TRCC 2019 Grant Guidelines & Criteria

Collaboratively generated and consented to 12/11/18; see this link to see the work that lead to these criteria.

General Focus

The Collaborative Grantmaking Initiative funds collaborative tools and approaches that help communities to address their own strategic needs in the face of climate, economic, and social challenges. The focus is on whole systems approaches that address these interconnected needs together, rather than treating them as separate silos. We fund regional and national network hubs in the US and organizations that support the work of those hubs. Projects based in a single community are typically not eligible unless they have a strong regional or national dimension.  

Specific Criteria

These Criteria are used to evaluate the proposals for funding. They are guidelines, not laws. They are conversation starters to build collective wisdom rather than clearly definable yes/no metrics. Each criteria has general questions and specific network map questions that nominees will answer in a network map survey. The Council will use network maps for an “inclusion analysis” to see systemic patterns the work covers (or not).

#1. Grasstops Impact at the regional/multi-regional/national scale in the USA

Who are the stakeholders (audience, partners, affected communities)? In what ways is the organization or proposed work collaborative?

  • Think globally, act locally, collaborate regionally in light of the grasstops theory of change
  • Broad grassroots reach and/or institutional influence
  • Highly networked with active partnerships (not just within TRCC)

#2. Whole Systems Approach for both People and Planet

In general, how does the work build resilient communities for both people and planet? To what degree does the work reflect a whole systems approach, e.g. multi-issue, multi-stakeholder, multicultural?

  • We prioritize projects that support building the new paradigm and fostering resilience through multiple “R’s” (the 4R’s of reimagine, reform, resist, recreate; as well as regenerate and restore)
  • Aligns with TRCC collective wisdom from Movement Strategy Dialogue takeaways  
  • Whole systems approach – strategies that create viable alternatives to the extractive paradigm

#3. Builds Justice, Democratizes Wealth, Shares Power

How does the work build justice & equity? How does it model a democratic approach to economic, financial, or funding systems? How does it foster a Just Transition?

  • Examples of justice include: working directly with frontline communities; building bridges of trust and understanding across difference; partnering with institutions to implement equity principles & practices
  • Shares power = participatory governance = deep democracy: people affected by decisions make them
  • Democratization of wealth = resource sharing (eg. philanthropy, economy)

#4. Org Capacity

What is the capacity of the organization and its leadership to produce proposals that meet its goals? Is the work in a crucial evolutionary or start-up stage? How dependent is this work on this funding?

  • Design: Clear and logical proposal
  • Capacity in leadership and infrastructure to use the grant effectively
  • Need: the work would be hard to fund elsewhere or is in a crucial startup/evolutionary stage for a young organization; or is a new program within a more seasoned organization; or is resourcing leaders who face systemic oppressions
  • Extra credit: Collaborative leadership, horizontal governance, and collective decision-making