Democratic Philanthropy In Action

Our operating and grantmaking decisions are made by folks who have been impacted by injustice rather than by academics and outside experts. We believe we know more about the needs of our communities.

Grantmaking Overview

SPF’s grantee partners are transforming their communities by building sustainable organizations aimed at reversing the inequities of the rural South. They are learning not to focus on the symptoms of inequities, but on the root cause; racist and anti immigrant mindsets of small-town mayors  and city council members. SPF’s grantees are tackling social and economic systems that for them have been rooted in persistent poverty and lack of resources, compounded by poorly performing schools.

We are proud to partner with extraordinary community organizations and coalitions through our regular grants cycle, assisting them to build capacity and power. We believe general operating support is best for building capacity, particularly for small to midsize community-based organizations in the rural South.

In 2013, SPF’s board adopted its Southern Organizing Strategy (SOS), allocating at least 60% of grant funds to three major initiatives:

In 2019, under the banner of “revolutionary change,” SPF’s board decided to integrate census and redistricting work into the ongoing major initiatives above as each was directly impacted by the Census and redistricting process that laid ahead. Despite a few recent and encouraging supreme court redistricting decisions,  there remain pending redistricting lawsuits in a handful of our southeastern states that greatly impacts the representation of those who have historically been underrepresented. For 2022 and 2023, SPF focused on its original SOS strategy, with at least 60% of grant cycle funds going to Voter Rights & Engagement, Immigration Rights, and Education Reform. 

SPF also leveraged a significant amount of special initiative funds to grassroots organizations engaged in combatting voter suppression in the rural Southeast.  With climate and environmental justice concerns mounting at break-neck speed, SPF is also strategizing how to best leverage its Justice Fund for Disaster Relief and Renewal (JFDRR). The remaining balance of grantmaking funds continues to support:

2021-2023 Grants Data Charts_website_montserrat