Abortion Bridge Collaborative Fund

Abortion Bridge Collaborative Fund

Urgently Bridging Funds Where They’re Needed Most

WHY WE MUST

The movement for abortion access and reproductive justice needs you. Organizations are navigating new needs and legal environments and will burn out if they do not get the capacity-building support to help them coordinate, respond creatively, scale their work, and get the legal and digital security support they need to adapt. They need funders who will match their bravery and resolve. The Abortion Bridge Collaborative Fund will make it easy for donors to move money into this work quickly, strategically, and impactfully.

HOW WE WILL

Funding gaps are holding back essential work and institutional philanthropy will cannot address these needs on the necessary timeline. We have established a rapid response fund to build the emergent and emergency infrastructure required to ensure enduring access to abortion care for as many Americans as possible. Rapid resource infusions will allow them to try experimental strategies and to build sustainably. We have the power to pool our resources and build the bridge between current funding deficits and needed budgets, between limited capacity and full-scale operations, between this crisis moment and the time institutional philanthropy will be able to effectively fund this space.

WHAT WE FUND

Our grantees will be existing organizations doing work rooted in the communities they serve especially those led by and serving BIPOC, immigrant, LGBTQIA+, low-income, disabled, youth, and other communities at greater risk of criminalization in their abortion access work. This fund is not designed for larger, more well-resourced organizations nor intended to fund projects by those not already deeply involved in the movement for reproductive justice.

WHO WILL LEAD

We are grateful to be working with some incredible movement leaders. With the leadership of our Grantmaking Advisory Council, we’ll be moving money quickly and strategically.

WHY WDN?

The Women Donors Network is well-positioned to respond to this anticipated crisis. We have long-standing investments in the abortion access space, strong and extensive networks within the movements for reproductive health and justice, a record of successful and effective rapid grantmaking, the ability to move more quickly than traditional foundations, and the capacity to leverage our nationwide donor network. WDN was made for this moment, and we are ready.

SEND A CHECK to The ABC Fund c/o Women Donors Network, PO Box 2930, San Francisco, CA 94126.

MAKE A GIFT OF STOCK: Contact Angela Bottum, CFO, at [email protected] or 415-814-1333 to contribute via stock or bank wire transfer.


ABC Fund: Frequently Asked Questions

 1. What is this fund?
2. Why now?
3. What might this fund support?
4. Who will make funding decisions?
5. What’s the raise?
6. What’s the timeline for fundraising?
7. What’s the timeline for grantmaking?
8. What coordination with political and advocacy efforts are underway?
9. What ambitions for coordination does this fund have beyond grant-making?
10. Why are we starting a new fund?

1. What is this fund? We are establishing the Abortion Bridge Collaborative Fund to provide rapid-response resources needed to build the emergent and emergency infrastructure required to ensure access to abortion care for as many people, in as many places across the country, as possible. Initially, this fund would exclusively support 501(c)(3) funding requests, with the dual purposes of building capacity in targeted areas in which abortion care will continue, and working towards legal access and legal protections in areas where it will not.

We would describe this fund as a “bridge” solution to existing funding gaps. Foundations and re-granters have largely allocated funds for 2022, and are not in a strong position to make sizable donations for this year (and in some cases, next). We also do not want to deprive organizations of necessary funding that has already been allocated to meet these emergent and emergency needs. More details about the timeline for the fund are included below.


2. Why now? The June 24th decision by SCOTUS in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Services makes clear that the reversal of the precedent set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is now upon us legally and is sweeping. The urgency of the moment cannot be overstated. Somewhere between twenty-four to twenty-eight states are likely to restrict access to or ban abortion entirely, leaving tens of millions of Americans without access to abortion care.


3. What might this fund support? We will prioritize funding requests that come from existing organizations rooted in the communities they aim to serve, programs that are emerging to meet novel needs, and work that is comparatively under-resourced in the abortion access ecosystem or for which foundation-based funding will not move rapidly enough. We will particularly look to support work that seeks to serve the populations that will be made most vulnerable by Roe’s reversal, especially those led by and serving BIPOC, immigrant, LGBTQIA+, low-income, disabled, young, and other communities at greater risk of criminalization.

This fund is not designed for larger or more well-resourced organizations in the reproductive health and rights space (e.g. Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Center for Reproductive Rights). It is designed to fund requests from organizations that want to respond, including experimentally, to evolving challenges. We are currently anticipating that funding requests may be in the $50,000 to $150,000 range, and that we will receive approximately five to ten requests a month until information about the fund is more widely known. Possible requests might include:

  • funding the creation of new staff positions to fulfill an emergent need, particularly related to technology, infrastructure, geographic expansion, or legal expertise
  • supporting the creation of model or novel programs that come from existing organizations in response to state or local needs
  • potentially resourcing the creation of information sharing or organizational hubs that better facilitate patient/client care

4. Who will make funding decisions? Funding will be distributed monthly, under the guidance of an advisory collaborative of activists, leaders, and funders from the reproductive rights/health/justice movements. We are also hoping to build a nominating network of activists, organizers, and other funders who will make suggestions about organizations and leaders to support. We expect that the advisory council may also include a number of fellow grantmakers (e.g., the Emergent Fund, Groundswell Fund) with whom WDN would want to collaborate closely.

By including advocates who are working on abortion access across the country in our leadership, we will maximize our ability to identify needs rapidly, connect relevant partners and collaborators, replicate models that have demonstrated success in areas with similar needs, and ensure that our grantmaking is, as always, informed by local activists and impacted communities.


5. What’s the raise? To begin, we are aiming to raise $5 million by the end of 2022. There is no shortage of need, and additional funds beyond this goal will only allow us to be more creative and expansive in how we are able to build abortion infrastructure and organizational capacity in the next few years.


6. What’s the timeline for fundraising? Our hope is that we would be able to raise sufficient funds between June and the end of August to begin making grants before the end of the summer. We hope to raise $5 million by the end of 2022.


7. What’s the timeline for grantmaking? We are prepared to begin making grants as soon as we begin receiving funds.

Because this fund is intended to support the creation of infrastructure in an emergent/emergency context, the intended time horizon of the fund’s existence is three to five years. It is our hope that, after that period of time, a clearer sense of the legal landscape, a definitive response from traditional foundations, and the growth of a newly-impassioned philanthropic base will be able to sustain the necessary infrastructure once it is built. We will have a planned re-evaluation of our time horizon at the two-year mark.


8. What coordination with political and advocacy efforts are underway? WDN is a 501(c)(3) public charity and is prohibited from engaging in any political campaign or other activities on behalf of or in opposition to any political party or candidate for elected office. WDN’s affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, WDN Action, is providing funding to build community power and advocacy for abortion access and reproductive justice work. For more information about WDN Action’s funding activities, please visit www.wdnaction.org.

As a 501(c)(3), WDN is permitted to engage in limited amounts of legislative and ballot initiative advocacy as well. As more c3s in the abortion space develop advocacy organizations, we will continually evaluate additional funding opportunities. There may be a compelling need to fund organizing that affects ballot measures and legislation not just in states that will or will be likely to lose abortion access but also to ensure the highest level of protection and access in states that strive to be true safe havens for abortion.


9. What ambitions for coordination does this fund have beyond grant-making? Beyond grantmaking, the hope is that this fund will also work with other funding entities to more efficiently resource the movement through a number of pathways. Whether these will be housed at WDN or some other funder is to be determined, but we believe strongly that these mechanisms for greater communication, collaboration and organization should exist. Possible tools include:

  • A listserv that would allow funders (foundations, aligned organizations, and individual funders) to share opportunities and emerging needs
  • A funder table that organizes major funders and that hosts regular convenings
  • A policy hub that tracks legislation, ballot amendments, or advocacy opportunities
  • A space for information sharing, including reports, pulling from the various research entities (both medical and other)

These opportunities for more direct communication and planning will be an important part of access infrastructure, and we will look for ways that the ABC Fund can build or support them.


10. Why are we starting a new fund? We have spoken to various extraordinary friends and colleagues at other existing rapid response funds, and with them we have concluded that no organization currently exists that is set up to do this. No fund is explicitly and solely focused on responding to emergency and emergent needs related to abortion capacity building – and, as funders, we have no interest in asking them to devote capacity or shift their priorities and aims to do this work directly at the expense of their other critical needs.

We are focused on a specific and unique gap, and we look forward to communicating closely with these partner organizations when we identify opportunities for overlapping support or collaboration. We felt that it would be more effective to set up a new fund that would work in lock-step with these friends and colleagues rather than asking them to change the mission of their funds. We spoke extensively with these organizations as part of our development process, and are committed to working closely with them.

We also believe deeply in their work, and strongly encourage funders to give to support their efforts:

  • The Emergent Fund, which “resources rapid response and emergent organizing led by frontline Black, Indigenous, and people of color with trust-based, no strings attached grants. [The Emergent Fund] explicitly fund[s] work grounded in movement values, power-building and organizing in Black, Indigenous and people of color communities.”
  • The Groundswell Fund “strengthens U.S. movements for reproductive and social justice by resourcing intersectional grassroots organizing and centering the leadership of women of color – particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and transgender.”
  • The Abortion Movement DAF provides “general support dollars to abortion practical support organizations in the US. The Fund’s purpose is to provide large grants to these organizations without burden, delay or “tipping” them out of public charity status.”
  • CGRE (the Collaborative for Gender and Reproductive Equity) funds in three key areas: 1) state power building (particularly in four states, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas), 2) the judiciary, and 3) creating alliances.

Our plan is to re-evaluate the existence of the ABC Fund in two to three years, and to likely sunset (or evolve into something else) in no more than five years. Our hope is that existing funders will be in a position to take over general operational support of the organizations in which this fund will invest before the fund sunsets.

As we do with all contributions to WDN, we will fully respect any requests for confidentiality or anonymity from donors to the ABC Fund.


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