A Message from Our President
2018 has been another year of rapid growth for Borealis. This year we:
Since launching Borealis Philanthropy in 2015, we have grown from a staff of 3 people and 1 collaborative fund (the Transforming Movements Fund) to a staff of 20 and 7 collaborative funds. Borealis’ growth has been fueled by our ability to help donors align their grantmaking and expand their reach, collaborate and learn, and invest in innovative, on-the-ground organizing. We get donors’ resources to where they are most needed – with speed, transparency, and accountability.
Our growth has been an opportunity for us to direct funding to advocates and organizers who have lived experience with the issues they work on, and also requires us to be intentional about how we expand to ensure that we remain steadfast in our commitment to resourcing communities most impacted by injustice.
In 2019, we will launch a criminal justice reform fund focused on transforming the pretrial justice system, and strengthen our current collaborative funds. We will reflect on our organizational goals and equity practices and ensure that our internal practices are aligned and reflect our organizational values.
We also know that in the year ahead vulnerable communities will face heightened threats and injustices. We see our role as moving more resources towards the constituency-led grassroots movements that have the vision and knowledge to lead the way forward.
Often in philanthropy, making investments in these constituency-led groups is seen as a “risk.” It’s time to redefine how we talk about risk. As grantmakers, we want our dollars to go towards the most strategic organizing and advocacy that will bring about the just and equitable future that we all want. That means supporting communities who are closest to the problem to develop the solutions. The risk is not trusting their vision, and it’s one we can’t afford to take.
For us in philanthropy, we have an opportunity and an imperative to redefine and reimagine what our work looks like. 2018 was a year when we experimented, made progress, and recognized the work that lies ahead. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
With gratitude, Margarita (Magui) Rubalcava, President, Borealis Philanthropy