Samuel S. Fels Fund


Funding Focus

At the Fels Fund, we believe that the most powerful change can come when we honor and support the brilliance and resilience of the people in communities that are marginalized and/or historically excluded. This means investing in organizations that ground their work in love, joy and solidarity with communities, often led by people from those communities. It also means investing time and resources into people’s leadership development and wellness to support their well-being and assist in sustaining their work.

Fels Fund’s grantmaking focus is on movement building. Our definition of movement building is adopted from the Movement Strategy Center: “the process of organizing and activating the will and capacity of people and organizations to work individually or collectively toward a shared vision.”

Organizations that meet Fels Fund eligibility criteria are invited to apply including previous grantee partners and organizations new to Fels Fund. Eligibility does not guarantee funding. Review the full grantmaking timeline on the grant deadline page.

In response to requests for a recording of our roll out sessions announcing our grantmaking strategy we made the following video:

movement building

Fels Fund will provide general operating grants to organizations engaged in two or more of the following movement-building strategies:

  • Advocating for policies that lead to equitable treatment, economic stability, and opportunity.
  • Confronting and exposing harmful institutions and systems, and/or reimagining a world where policies, institutions and systems are designed with and by historically excluded communities.
  • Promoting collective healing, and/or joy within and among historically excluded communities.
  • Power-building activities such as organizing, political education, coalition building, base-building and/or collective action.

key things to know

  • Fels Fund supports movement building strategies in pursuit of social justice.
  • Fels Fund has one funding stream and one deadline to yield one grantee partner cohort for a three-year grant term.
  • The 2024 grant cycle will open in May, once the cycle closes the next grant cycle will not occur again until 2027.
  • Applicants may apply for general operating grants in the range of $25,000-$30,000 per year, totaling $75,000-$90,000 for the three-year grant term.
  • Every grantee partner awarded a general operating grant will automatically receive an additional grant for Leadership Development and Wellness for $10,000 per year, totaling $30,000 for the three-year grant term. Fels Fund does not accept applications for Leadership Development and Wellness grants.

glossary of key terms

Shared language is helpful in working collaboratively and effectively, yet words like social justice, race equity, and movement building often hold different meanings for the organizations that use them. We created a glossary of key terms and definitions to clarify what Fels means when we use these terms to be clearer and more transparent. Here is a downloadable version of the glossary.

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