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The Hill-Snowdon Foundation values strategic partnerships within the philanthropic community.

Photo Credit: Movement Matters

HSF Staff commit roughly 50% of our time to engaging our funder colleagues through one-on-one relationship building; shared learning opportunities, presentations and; assuming leadership roles in, and when necessary developing, funder affinity groups; and/or funding collaboratives. 


At present, here are the funder networks that we assume leadership roles in and/or work the most closely:
Racial Equity Working Group

Defending the Dream Fund

Organizing in the DMV Funders Group

Grantmakers for Southern Progress

Black Social Change Funders Network

Funders Collaborative for Youth Organizing

Funders for a Just Economy

Neighborhood Funders Group

Racial Equity Working Group

Conceived in 2017, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) launched the Racial Equity Working Group (REWG). The group focused on how structural racism - particularly anti-Black racism - manifests in our region – and how best to collectively take strategic actions toward dismantling it.


The group has three major areas of focus:

  • Envisioning a Racially Equitable Region

  • Community Engagement

  • Systems & Policy Work

Defending the Dream Fund

A collaboration between five national foundations (General Service Foundation, Hill-Snowdon Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Whitman Institute, and UU Veatch Program) and other funders, the Defending the Dream Fund supports a groundswell in grassroots engagement to defend and promote deep and inclusive democracy in the US. 


Since 2018, the Fund has granted over $1.5 million to over 50 organizations around the US.  In 2019, the Defending the Dream Fund made it's third year of grants, focusing primarily on civic engagement work, totaling about $500,000. In 2020, the Fund will renew its focus for it's fifth round of grants on supporting grassroots-led organizing efforts by communities most targeted and vulnerable to increased attacks from the current Administration and harmful forces at the local and state level.

DDF - dream team - logos.jpg
Organizing in the DMV

In the past three years, the philanthropic community in the DC metro area has deepened its interest and investment towards achieving racial equity in the region.  Notable examples of this interest include WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series; local foundations like the Meyer and Weissberg Foundations launched a strategic focus on racial equity; the development of WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group, and a host of other efforts.

As we delve deeper into the issue of racial equity, it has become clear that we cannot achieve racial equity without a focus on structural and systems change. Community organizing is a powerful strategy for achieving systems change led by those most impacted by racial inequities; and is thus an important approach for creating a more just and equitable region. 

In 2019, the Meyer Foundation, the Weissberg Foundation, the Pinkhouse Foundation, the Consumer Health Foundation, and Diverse City Fund, in partnership with Hill-Snowdon, hosted a workshop with the goal of helping funders deepen our/their understanding of the intersection between community organizing and achieving racial equity in the region. Local funders spoke about why they support community organizing in pursuit of their racial equity goals, and had the opportunity to dialogue with community organizing leaders throughout the region. Local organizations were invited to share updates and achievements - both policy/institutional and non-policy, and their work was shared with attendees.

In 2020, the group shifted it's focus to hosting an online virtual gathering of local funders and organizations, with the goal of focusing on the COVID-19 health crisis, how organizers were responding, and what could funders do to best support their work.


Grantmakers for Southern Progress (GSP) is a growing, diverse and expanded base of partners that include national foundations, regional foundations, labor unions, individual donors and community foundations, coming together with regional leaders to share and discuss the opportunities, challenges and best strategies for supporting structural change and advancing progress in the South.  


The Black Social Change Funders Network (BSCFN) is a network of funders committed to creating thriving Black communities by strengthening the infrastructure for Black-led social change.


The Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is a dynamic collective of social justice funders and youth organizing practitioners dedicated to advancing youth organizing as a strategy for youth development and social change. FCYO’s mission is to increase resources to the field of youth organizing and promote the leadership of low-income young people and young people of color in social justice organizing.


NFG's Funders for a Just Economy (formerly known as the Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships - WGLCP) is a national network of funders committed to advancing the philanthropic conversation about economic and social justice, and the centrality of unions in those efforts. 


Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) is a membership association of grantmaking institutions. Their mission is to build the capacity of philanthropy to advance social justice and community change. NFG organizes the field, develops leaders, and cultivates thought leadership among its national base of members and encourages the support of policies and practices that advance economic, racial, and social justice.

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