RISE Together Fund (RTF), an initiative of the Proteus Fund, works alongside impacted communities to advance their civil rights, fight for full inclusion, and promote their contributions to democracy, culture, and society. This year, RTF will provide Opportunity and Convening Fund grants ranging from $5,000-$20,000 on a rolling basis, budget permitting.
RISE Together Fund’s 2023 Opportunity and Convening Fund provides a vehicle for strategically deploying resources to catalyze emergent programs and strategies within the Black, African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA)* field, and to foster convenings across communities that achieve strategic goals. Opportunity and Convening Fund grants are designed to fund small-scale projects or discrete portions of larger projects related to proactive legal, advocacy, organizing, and research campaigns.
RTF will accept Opportunity and Convening Fund inquiries on a rolling basis throughout 2023 until funding has been committed. Total grantmaking for the 2023 Opportunity and Convening Fund will be capped at about $120,000.
**Please note that this funding opportunity is separate from our Rapid Response Fund, which supports urgent and unexpected needs. More information about the Rapid Response fund can be found here.
Each year the RTF team establishes priorities to guide Opportunity and Convening Fund decisions. For 2023, our priorities are:
RTF uses the following eligibility criteria and considerations when making decisions about which organizations may receive Opportunity and Convening funding:
Tax status: The requesting organization is defined under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the IRS tax code, or it has a fiscal sponsor with the appropriate tax status. If the project you are requesting funds for includes lobbying expenses, please contact Sheila Bapat at email@example.com to discuss this in advance of submitting your application.
Financial health: The requesting organization has a plan and the support to meet the overall project budget if the support RTF offers through opportunity funding does not cover all costs.
Leadership: The requesting organization is BAMEMSA-led and/or serving and has a track record of meeting community power-building needs and building local community capacity.
Community support: The requesting organization can demonstrate that the project has momentum and/or BAMEMSA community-based support.
Opportunity: Per the above priorities, the request is seeking funding for a new or existing opportunity to move a project or issue campaign forward.
RTF will not be able to fund all requests, however, we will do our best to share organizational needs with funder partners.
Please bear in mind that sometimes we experience an extraordinary volume of inquiries and proposals. We will do our very best to adhere to the timeline described below:
Step 1: If your organization meets the eligibility criteria and fits our priorities for 2023, please fill out this inquiry form sharing a very brief 1-3 sentence description of your organization’s needs. Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis. Urgent requests for security needs will be reviewed immediately as inquiries are received.
Step 2: An RTF team member will respond to your request approximately two weeks after receiving your inquiry. We may: a) solicit more information via email and/or ask to set up a brief follow-up call, b) let you know that we are in need of more time to evaluate this request alongside other Opportunity Fund requests, or 3) decline the request if it does not fit within RTF’s stated priorities, criteria, or considerations. If your request is declined at this stage, please know that RTF will do our best to share your needs with other funder partners.
Step 3: Within approximately two weeks after receiving the requested information or having a call, the RTF team will either decline the funding request or invite you to formally apply for an Opportunity and Convening Fund grant by submitting an additional brief proposal.
Step 4: If you are invited to formally apply for funding:
Thank you for your interest in the RISE Together Fund. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Sheila Bapat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*BAMEMSA is an acronym for Black, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian to describe communities we support that have been acutely impacted by post 9/11 discrimination. While Arab Middle Eastern Muslim South Asian (AMEMSA) is a common term in philanthropy, because Black communities are often excluded in both community and philanthropic spaces, we felt it was important to be explicit about our commitment to fund Black leadership.