February 2021: A special note to WGF grantees and applicants.

February 5, 2021

Greetings of hope and optimism as we at last can exhale and have some measure of confidence in our federal government.

It is indeed a newly promising time in our country. And yet, some aspects of politics, society, and culture remain stubbornly in place. The intractability of white supremacy and its powerful hold on all of us is daunting and requires from the Wild Geese Foundation a new commitment. We are mindful that our country has failed repeatedly to reckon with its/our history of violent white racism, an ideology that took root 1619 and has only grown more insidious and dangerous to everyone.

With this in mind, we want to advise that the Wild Geese Foundation will shift resources in FY 21 and future years to fund organizations and projects that primarily serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and/or are led by BIPOC leaders. Beginning with the Spring 2021 grant process, we add BIPOC Organizing as a funding area for applicants. As well, funding applicants in all topic areas will be able to respond to questions on the application concerning the organization’s/project’s contribution to BIPOC communities and the organization’s BIPOC leadership.

We believe that even with a refreshingly honest and racially representative new Administration in Washington, support for BIPOC organizations becomes even more urgent. The racist white supremacist movement enjoys too much support in Congress and in other facets of government to believe that it needs no opposition, or that our allies need no support. To the contrary, our allies in government will likely need strong grassroots support as they grapple with moving forward on progressive, human-centered, and racially just initiatives. A significant aspect of that support must come from BIPOC organizations in the communities most impacted by the COVID pandemic and its deadly fallout: high unemployment rates, alarming food insecurities, evictions from housing, and the cascading health care crisis. Irrespective of the quality of a coordinated COVID response, the ongoing issues of education inequality and police brutality and mass incarceration must also be confronted and resolved.

The Wild Geese Foundation also adds Climate Justice as a funding area for applicants in Spring 2021. Because our planet is literally burning, shifting resources to directly support climate justice organizations and projects is urgent and necessary. The climate justice movement seeks to “build a Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies” (Climate Justice Alliance statement). We seek to support organizations and projects that align with the concepts of both weaning us from fossil fuels and building regenerative systems. From enacting the Green New Deal to ridding frontline communities of polluting industries and fuel transport/storage facilities, these climate healing initiatives require the presence and commitment of vibrant climate justice organizations.

To manifest these two new funding commitments, the Wild Geese Foundation Board will adjust its grantmaking. At present, the Foundation funds: LGBTQ organizations and projects; Youth-serving organizations and projects; Food Justice organizations and projects in Massachusetts; and Reproductive Justice organizations and projects. By far, the Foundation’s largest funding sector is that for LGBTQ organizations and projects which receive up to 50% of funds granted in recent fiscal years. Going forward, the Foundation will gradually but steadily shift resources from LGBTQ organizations/projects. We anticipate that this funding shift will take place in a two- to three-year time frame as we reduce funding in the LGBTQ sector.

We invite feedback and any questions you may have as we undertake the shifts in our grantmaking. Feel free to contact us at shyde@wildgeesefdn.org to make time for a phone conversation with our Executive Director.

Grant deadline for Spring Grant Review 2021: May 15, 2021.
Grant deadline for Fall Grant Review 2021: Oct. 15, 2021

In Solidarity,

Sara G. Whitman (Board Chair) and Sue Hyde (Executive Director)