New World Foundation Grantmaking Process

The New World Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. We are committed to exploring funding areas and needs, identifying new grantees, and pushing boundaries through a variety of grantmaking avenues.

Grantmaking Philosophy

NWF has developed the following grantmaking guidelines to make our grantmaking as effective as possible, and to ensure that we work closely with organizations developed and run for and by people living in the least privileged circumstances.

Democratic Process

We aim to bring both our financial and network resources to partner with those who struggle to challenge local and national political policies, conventions, and vested interests. We encourage our grantees to make decisions democratically, promote race and gender equality, and develop new leaders.

Base Building

Base building is a benchmark of our grantmaking. We prioritize community-based organizations aiming to have state and regional impact as the core of social movements. Since we believe that no social change on behalf of the poor and exploited comes without strong community-based organizations, we are particularly concerned about the extremely shallow support from funders to this area of grantmaking. We regard this as a major problem of fairness and an added burden of discrimination, which so many of these communities already face in myriad ways.

General Support Grants

NWF strongly favors general support grants over project-specific grants because the former strengthen organizations and enable leaders who are closest to the issues to decide how funds can be best used. Our goal is to encourage continuity and development by supporting community-based organizations so that they can focus on issue/campaign development, alliance-building, and cross-issue organizing instead of responding to immediately pressing issues and basic financial survival. NWF is committed to discovering new leaders, helping organizations grow and providing multi-year support to these groups in order to maintain stability and to free leaders to pursue their missions vigorously.

Regional & Cluster Grants

To maximize the impact of grantmaking on a region, NWF identifies areas where it can make a cluster of grants among complementary and collaborating organizations. We aim to promote increased organizational strength in areas where the working poor and poor are concentrated, where the tendency toward single-issue organizing can fragment and divide rather than strengthen and promote solidarity.

Specialized Grantmaking

Outside of our currently operating grant programs, we also provide:

Technical Assistance—NWF staff and consultants chosen by our grantees (paid for by the Foundation) offer capacity development in fiscal and legal managements, media strategy and development, research planning and implementation, and strategic planning skills.

Small Discretionary Grants—Occasionally, NWF supports convening amongst grantees, assistance with cash-flow emergencies, payment for travel, and help for organizations to promote themselves to new donors.

Inquiry Grants—Seed grants and matching grants are made to explore new work and develop long-term sustainability in the field.

Special Project Grants—While the longevity of NWF is important, we also believe that the organizations we fund are taking risks and we should take them too. Special project grants are used to ignite new ideas and build new power at the local level.