1994-Today – Inclusive Democracy

In 1994, New World Foundation evolved from a private national foundation to a public charity in order to galvanize a consortium of funders to influence public policy with a strong emphasis on local, state and national change.

In expanding our own grantmaking capacity, NWF reached greater scale in its support of a new generation of civil rights activism, multi-issue community organizing and encouraged increased network and coalition building.

During this time, NWF retained its long-term state and regional approach with a strong emphasis in the South (from Mississippi to Kentucky), and the West, with a concentration on California, the 7th largest economy in the world. Our two-fold goal: local victories through increasingly powerful organizations, and movement nationally toward critical mass to challenge the power of the Conservative assault on progressive public policy.

Our Work Today—Restoring our Democracy

Today, NWF continues to invest in democracy building from the ground up. Together with our grantees, we are developing new methods and strategies to respond to today’s threats. Increasingly, we are supporting groups with funding and strategic advice to build organizational capacity, leadership, policy alternatives and new alliances for social change. Our staff is in the field meeting activists to facilitate these goals through sharp coordinated conversations and participatory strategies.

Staying true to our heritage, we continue to support local community activists and leverage our position in philanthropy to pool resources towards justice and equality.

Our 20/20 Vision

NWF is now launching the 20/20 Vision Initiative, which is a targeted strategy that continues to invest in strong networks of leaders and organizations capable of fending off assaults on full democratic participation and wide scale economic security. We are encouraging old and new philanthropic partners to join NWF’s grantmaking—aiming toward an integrated community development framework that focuses simultaneously on individual opportunity, movement-building, and community renewal. People see and feel the impacts of local politics while local institutions allow them to become engaged and active. Getting back to the basics of inclusive democratic participation is more important now than ever before. Coupled with our deep experience and bold vision, NWF is well positioned use our long experience in democracy building for identifying the right leaders and the right organizations to urgently and sustainably realize this vision.

Making a Measurable Difference by 2020

We believe that by 2020, we can make significant strides in 5 areas of strategic work:

  1. Redistricting—We are directing our resources to shift state house power to a degree that makes it possible for progressive policy to be advanced.
  2. Training new leaders—By 2020, we aim to increase the pool of new and young leaders by 20% by creating leadership pipelines for community activism, political office, and for work in policy and government service.
  3. The new common sense—By 2020, our work will aim to capture 20% of public opinion so that we can influence the broader political climate and reshape social and economic expectations at the municipal, county, and state levels.
  4. Building a new economy—By 2020, we aim to change 20% of the economy toward support for responsible businesses that are locally rooted and human scale, and support economic development that promotes labor and collective bargaining, the growth of green economy jobs, and the regulation of Wall Street and corporate excesses.
  5. Adding Resources—By 2020, through the use of NWF’s efficiency, credibility, and resources, we aim to bring 20% more financial capacity to secure and extend the organizing power of local people fighting for their own and our shared common-wealth.