Piper Fund Team Members and Grantees Participate in National Philanthropic Mobilization Events 

Piper Fund Team Members and Grantees Participate in National Philanthropic Mobilization Events - Proteus Fund

Educating the philanthropic community through the insights and lessons learned in Proteus Fund’s field-facing and movement-centered work is an integral part of our work to mobilize and align resources, and improve philanthropic practice. Members of the Piper Fund team are doing just that this spring, sharing impactful takeaways on Money in Politics and Protecting the Right to Protest initiatives with national audiences.

Program Associate Monica Kim served as a panelist in a recent event hosted by the Democracy Funders Network (DFN), and in April, Program Officer Tiffany Mendoza will lead a panel featuring Piper Fund grantees at the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) Annual Convening, one of the leading gatherings of civic engagement philanthropy in the country. That panel discussion will be moderated by long-serving Proteus Action League (PAL) Board Member Ludovic Blain.

The DNF event titled “Free Speech Under Fire” was designed to give funders an opportunity to learn more about the multi-faceted and coordinated challenges to free speech and how to protect and revitalize it. Key insights Monica shared with attending funders included:

  • Protest rights are core to protecting our democracy. It is a way for communities to hold leaders accountable and fight for a more transformative future and is connected to other democracy and social justice issues, such as racial, queer and trans, and disability justice.
  • Over 100 bills have been introduced since 2021, often in response to powerful social justice movements, such as bills targeting pipeline protests after Standing Rock and bills targeting Black-led protests after the racial justice protests following the murder of George Floyd. They attempt to silence people’s voices and create a chilling effect where people are afraid to protest in the first place.
  • It’s important for funders to invest locally, supporting frontline groups within marginalized communities whose right to protest is most under attack. Black and Indigenous communities and organizations are most impacted by the crackdown on protest.

FCCP’s Annual Convening, which will take place in New Orleans this year, is set to draw funders and field experts from across the country to explore the critical issues facing democracy. The session organized by Piper Fund, called “Small Donor, Big Impact: Structural Reforms for an Inclusive Democracy,” will examine recent victories, like proactive reform in Oakland, which saw passage of the second democracy dollar program in the nation. This model has been successful in democratizing political giving in Seattle by diversifying the donor pool while increasing voter turnout among historically disenfranchised communities. Building off this victory, other coalitions are forming to mitigate the influence of big money and building a roadmap for an inclusive multi-racial democracy.

Representatives from Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Common Cause CA, and the Washington Bus, all of which are Piper Fund grantees, will provide perspective on building intentional multi-racial coalitions. Key takeaways for session attendees will be:

  • Lessons learned from money in politics efforts rooted in BIPOC power building and wielding that can be applied in a growing number of other states and municipalities moving forward;
  • How to intentionally build coalitions that center those most impacted; and
  • Incorporating long-term power building so that winning goes beyond the short-term campaign cycle.

Piper Fund is grateful to have PAL Board Member Ludovic Blain, who is also the executive director of the California Donor Table, serving as the panel moderator. Under Ludovic’s leadership, the CDT family of entities has mobilized more than $50 million to build and sustain progressive people of color-centered policy and political power building and wielding across California.