** 3/25/2018: Please visit our “Apply for a Grant” page for an important update regarding our 2018 grantmaking. **
The Diverse City Fund works to nurture community leaders and grassroots projects which are acting to transform DC into a more just, vibrant place to live. Through our grantmaking, we identify, support, and connect people in communities of color who are engaged in change work.
We support the development of community-level social change by funding projects that have less access to traditional funding sources.
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The Diverse City Fund grew out of a vision to support community projects and leaders working to bring about social justice in Washington DC. We want to see a city as rich in its present diversity as in its history, grounded in respect for the work that has brought so many neighborhood institutions into being, and with a readiness to support a new generation of community leaders.
Our support comes in the form of small grants to grassroots social justice projects/organizations led by people of color in DC. We recognize that smaller community initiatives — often volunteer-powered — have few options for funding, but it is often these very projects that work to build institutions by and for communities with the least access to resources. We seek to foster community among grantees, donors, and supporters of the Fund, and put a spotlight on less visible community-level projects.
In July 2011, after months of discussions and planning about what the Diverse City Fund would be and how it would work, we formed our Board of Instigators, the group of volunteers who lead and operate the fund. We want to center social changemakers of color in our grantmaking process: Unlike many funders whose grant decisions are made by staff or wealthy donors, our grant decisions are made by a separate Grantmaking Team composed of activists of color who are rooted in DC and its social justice work. Now more than ever it’s imperative that people of color building innovative programs to support community-building and resist displacement have a say in how philanthropic resources are utilized in the District.
The DC Fund is one of two sponsored program funds of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law. As of November 2017, we have completed 13 grant rounds and given 256 grants totaling $691,500.