*Please note this fund is only for existing NEC members*
For systems to be strong and resilient, they must be grounded in deep and trusting relationships. By mapping what relationships exist, assessing their political readiness, convening & strengthening them at the regional level, and tethering them to movement resource infrastructure, we can get the essential people and elements organized and ready to build real power.
In accordance with NEC’s regional organizing strategy, NEC’s new fund will resource the relationship-building that is foundational to regional organizing. Relational work is difficult to fundraise for, especially among frontline place-based formations, and thus, we are making an intentional investment into the people of this network and the relationships they are forming. The Regional Relationships Fund will support burgeoning collaborations and efforts to strengthen relationships in regions and locales. Resourcing regional collaborations includes:
- Place-based convenings & solidarity economy networking in regions.
- Example: Hosting retreats to deepen relationships and strategize across organizations
- Conflict resolution, healing, and/or mediation work between NEC members (or between an NEC member and a non-member) in a particular region.
- Example: Bringing in a third-party mediator to facilitate conflict resolution between organization
- Accessing services that support regional organizing, such as training, peer-learning, etc.
- Example: Creating peer learning circles
What’s a “region”?
Regions can be defined ecologically by land, climate, or watershed, politically through borders and voting boundaries, economically by markets and shared material conditions, or culturally, by our traditions, ethnicities, and migration pathways but likely will not stretch across entire continents or countries.
NEC recognizes that providing a fund to develop interorganizational relationships across a movement is at the cutting edge and thus does not have clear best practices for evaluating outcomes. NEC staff and members will look at the relationships that were created and the outcomes of the relationships, and for this first year will evaluate as we go to generate an understanding over time.
What’s the eligibility?
- Must be 2+ NEC member organizations, or one member organization working with other non-member organization(s). This can include new or previous relationships. NEC staff can support making connections and introducing organizations in the same area.
- Must be building work on a regional level. Please see the “regional” definition above.
- Must describe the relationship-building project being taken on.
- Projects must be led by and impacting our north star communities. These communities would be:
- Working class-led
- Justice Impacted-led
We encourage groups organizing at the intersection of these communities to apply!
How does it run?
For our 2023 fund, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. All applications will be screened for basic eligibility by staff. Requests of $1,500 or less will be approved on a first come first serve basis. Requests of more than $1,500 will be reviewed in November by the member-led decision making team. Please reach out to Shardé if you are interested in joining the decision making team.