Annual Report 2022
Nourishing Community for 35 years
FISCAL YEAR JULY 2021 - JUNE 2022
Artwork by Evann Waterman | on Instagram @evannsumner
ABOUT CHINOOK FUND
Chinook Fund seeds community-led, systemic change by mobilizing resources for and trusting in grassroots social justice organizations across Colorado.
Constellations of Change event at FrontLine Farming
As we do our work, we are guided by the following values:
Constellations of Change event at FrontLine Farming
35 YEARS OF SOCIAL IMPACT
funded since 1987
LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dear Chinook Fund Community,
Thirty-five years ago, a small group of activists and young people with wealth came together with a vision for a more just Colorado. This vision would become the Chinook Fund, officially founded in 1987.
The story starts in the winter of 1985 when Wendy Emrich, local activist, traveled to the California Bay Area and met with leaders at the Vanguard Public Foundation*, early members of the radical Funding Exchange. Wendy had long admired their work and soon partnered with fellow activist, Ginny Morgan, to convene a 13-person planning committee to bring their vision for social justice to life by building a Colorado-based progressive community fund. At the time, the state had a reputation for supporting far-right efforts and grassroots efforts were deeply in need of support. Two years later, Chinook Fund hired Chris Takagi, a local organizer and activist, as the first paid staff member.
Chinook Fund would go on to make its first round of grants later that year, disbursing around $40,000 to grassroots groups. While we come from humble roots, we have always dared to dream big.
Please join me in celebrating these milestones:
- Since 1987, we’ve distributed $4.5 million to 554 organizations!!
- Raised over $1M and distributed $935,000 in grants through the Another World is Possible Fund, a collaboration with Transformative Leadership for Change, launched in 2020;
- Honoring our racial justice commitment, 92 percent of grantee groups were led by BIPOC communities this past year;
- Nearly 200 Giving Project donor organizers have raised over $1M since launching the program in 2016; and
- Grown to a team of 6 full-time staff and Board of 12 leaders, with a majority BIPOC identified and serving as grantee leaders or Giving Project alum.
These past few years have shown me the real power of collective action while challenging me to embrace change and adaptability as a leader in these turbulent times. With the exponential growth in grantmaking and addition of new staff roles, Chinook Fund is a more robust and complex organization. We are working hard to fine tune systems while ensuring our values drive our mission to seed community-led, systemic change by mobilizing resources for and trusting in grassroots social justice organizations across Colorado.
As I imagine the next 35 years for Chinook Fund and the grassroots groups we support across Colorado, my hope is that we come together to demand the radical redistribution of wealth as we build new economies and new worlds we know are possible.
May we ground our resource mobilization strategies in the Just Transition framework to “shift economic control to communities, democratize wealth and the workplace, advance ecological restoration, drive racial justice and social equity, relocalize most production and consumption, and retain and restore cultures.” May we honor relationships as our greatest resource, currency, and source of true wealth.
May we remember that organized communities are safer communities as we continue to be courageous and committed to the pursuit of justice and liberation.
*In 1977, Vanguard published Robin Hood Was Right: A Guide to Giving Your Money for Social Change, breaking ground in the field of philanthropy. Sadly, they were forced to close their doors in 2011 due to fraud. The Funding Exchange subsequently closed their doors in 2018
(Aug. 2018-Dec. 2021)
(Joined Jan. 2022)
(Joined Jan. 2022)
Anna Eunjoo Ghublikian
Chris Newton May 2020 – Dec. 2021
Marissa Saints May 2020 – Aug. 2021
Grantmaking Committee (pictured L to R)
Courtney Banayad – Former Chinook Fund Board Co-Chair, Neighborhood Funders Group
Crystal Middlestadt – Executive Director, Chinook Fund, TLC alumni member
Tania Soto Valenzuela – Program Manager, TLC
Candace Johnson – Board Member, Chinook Fund & TLC
Vic Gomez Betancourt – Resource Strategist, TLC
Neha Mahajan – Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, TLC
Judith Marquez – Grants Manager, Chinook Fund, TLC alumni member
Giving Projects have been especially successful at reaching traditionally underrepresented communities, including young people and BIPOC leaders, in Colorado and throughout the US. We are proud to collaborate with 10 other community foundations across the country to develop this innovative model for social justice philanthropy.
THE GIVING PROJECT
The Giving Project is an innovative program for leadership development and social justice philanthropy. Over 6
months, we work closely with a diverse group of 25 people from all income levels who are passionate about social justice and want to strengthen their skills in fundraising, grantmaking, and grassroots organizing. They develop a shared analysis of race, class, and power within society, make a personal donation of an amount that is meaningful to them, then collectively raise and grant money to grassroots organizations working for social change in Colorado.
The Spring 2022 Giving Project granted
to 17 Organizations*
The Fall 2021 Grant Making Committee collectively granted
to 8 Organizations**
*Includes $60,000 in multiyear grants | **Includes $80,000 in multiyear grants
WE BUILD MOVEMENTS
Since 2016, Chinook Fund’s Giving Project has:
New Donors & Supporters
for Social Change Work in Colorado
FALL 2021 GRANT MAKING COMMITTEE
Hannah Rose Baker
”This project has opened the doors to so many interesting and different discussions with my friends and family…I have grown a great deal personally, both in my understanding and knowledge of racial and economic injustice and in my understanding of myself as a person shaped by my race and class background.
SPRING 2022 GIVING PROJECT
Rosa Marie Vergil Garcia
”The Giving Project allowed me to have meaningful conversations with family members who didn’t necessarily think that racism / classism were prominent issues in Colorado or the world, and brought us closer by discussing and later sharing the same understanding of racism and classism in the lives of often marginalized identities.
NATIONAL GIVING PROJECT NETWORK
Chinook Fund is a proud member of the growing National Giving Project Network (GPN). This network has grown and evolved since 2014, as funds across the country have replicated the Giving Project model originally developed by Social Justice Fund Northwest. Through monthly calls and retreats, we innovate, adapt, and collectively strengthen the model.
To build a base of donor organizers that moves resources to movements that counter the historical and accelerating inequities that exist in the United States.
SINCE 2010, GIVING PROJECTS HAVE MOVED OVER
TO GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS
THE GIVING PROJECT NETWORK
Click to Expand
To learn more about the National Giving Project Network, visit givingprojects.org
- 1. Bread & Roses Community Fund, Philadelphia, PA
- 2. Chinook Fund, Denver, CO
- 3. Crossroads Fund, Chicago, IL
- 4. Hawai’i People’s Fund, Honolulu, HI
- 5. Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Minneapolis, MN
- 6. Maine Initiatives, Portland, ME
- 7. North Star Fund, New York, NY
- 8. Social Justice Fund NW, WA, OR, ID, MT, WY
- 9. Transforming Power Fund, Detroit, MI
INVESTING IN BLACK, INDIGENOUS & PEOPLE OF COLOR-LED MOVEMENTS
Chinook Fund believes communities are best equipped to solve the challenges they face. By trusting grassroots leadership and providing funding to groups led by and for communities impacted by injustice, we support Colorado’s movements for social justice.
CORE FUNDING CRITERIA
- Constituent-Led The work is led by the people most impacted by injustice.
- Community-Wide The work reflects all members of the constituency, especially those who experience multiple forms of oppression.
- Lasting Effect The work makes change not just for one individual today, but for the community as a whole, and for future generations.
Chinook Fund prioritizes funding BIPOC groups as part of our commitment to racial justice; such groups are chronically underfunded and under-resourced. In the Giving Project model, our racial justice framework centers Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty given the realities that all wealth in the U.S. is built on stolen land and stolen labor. We are proud to support so many emerging and established BIPOC-led groups organizing for justice.
ABOUT THE ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE FUND
Another World is Possible Fund is a vehicle to invest in the social justice organizations that are fighting for both a just response to COVID-19 in the short term AND a visionary future for our world in the long term. The fund was launched in May 2020 through an innovative partnership with Transformative Leadership for Change.
In 2022 we funded under the theme of Right Relationship, encouraging grantees to use funds to honor the time, tools, training, and resources it takes to build transformational relationships, restore, and heal relationships, learn how to move through conflict in a way that deepens trust, and practice restorative ways to address harm. In addition to supporting resilience and relationship-building projects, the Fund continued to provide flexible and rapid response funding for crisis and emergent situations.
In grants to 95 grassroots organizations
To 63 organizations in 2022 alone!
People of the Sacred Land
Spring 2022 – Another World is Possible Grantee
Indigenous/Native American Organizing
People of the Sacred Land (PSL) is comprised of Native leaders, elders, and concerned citizens who want to learn the truth about the dispossession of their land and why Native people in Colorado were forced from their homelands.
PSL supports American Indian people to preserve their culture, language and ways of life that are intimately tied to the land. “Just like the wolves who are being returned to Colorado, we too would like to be able to be welcomed in our own land.” -Rick Williams, PSL Executive Director
Another Life Foundation
Fall 2021 Grantee
Mental Health Advocacy
Another Life Foundation, founded in 2004, offers services to individuals battling with mental illness and suicidal behaviors. Their mission is to promote wellness, empowerment, and support to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by educating the public, raising awareness, providing support, and advocating for health equity policies that affect people with mental illness. Another Life Foundation is a peer-led community organization, whose members have come together to support, educate, and empower those in the community living with a mental illness.
El Alba Cooperative
Spring 2022 Grantee
Immigrant/Refugee Business Cooperative
The mission of the El Alba Catering Services Cooperative Project (El Alba) is to build a business cooperative, owned and operated by immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs in North Aurora, that supports community wealth building and economic stability, as well as advancing values of empowerment, worker dignity, and a holistic support for the social health of the community as a whole.
Since El Alba formed, a steering committee has met regularly to carry out business functions, provide services and money-generating opportunities to its members, and fundraise for the build-out of the commissary kitchen.
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE
*Awarded for two cycles | ^Project focus in Colorado
Support for Social Justice
Another World Grants
Total Program Services
Total Supporting Services
Changes in Net Assets
Net Assets: Beginning of Year
Net Assets: End of Year
CONSTELLATIONS OF CHANGE
In August of 2021, we launched Constellations of Change, a series of intergenerational, intimate
gatherings of Chinook Fund supporters passionate about mobilizing resources & co-creating a
meaningful community of donor activists. From zoom rooms to FrontLine Farming’s Majestic View Farm location in Arvada, we came together to break bread and co-create a broader donor community rooted in building relationships and trust. Our events are volunteer-led by donor activists in the Chinook Fund community and feature a grantee-led breakout session. This year we featured FrontLine Farming, touring one of their farm locations, and Apprentice of Peace Youth Organization, who led us through a Tai Chi activity.
Learn more at www.chinookfund.org/constellations
FEEL INSPIRED BY THIS YEAR’S WORK?
LEARN Visit Chinookfund.org to learn about the most innovative and effective grassroots organizations and activism in Colorado.
CONNECT Join our Giving Project. Meet progressive people committed to equality, economic justice, and peace.
ACT Give generously. Make a meaningful gift to ensure all communities have a voice and the power to create a better life.
SHARE Like us on Twitter, and Facebook!