Last year was a challenging time for the progressive movement, but those challenges also galvanized a lot of new action—especially by organizations that speak for historically marginalized groups and are embracing intersectionality more than ever to forge new alliances with each other. However, as we often point out, philanthropy still has a long way to go before its grantmaking—and governance and staff—truly reflect America’s diversity. More broadly, for those who want to challenge status quo power structures, the funding world isn’t always a friend.

But from some funders, even big ones, we’ve seen real attempts to back bottom-up organizing, and to shift who wields power at the community level. As a local enterprise, field organizing and activism do often respond to national political events, as we saw last year with pushback to Trump administration policies on issues like immigration and criminal justice. But the real bread-and-butter work of these groups tends to revolve around issues like gentrification, under-investment in neighborhoods, affordable housing, stable jobs, and asset building—work that falls under the community development umbrella. And for decades now, the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) has been a key player in coordinating philanthropy in this world…

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