BMP Releases Move The Money to Catalyze Support for Social Movements


On June 23rd, the Building Movement Project (BMP) released Move The Money: Practices and Values for Funding Social Movements and launched the new project with a national webinar featuring Crystal Hayling (Libra Foundation) and Kris Hayashi (Transgender Law Center) along with BMP’s Co-Director, Sean Thomas-Breitfield and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Deepa Iyer.

Move The Money is a set of resources geared towards grantmaking institutions interested in expanding and deepening their support of organizations, networks, and leaders working in social change movements. The resources were developed through a curated series of dialogues between leaders and grantmakers, the Movement Leadership Learning Lab for funders, and other BMP work focused on networks that catalyze social movements. BMP has also learned from other ongoing efforts to move philanthropy to invest in people-powered systemic change. 

Move The Money consists of four videos and accompanying discussion guides with reflection questions that address the following themes:

During the launch webinar, we heard about the needs of movement leaders and the role that philanthropy can play to address them. Key takeaways from our conversation include:

  • Start with little acts of courage. Crystal Hayling reminded us that grantmakers can begin to influence their institution’s support of social movements by starting with small steps. For example, using the terms “anti-Blackness” and “white supremacy,” hosting conversations with movement leaders, and educating yourself can begin to move an institution towards using a movement-building lens.

    Check out the video and guide for “How Philanthropy Can Support Movement Leadership” for suggested practices that can support grantmakers who are both beginning to resource social movements as well as those who would like to deepen their existing support.
  • Focus on sustainability. Kris Hayashi reflected on an overarching theme raised by movement leaders about personal sustainability. Kris related how he felt burned out after 20 years of movement work, just as he was just about to take the helm of the Transgender Law Center. He noted that movement organizations should receive funding to pay movement leaders and staff a fair wage, and to explore sabbaticals and time to rest.

    Check out the video and guide for “What Do Movement Leaders Need from Philanthropy?” to learn more about the movement leadership stool, which embodies four core needs of movement leaders: skills, sustainability, strategy spaces, and squads of support.
  • Social movements are critical. In the wake of overlapping crises including the pandemic, the political environment, and the uprisings against anti-Black racism, social movements are vital to creating equitable and just institutions and policies. Funding should reflect the unique characteristics of social movements. For example, social movements ebb and flow, so long-term funding – not just investments during a crisis – is key. Movements also have many leaders, both within organizations and in communities, so funders should recognize and build relationships beyond a single charismatic leader. And given that social movements are catalyzed through networks, funders should consider resourcing an ecosystem of groups, not just a single organization.

    Check out the video and guide for “Why Are Social Change Movements Important?” to learn more about the characteristics of social movements and the role that philanthropy can play to support them.

Ready to #MoveTheMoney?

Visit the #MoveTheMoney landing page to access all the materials, learn about upcoming opportunities, and connect with BMP about a #MoveTheMoney presentation or workshop for your organization. Get started here:

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