To make lasting progress in addressing inequality, social justice organizations need robust, sustainable support. They need investments in their essential programs and operations that help them build a sturdy foundation for their work. They need predictable, flexible support to become more durable and resilient. Social justice institutions also need funds that allow them to seize moments of opportunity and respond quickly to unexpected challenges.

Through BUILD, we invest in organizations as partners and collaborate closely with them, but the organization is in the driver’s seat—with the trust, flexibility, and support they need to do their best work.

This means providing organizations with five kinds of support:

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Flexible funding

Each organization benefits from five years of substantial, flexible operating support, which helps them plan for the long-term.

Assessment tools

At the beginning of their BUILD grant, all organizations undergo two kinds of assessment: a facilitated organizational assessment called the Organizational Mapping Tool, and an in-depth analysis of their finances. Both are designed to help organizations better understand and prioritize their needs in key areas like strategy, leadership, finances, and systems.

Evocative illustration of BUILD approach to assessment
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Focused strengthening

Each organization then receives additional, targeted funding to help them develop and implement an institutional strengthening plan. Organizations choose their own priority areas to bolster and develop.

Peer learning

Drawing on assessment data, BUILD connects organizations working on related issues, in similar geographies, and/or with comparable capacities. We create opportunities for them to meet, learn, and collaborate—both online and in person—helping all these organizations grow stronger together.

Evocative illustration of peer learning relationships
Evocative illustration of elements of BUILD evaluation approach

Rigorous evaluation

The underlying BUILD philosophy informs all our grant making. To ensure that we maximize our learning from this focused, time-bound initiative, an external partner helps us identify and track learning questions, and evaluate our progress as we go. We seek shared learning that will be useful to the full range of organizations and networks we support, and to the philanthropic sector as a whole.