Introducing the Generational Recovery Fund
The Walter & Elise Haas Fund is honored to participate in and support the Generational Recovery Fund, a pooled fund dedicated to the recovery of those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: The Bay Area’s youth. Its first round of grants distributes $1.5 million to fifteen youth-serving nonprofits in San Francisco.
About the Generational Recovery Fund
The Generational Recovery Fund (GRF) recognizes the power philanthropy has to help counter the potentially disastrous, pandemic-related consequences faced by young people — especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). On top of personal and economic losses, this generation of youth has lived through a crucial year and a half of their lives dealing with isolation, illness, and uncertainty.
Over the past four months, the Generational Recovery Fund raised a first tranche of over $1.5 million to be disseminated as general operating support grants. This first round of grants aids fifteen youth-serving nonprofits in addressing priorities identified by youth themselves: wellness, learning, and jobs.
While Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) facilitates the GRF with pooled fund support from Amalgamated Foundation, the GRF is independent by design. And its grant making decisions are made by an independent team of youth and adults.
Centered on Youth
It is important to us that the GRF not only invests in youth, but also that it centers on youth at every turn. Youth voices guided the creation of the GRF in April 2021, highlighting their needs beginning in those first weeks of California’s initial shelter-in-place order. Youth co-designed the pillars and priorities for the Generational Recovery Fund’s first round of grants. Alongside other community members, youth nominated organizations for potential grants, joined panels to provide direction on grantmaking, and worked alongside adults in making final decisions.
The GRF holds to heart the belief that nonprofit resilience today will translate to youth resilience both today and tomorrow. That’s part of why Generational Recovery Fund grants are intentionally given as general operating support grants. It’s also why GRF grants are made over a time period determined by each recipient organization, so nonprofits can respond to their community’s immediate needs while planning for long-term recovery.
Generational Recovery Fund grantmaking is directed towards youth aged five to eighteen, and especially to BIPOC youth in that age range. It also favors organizations run by BIPOC leadership, that are deeply rooted in the community, and that offer youth compensated leadership positions. Among the three focus areas of the Generational Recovery Fund (wellness, learning, and jobs), youth prioritized those addressing wellness and jobs.
From an initial list of over 40 nominated organizations, fifteen were awarded grants. Nonprofits receiving grants:
- train and pay youth as environmental educators and community stewards;
- organize systems-impacted girls and gender-expansive youth of color to campaign and lead the work to decriminalize girls;
- empower Samoan and Pacific Islander elementary school youth through their culture;
- teach low-income working youth about transforming their first paychecks into economic mobility pathways, so they can then train youth-serving nonprofits in the same; and
- pay youth to support elders’ rental assistance needs and to run a community food pantry.
Learn more about all fifteen grantees on the Generational Recovery Fund website.
What Comes Next
The process of growing this emerging fund has been extraordinary, from the ready generosity of the eight different foundations involved, to the incredible tenacity of the nominated nonprofits — we wish only that we had been able to provide grants to all of the recommended organizations. $1.5 million is worth celebrating and also not nearly enough.
Please consider helping the Generational Recovery Fund do more for youth.
These grants represent only the Generational Recovery Fund’s first round. We want your help in strengthening the process, whether by focusing the areas of support; adjusting our direction to match specific, local community needs; or by providing funds. Already, participating funders are convening to consider grantmaking needs in the East Bay for the next round of giving. Let’s do more, together.