The Blue Heart member network supports the grassroots organizations that are challenging the industries, systems, and policies that are driving social injustice in the U.S. and building social and economic alternatives to replace them. We are interested in movement-building and long-term social change.
Support Bottom-up Change: Movement-building is messy and difficult to quantify. There is no one strategy that is the ‘right’ way to create long-term social change. Thus, Blue Heart partners with a diversity of organizations that reflects the diversity of the strategies needed for systemic change.
Act in Solidarity: In all of our partnerships, we strive to 1) be transparent, 2) listen and defer to their lived experience of grassroots change, and 3) minimize the burden of partnership on the organization (i.e., light impact reporting requirements). We recognize that we are in a position of power and privilege as a funder. We consistently seek to be enablers and allies, rather than gatekeepers to resources.
Respect Grassroots Expertise: All Blue Heart funding is unrestricted and can be used for any project or general operating expenses of the partner organization. Core funding allows organizations to nimbly adapt their impact strategy according to changing ground conditions in their constituents base. We trust the expertise and experience of our partner organizations to determine how funding should best be used.
Please note: Organizations do NOT need to be a registered 501(c)3 to partner with us.
Partnership Benefits for Organizations:
- A small, one-time grant of unrestricted funding
- Visibility to a national network of new supporters and donors
- Access to the Blue Heart Creator's Fund to support a collaborative project with an artist
PARTNER SELECTION CRITERIA
When considering an organization as a potential partner, we look for the following characteristics:
1. The organization explicitly states goals relating to building the political and cultural power of low-income communities and/or communities of color.
Rationale: Organizations that provide supplies and services (i.e., food banks) play an important role in meeting the immediate and critical needs of marginalized people who face compounding financial, medical, and psychological stresses. However, most service-only organizations do not tackle the root causes of these stresses, further entrenching cycles of poverty that leave people vulnerable to climate impacts. Larger political change is needed to challenge institutional structures that inflict economic, cultural, and physical violence on these populations. Structural change rarely happens without explicit political education and organizing. We focus on funding groups that recognize the power that exists within low-income and marginalized communities and work to uplift, unify, and amplify that power towards focused political action.
2. The organization uses participatory, grassroots processes to achieve their goals.
Rationale: Organizations striving to create a more just and beautiful world not only need to build the power of marginalized communities to have the self-determination to create their own solutions, but also must model the process and structure of that future world. Without democratically-run organizations committed to personal transformation alongside community transformation, we cannot learn how to relate and create in ways that truly liberate all human beings. We elevate organizations that use participatory processes to build political and cultural power.
3. The organization works primarily within the US and with US populations
Rationale: We recognize that US imperialism and militarism inflict harm on communities around the world, particularly in the Global South, and that building cross-national solidarity movements is critical to advancing political and economic justice within the US and beyond. Additionally, our donor base is the U.S. and we hope to encourage place-based giving. We are currently constrained in our capacity to find, assess, and track candidate organizations outside the U.S. In the future, we hope to expand our database to include organizations outside the US, but at this point in time we are not able to.
4. The organization is currently active and has the capacity to put unrestricted funding into action to advance its vision.
Rationale: We partner with movement-builders with a track record of executing on their desired objectives and who have the capacity to report back how they use Blue Heart funding to advance their vision. We do not partner with organizations that are dormant, currently inactive, or still in "idea" phase.
NOMINATE AN ORGANIZATION
We are always looking for more partner organizations to support! All organizations that meet our selection criteria will be entered into the Blue Heart database, a searchable, free resource available to anyone.
Please nominate an organization by completing this brief form.