and economic justice, democracy, and beloved community.

SOUTH

Screen Shot 2021-11-09 at 3.40.11 PM.png

A network fighting to create space for currently and formerly undocumented Black immigrants to not only survive but thrive.

SOUTH

248920991_244712884354992_9049742052090978429_n.jpeg

A political power building organization transforming  Black communities into active, interdependent, responsive public partners.

NATIONAL

287706761_168062862378443_4996481318405314152_n.jpeg

An emerging organization committed to the intergenerational healing and flourishing of the Black descendant community in the Louisiana river parishes.

SOUTH

EBT-L-BLMSPEAK-0925-2.jpeg

A Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color.

CALIFORNIA 

2017-Ruby-Sales-lead-768x511.jpeg

An organization founded by Ruby Nell Sales, that uses the arts, research, education, action, and spirituality to bring diverse peoples together to work for racial, economic, and social justice, as well as for spiritual maturity.

SOUTH

123560641_764325854146616_2112813844215950876_n.jpeg

A black-led initiative for the activation, long-term engagement, and development of new organizers to mobilize historically disengaged voters of color.

SOUTH

188439764_767735810775347_891568702632951578_n.jpg

A South Seattle nonprofit nurturing intergenerational leaders through transformative education and social action.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

138816839_2188264484639304_2261926387003745544_n.jpeg

A full service direct action organization building capacity to execute creative and effective action in service of their organizing and advocacy work.

CALIFORNIA

DSC_3199-X3.jpeg

A Black grassroots organization organizing and empowering the community towards self determination and equity.

CALIFORNIA

305209286_163641419672042_8424861568297784765_n.jpeg

A movement dedicated to helping Black People search for, identify, and reclaim land taken from them over the past 400 years.

CALIFORNIA

311133265_822827462246782_5143944339657880231_n.jpg

An Oakland-based Black/New Afrikan organization dedicated to the liberation and unification of all Afrikan people through scientific socialism.

CALIFORNIA

Climate justice

279293606_990884975129951_3815661370164892207_n.jpeg

A Flint, MI community nonprofit growing diverse environmental justice leaders to secure a healthy and sustainable future.

MIDWEST

251034673_1306302509826071_1444258025759327767_n.jpeg

A group of young climate justice activists fighting for a livable climate and an equitable, sustainable, and just world.

CALIFORNIA

33662626_1804256379627217_4722656424188968960_n.jpeg

A California nonprofit mobilizing community power to change government and industry policies to protect human and environmental wellbeing.

CALIFORNIA

42234509_1854435631276827_8978064322613739520_n.jpeg

An alliance of New Jersey organizations committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities by eliminating environmental injustices communities of color.

EAST

255120698_1524764577883328_9198016064036116505_n.jpeg

Verde*

A Portland, OR nonprofit building environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach and advocacy.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

1422637_10151930432942696_1304964724_n.jpeg

A Western New York nonprofit developing grassroots leaders who organize their communities to run and win environmental justice and public health campaigns.

CALIFORNIA

79864988_3297697520301280_2594494210556035072_n.jpeg

An indigenous-led movement to protect communities and the climate from the Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

283006284_578764403485763_6119697052982937918_n-1.webp

A grassroots organization working to defuel the US Navy's Red Hill storage facility and protect O‘ahu's aquifer.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

278611312_5011941128922803_6156004318536915380_n.jpeg

A Philadelphia grassroots nonprofit honoring culture, community education, organizing, and advocacy to build a People’s Agroecology.

EAST

275974501_2519184228214682_3502104719356997847_n.jpeg

A membership-based nonprofit installing solar-powered streetlights to build an equitable energy system for the Chicago area.

MIDWEST

69056899_10158570943113532_7918842481666424832_n.jpeg

A Portland nonprofit building power for environmental justice and civil rights in Oregon.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

43390576_752734365068597_8562560128312672256_n.jpeg

An organization of concerned citizens working to build just and equitable communities while addressing the costs of extraction in Appalachia.

SOUTH

242711714_378239847191906_736906171236855099_n.jpeg

A regional nonprofit supporting a just transition to a regenerative economy that protects the environment, climate, and future generations.

MIDWEST

306967379_1902344660096452_8094869559384122515_n.jpeg

An intergenerational, women of color led grassroots organization promoting Brooklyn community resiliency through organizing, leadership development, and artistic expression.

EAST

296107744_376155571293991_4219288197294215804_n.jpeg

A Detroit nonprofit building community power through environmental justice education, youth development and policy advocacy.

MIDWEST

Economic & Housing Justice

255913408_2663583077283749_6003764588079487465_n.jpeg

A member-based community organizing group invested in serving the communities of deep East Oakland by building racial and economic equity.

CALIFORNIA

66475648_2466764520056659_6570679370170499072_n.jpeg

An Eastern Iowa nonprofit uniting low-wage workers to defend workers’ rights on the job, tenants’ rights to safe and affordable housing, and just immigration policies.

MIDWEST

LoveandJustice_logo_yellow_fin.jpg

An Oakland grassroots organization serving curbside communities to help them participate in lasting solutions to the homelessness crisis.

CALIFORNIA

18319398_10154784143389022_4771870300799352083_o.jpeg

A coalition of local social justice organizations across the West Coast working to eliminate the root causes of homelessness and poverty.

CALIFORNIA

12080106_10153523693881391_466154260647285448_o.jpeg

A Massachusetts nonprofit building the power low-income communities of color to eradicate environmental racism, and create healthy, sustainable communities.

EAST

FB_IMG_1542949912447.jpeg

An Oakland volunteer-run organization led by unhoused, housing insecure, and formerly unhoused folks providing direct services and policy advocacy.

CALIFORNIA

106786666_2921465691284083_3225526113053679249_n.jpeg

An all-volunteer campaign in Oakland promoting active citizenship and direct democracy by increasing community stewardship of the city budget.

CALIFORNIA

Screen Shot 2021-11-11 at 4.11.21 PM.png

An Omaha nonprofit that develops leaders, promotes workers’ rights, and fosters civic engagement to build power with immigrant and underrepresented communities.

MIDWEST

Image by Erik Aquino

A network of non-extractive loan funds that make loans to community-based businesses anchored in the most marginalized Southern communities.

SOUTH

Image by Joshua J. Cotten

A volunteer-based, sex worker-led national network of organizations and communities working in harm reduction, political advocacy and health services for sex workers.

CALIFORNIA

308145299_5290111434433116_3185741044466633077_n.jpeg

An Ironbound, NJ organization empowering individuals and families in realizing their aspirations, making a just and vibrant community.

EAST

66360642_2431745633535069_3338009549788413952_n.jpeg

A Denver nonprofit supporting day laborers and domestic workers in Colorado through education, job skills, united action and advocacy.

MIDWEST

243253064_3055987007982518_6359246210306246141_n.jpeg

A nonprofit helping to build a solidarity economy on California’s North Coast, supporting existing cooperative efforts and creating new solutions.

CALIFORNIA

basic-income-web.jpeg

A nonprofit advancing economic democracy and building a solidarity economy anchored by a network of cooperatives and other worker-owned enterprises.

SOUTH

168879379_10158934669866145_2667489161897930145_n.jpeg

A grassroot, Black-led organization devoted to locally driven development in Seattle's Rainier Beach neighborhood.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

298270112_10159069875777634_1790964200761510406_n.jpeg

A South Texas worker's union that has become an organizing platform for low income workers across the region.

EAST

health & food justice

241798452_4646607415384531_8188639611268271247_n.jpeg