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Deadline: April 30, 2024

Nathan Cummings Foundation

Description: Nathan Cummings Foundation is offering two types of funding opportunities: grants and program-related investments (PRIs). Unlike grants, PRIs are made with the expectation that some or all the capital will be returned to the foundation in the future, according to terms that the foundation and the PRI recipient agree to. The foundation may be able to structure financing with more favorable and flexible terms than a traditional financial institution would. Both grant and PRI proposals must align with NCF’s interconnected goals of racial justice, economic justice, and/or environmental justice.

The Foundation makes three types of awards:

  • Venture Grants – These grants are short-term and designed to provide expedited support to social entrepreneurs with breakthrough, emerging, and innovative solutions. They serve to mutually explore new relationships and partnerships.
  • Advancement Grants – These grants are designed to provide two-year support to project-based work and/or help scale organizations and promising solutions.
  • Enterprise Grants – These grants are designed to provide multi-year, unrestricted funding to partners that have deep alignment across focus areas and offer the most opportunity to use all the Foundation’s financial and non-financial resources to support their solutions.

The Foundation supports racial justice work that:

  • Fosters civic engagement – Decreases regressive policies aimed at disenfranchising BIPOC communities and limiting political participation; Fosters leadership development for public servants including advocates and elected officials; Encourages innovative policy interventions around democratic values
  • Addresses the racial wealth gap – Increases assets among those who have been most harmed by the racial wealth gap; Grows the number of local, state, and federal policies and institutions that support access to and ownership of assets for BIPOC communities, especially Black communities​; Decreases the number of public-private barriers to BIPOC communities building wealth
  • Combats racism and oppression – Undermines systemic hurdles to racial justice; Supports education/narrative building efforts at the hyper-local, regional, and national levels to advance equity and justice; Builds a strong ecosystem of effective organizations that advance and sustain racial justice.

The Foundation supports economic justice work that:

  • Fosters systemic economic security – Increases workers’ ability to negotiate for fair pay and good benefits; Contributes to systemic approaches that allow more poor and low-income people to have enough money to meet their basic monthly expenses and save for emergencies; Addresses the ways in which massive public and private companies contribute to economic insecurity
  • Increases access to capital – Increases capital controlled and allocated by women and people of color; Expands Black, Indigenous, and other people of color’s ability to secure competitively priced private and public capital, including loans, lines of credit, and investment dollars; Shift perceptions of risk and bankability and advances fair underwriting standards
  • Combats monopoly power – Increases competition in key industries (e.g., energy, agriculture, healthcare, finance, retail, technology, and media/journalism) and dismantles consolidated corporate power; Ensures enforcement of regulations that keep corporate power in check; Increases transparency about corporate influence in our political system

The Foundation supports environmental justice work that:

  • Addresses environmental harms – Supports frontline communities in efforts to mitigate the environmental harms they face; Develops and implements long-term solutions that protect both ecosystems and public health; Holds polluters financially accountable for environmental impacts caused by their operations
  • Creates inclusive participation in the green economy – Increases jobs, investments, and wealth-building opportunities in the Green Energy Transition for BIPOC and women-led companies and individuals; Increases capital and funding to support, replicate, and/or scale solutions led by frontline communities that advance the transition to a green economy; Demonstrates and amplifies models of economic inclusion and their impact in the green economy transition
  • Develops regenerative economic models – Creates economic and political incentives to build, replicate, or scale community-driven regenerative economic models; Increases investments to organizations and social entrepreneurs that help them to scale innovative alternatives to extractive processes, practices, and products; Demonstrates and amplifies effective regenerative economic models and their impact on both local economies and ecosystems.

Amount: In 2024, the Foundation has allocated:

  • $2.9 million for economic justice work; $1 million is available to support new partners.
  • $2.9 million for environmental justice work; $1.5 million is available to support new partners.
  • $3.8 million for racial justice work; $2 million is available to support new partners.

Eligibility: The Foundation is particularly interested in work focused on the U.S. South.

Link: https://nathancummings.org/apply-for-funding/ 


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