NEO as Philanthropic Intermediary
As a part of NEO’s role as a philanthropic intermediary, we provide capacity-building and rapid response funding and trainings to grantees and partners for strategic communications, organizational development and fundraising, and leadership development, among other skills building resources. Recently, NEO’s Four Freedoms FundTM (FFF) sponsored two capacity-building events: SPIN Academy South and Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training’s (GIFT) Money for Our Movements: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference. Earlier this year, FFF also hosted a civic engagement conference in San Diego, which provided election year campaign skills for identifying and registering low-propensity voters.
SPIN Academy South
This year’s event, the 5th hosted by FFF outside of Atlanta, GA, centered on the theme, “Communicating in Challenging Times.” It reflected challenges around holding an effective immigration narrative amid hostile election year rhetoric, rising Islamophobia and anti-immigrant and refugee sentiment, terrorist attacks and the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s executive order on temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. The Academy offered 50 participants a baseline knowledge of recent opinion and messaging about current attitudes toward immigrants; messaging around Muslims/Arabs; research on immigrants, criminalization and sanctuary cities; strategic communications planning, spokesperson skills, storytelling, among other skills and tactics. As one attendee of the SPIN Academy said,
“[The Academy] teaches advocates how to leverage communication in pursuit of a goal. We all walked away with a stronger toolkit of best practices for engaging with our communities.”
Money for Our Movements: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference
FFF brought 84 grantees together in August to participate in this biennial national event. At this year’s gathering in Denver, grantees took part in two special add-on events: 1) a one-day preconference for peer learning among pro-immigrant field groups only; and 2) a cross-movement dinner and dialogue with grantees of the Black-Led Movement Fund and the Haas Jr. Fund. The latter was held at El Museo de las Americas and strengthened trust and understanding between two of the most vibrant and consequential movements in the US today. With consistent support from FFF’s Capacity Building Initiative, FFF grantees have increased their unrestricted revenue, their individual donors, and their monthly sustainers.