Rise Together Grants

Photo Credit: Community
Health Trust of Pajaro Valley

Rise Together spent a year gathering virtually twice a month to strengthen relationships and build a shared vision and goals for working towards racial equity in Santa Cruz County.  We then collaboratively designed a grantmaking process—led by and for Rise Together members—to advance those goals. 

Shared Decision Making

Unlike typical funding proposals, members could request funding in any language or form—a talk, slides, narrative, or video. Members could propose ideas to support their ongoing work, collaborations, big dreams, new pilot projects, or immediate needs. Members shared their proposal, what goal they were addressing, and how much funding was needed from Rise Together to make it possible. Every proposal would get something and the exact amount would be voted on by Rise Together members. 


On the grant proposal day we cheered each other on in solidarity. As the group was about to discuss and vote, we realized we could fund every proposal at the requested amount with the $450,000 available from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. So Rise Together members decided to do just that—support the amount each proposal needed—and invest the remaining $27,000 for future grants.  


Building an Ecosystem of Trust

These grants are about more than money. We are building a trusted ecosystem of leaders supporting each other’s vision and working together to ensure each project’s success. Our process is rooted in authentic  relationships and strengthened by the respect and love we share for each other, our community, and the work we know must be done together for racial equity. 


These are the projects Rise Together grants are supporting together in 2021.
If you feel moved to join in supporting these projects, please donate directly to the organizations leading this work.  If you are excited to see the Rise Together group and grantmaking process grow, please donate to the Rise Together Fund.