Trust-Based Philanthropy Through PCF Social Justice Fund

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Arts, Children & Youth, Social Justice | 0 comments

The Social Justice Fund aims to increase Tampa Bay nonprofits’ capacity and hands-on impact through trust-based philanthropy. The SJF focuses on organizations working around issues of injustice and equity — racial, economic, educational, housing, and health.

The Social Justice Fund aims to increase Tampa Bay nonprofits’ capacity and hands-on impact through trust-based philanthropy. The SJF focuses on organizations working around issues of injustice and equity — racial, economic, educational, housing, and health.

Since it began, the PCF SJF has awarded more than 35 nonprofits with capacity-building support services, training, and more than $500,000 of monetary support. These nonprofits are working in communities and economies long-plagued by the inequitable distribution of resources, thereby ensuring that the SJF disburses grants where they’re needed most.

Now, in its fourth year of giving, through a natural progression and acknowledgment of the work of the organizations supported by the fund, stakeholders chose to rename the Venture Philanthropy Fund as the Social Justice Fund.

Formed by a generous donor, the fund was initially named and inspired by the concept of venture capital investment, which leverages private money to invest in for-profit business startups. The funder’s thought was to take this concept and direct it toward nonprofits to support their missions, investing in them without ‘fear of risk;’ in other words, trust-based philanthropy.

The Trust-based Philanthropy Project shares six practices that philanthropists and philanthropic organizations can implement to better serve the needs of low-income and resource-starved communities. This framework includes multiyear unrestricted funding, long-term flexible funding, and simplified and streamlined paperwork.

Social Justice Fund advisor J.A. Morton-Jones says the key to developing trust-based philanthropic ventures is knowing the communities, their challenges, and the hands-on organizations working within them.

For J.A., that means spending more time in the field, working with the nonprofits, and listening closely to their customers. “I’m not sure how funders can effectively grasp the work being done by an organization, successfully or unsuccessfully, without an intimate understanding of the community and a thorough knowledge of how the nonprofit is working in that community,” said J.A. “That knowledge needs to be gained through spending time with organizations and the people they support — sort of in a feet-on-the-ground, hands-on way.”

Trust-Based Philanthropy In Action

NOMADStudio has received multiyear funding to deliver the studio’s work throughout Tampa Bay, including various accessible art events in neighborhood parks, foster homes, and the Pinellas juvenile detention center.

“NOMADstudio was incredibly relieved to receive a grant from the PCF SJF. This funding made it possible for us to resume our outreach to two group children’s homes after an extended suspension due to the pandemic. The children are happy to have the Art Bus back again,” shared NOMADStudio executive director Carrie Boucher. 

Javaris Green, executive director of Young Kings and Queens, takes youth from Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg to colleges across Florida — and now, thanks to the SJF, to out-of-state colleges. 

“The Social Justice Fund has helped our organization out tremendously. We have been able to service more youth and expose them to out-of-state colleges that they wouldn’t have thought about attending if it wasn’t for the funds given to take them on this college tour. The Social Justice Fund is going to allow us to take 50 students from St. Pete on a college tour to Atlanta,” shared Javaris.

“This is truly a blessing because all of our college tours have been in Florida, and we have been trying to branch out to other states. With this fund, we are able to provide this for the youth in our community.”

Safety Harbor Art and Music Center co-founder and executive director Heather Richardson said the team was very excited to receive a PCF SJF grant to help bring new life to the Ian Tilmann Skatepark. “This grant will allow us to engage our community in creating these goals,” she shared.

Expand Your Reach Through Trust-Based Philanthropy

If you are a Tampa Bay nonprofit with a social justice imperative as part of your mission, an annual budget of $100,000 or less, and an interest in learning more about the Social Justice Fund, please reach out.

Many generous donors support the Social Justice Fund. If you are interested in donating to help affect change in our community, please contact Leigh Davis.