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July 27, 2022

Radical Love: Mama Cash launches a participatory grantmaking fund for individual feminist changemakers.

Mama Cash is excited to announce that our newest grantmaking fund will support the work of individual feminist activists. On track to launch in August 2022, the Radical Love Fund will support feminist activists who are coordinating or catalysing projects such as to consciousness-raising personal-political work, creative enterprises, learning and documenting feminist histories and realities, facilitating networking that strengthens bonds across other groups or movements, building just realities and futures through practice and sharing and other visionary feminist work.

As part of our ten-year strategic plan, In Movement Together, Mama Cash is committed to exploring different ways to support women, girls, and trans and intersex people who are creating more just and joyous worlds. Our decision to fund individual activists reflects our understanding that feminist activism does not happen in organisations alone and that movements are not only led by organisations. The health and strength of feminist movements depend on a variety of actors, including individuals, working collectively. As such, it is important to support the work not just of groups and networks, but also of individuals.

Most funders still provide support almost exclusively to groups and networks. Funding individuals is often avoided as individuals are sometimes seen as less accountable to funders or movements. We seek to challenge this perception of accountability by showing how funding individuals can contribute to the strengthening of feminist movements that our changing our world.

Developing the Radical Love Fund

Mama Cash spent the last year researching, consulting, and dialoguing with other funders who give grants to individuals, for input and advice to support our learning. The peer funders with whom we spoke were very interested and excited that we were moving in this direction. They stressed that funding for individuals remains a gap in the available funding ecosystem for feminist activism. We did speak with funders who offer emergency assistance to support activists’ safety and security, but it is rare to find feminist funders providing non-emergency related individual funding, particularly using a participatory grantmaking approach.

Moving forward

We envision a cohort of approximately ten Radical Love grant recipients who will function like a cohort of fellows. They will each do their own work, and Mama Cash will convene the group for collective sharing and learning twice a year. Consistent with our commitment to sharing power and ceding decision-making authority to activists, decisions about the recipients of Radical Love Fund grants will be made by members of Mama Cash’s Advisory Network, after the applications have been reviewed against our eligibility criteria. The inaugural call for nominations for the Radical Fund will be held in mid August 2022. Keep an eye out on our website for more information coming soon!