With the inauguration of Donald Trump looming, organizations that protect the vulnerable are re-evaluating how they plan to preserve human rights.
To help them along, The Ostara Group, a consulting firm, is offering 25 hours of pro bono work in fundraising and organizational strategy. The grant will be awarded to an emerging nonprofit promoting tolerance and understanding. Because of the sharp rise in hate speech and crimes in the week after Trump’s election The Ostara Group wants to help support positive social change.
“Somewhere at someone’s kitchen table or in someone’s mind is the next big idea towards compassion, towards the positive, towards the good, and we’d like to be a part of it in any way we can,” Senior Consultant Karen Hirsch said. “This was a shape and a size that fits our company and what we do.”
While we don’t know exactly what’s to come under Trump, he’s already painting a picture of a tenure that rolls back rights for women, LGBTQ folks and people of color.
“Every and any nonprofit that receives federal funding is really aware of the fact that some or all or some of that funding could disappear quickly,” Hirsch said.
People form groups and organizations to fight against the changing tide. Tasveer, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization promoting activism through art, began in response to 9/11. Through films and events they tell stories of South Asian people to dispel stereotypes. Cofounder Rita Meher said the election brought up old memories.
“We felt like 9/11 reoccurred. It has brought on a lot of anxiety and fear among our people,” Meher said. “We don’t know what could happen. We are all trying to come together. Stay united.”
Philanthropy Northwest is also addressing the changing political climate with the Democracy Northwest Initiative. The program was already in development before the election but the results showed they were on the right track.
“The vitriol of the election and the total widespread surprise about what happened in the election just reinforces our sense that we need to do stuff now to prepare ourselves,” Remy Trupin said. “Making sure more Americans are engaged in democracy. The people who are engaged in democracy are reflective of the changing nature of our country. People of color at the table. Americans don’t feel like elites are dominating decision making.”
Trupin, a Philanthrophy Northwest Catalyst Fellow, said a healthy democracy is crucial to successful philanthropy. He said the initiative will also address barriers to participation.
“Our members seem to desire this direction and really need it to grab onto,” Trupin said.
The Ostara Group grant is open to anyone in Washington state who wants to start a nonprofit or existing nonprofits with a less than $300,000 budget. The deadline for applications is Jan. 31.
For more information go to The Ostara Group.