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Grants and Related Resources: Affinity Groups

A compilation of resources for grant and financial aid seekers.

Affinity Groups

Tracking affinity groups can lead to information on current funding trends and provides tips on how to position your grant proposal for better results.  Here is a list of affinity groups of possible interest.

Africa Grantmakers
The Africa Grantmakers Affinity Group (AGAG) is a network of grantmakers working in, or interested in working in Africa. The group has its roots in the Southern Africa Grantmakers Affinity Group (SAGAG), which was designed to encourage greater foundation interest in South Africa, promote better grantmaking in the country, and assist nonprofit organizations fighting apartheid.

African Grantmakers Network
The Africa Grantmakers’ Network (AGN) was established in July 2009 in Accra, Ghana, as a collective of African grantmaking institutions. The main goals of the AGN are to:Serve as a platform for peer learning and good practice to enhance good standards and practices. (1) Amplify local voices in development discourse and African perspectives in global platforms. (2) Reinforce the tradition of African philanthropy. (3) Advocate for long-term and sustainable support, including investments and endowments for African philanthropic institutions.Serve as a reference point for Africans in the Diaspora and affirmation of the identity of African philanthropic institutions. (4) Cultivate productive relations with other civil society formations in Africa and increase networking for effective advocacy around the aid agenda and the legal environment, including the tax regime. (5) Conduct pertinent research and capacity building to advance the field of African philanthropy.

Americans for the Arts
While Americans for the Arts is not a grantmaking organization, we do offer our members the tools, professional development, and programming that will prepare them and their communities to access and better qualify for funding opportunities. ...Members enjoy discounted rates to our annual events like Annual Convention and National Arts Marketing Program Conference, both which offer professional development networking opportunities and sessions centered on visibility and fundraising. They also receive access to all our research and reports and discounts on our customizable research and report services.  Provide an Arts Services Directory of arts organizations that belong to the organization.  Also provide research on such topics as local arts funding and funding resources.

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
Founded in 1990, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) is a national membership association dedicated to the two-fold mission of increasing the participation and leadership of Asian Pacific Americans in philanthropy and increasing philanthropic resources to those communities. AAPIP’s members include foundations, the staff and trustees of grantmaking institutions, and representatives of nonprofit organizations.

Black Male Achievement Funders.
“In New York City alone, 50 percent of African American men do not finish high school…. African American men are seven times more likely to have an incarcerated parent. More than 30 percent of all African American men become caught up in the criminal justice system. This squandering of human capital is a disgrace. New generations of African American boys and young men need not become such statistics.” -George Soros, philanthropist, quoted in Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a full-time resource to help donors make more thoughtful disaster-related giving decisions and maximize the impact of their gifts.

Communications Network
The Communications Network is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes strategic communications as an integral part of effective philanthropy by providing the philanthropic community with strategic communications leadership, guidance, and resources. The Network also publishes "Network Notes," an e-mail newsletter focusing on philanthropy and communications issues.

Environmental Grantmakers Association
The Environmental Grantmakers Association, a voluntary association of foundations and giving programs concerned with the protection of the natural environment, works to increase awareness of the relationships between environmental grantmaking and other areas of grantmaking and to encourage all types of philanthropic programs to support environmentally related activities. In addition, EGA provides the means by which members can improve their effectiveness as grantmakers and works to increase the resources available to address environmental concerns.

Funders Concerned About AIDS
Funders Concerned About AIDS assists philanthropy in being more aggressive and strategic in HIV/AIDS and related grantmaking areas by helping funders to broaden their strategic understanding and appreciation of HIV/AIDS issues and increase their creativity in designing and sustaining effective grantmaking strategies around the world.

Funders for LGBTQ Issues
Founded in 1982 as the Working Group on Funding Lesbian and Gay Issues, FLGI works to increase the visibility of and funding for lesbian and gay issues in the philanthropic community.

Funders for Reproductive Equity
A dynamic network committed to bold and effective philanthropy for reproductive health, rights and justice.

Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
A resource for foundations, nonprofit organizations, and other partners working to solve the environmental, social, and economic problems created by suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. The Network informs funders of critical policy and grassroots developments; enables program staff to share effective strategies and tools; builds the capacity of key constituencies to promote smart growth and livable communities; and raises awareness about the interdisciplinary nature of these issues and the need for sustained engagement by a diverse coalition of funders.

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
Established in 1990, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) is a national network of more than 175 foundation staff and trustees representing 115 foundations with diverse grantmaking interests and geographic areas of focus. GCIR promotes awareness and understanding among grantmakers about national and international migration trends and public policies and other issues affecting immigrants and refugees, and works to increase financial support for projects and activities benefiting immigrant and refugee communities.

Grantmakers for Education
A membership organization for private and public grantmakers that support education from early childhood through K-12 and beyond.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, a network of people located both in and outside the United States, is dedicated to promoting learning and encouraging dialogue among funders committed to the field of organizational effectiveness.

Grantmakers in Aging
Grantmakers in Aging is an educational nonprofit membership organization for staff and trustees of foundations and corporations active in the field of aging.

Grantmakers in the Arts
Representing over 250 organizations, Grantmakers in the Arts is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of private foundations, family foundations, community foundations, corporate foundations, corporate giving programs, and nonprofit organizations that make arts grants. GIA welcomes public-sector grantmakers as affiliate members.

Grantmakers in Health
Grantmakers In Health, an educational organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the nation's health, works to foster communication and collaboration among grantmakers and others, and to strengthen the grantmaking community's knowledge, skills, and effectiveness in dealing with health-related issues.

Health & Environmental Funders Network
The Health & Environmental Funders Network (HEFN) works to mobilize philanthropy around solutions for environmental health and justice.   Learn about our priorities and strategies as we work to make healthier environments a reality for all.  HEFN is the "go-to" place for grantmakers interested in environmental health and justice issues, whether they're exploring the field or deeply engaged.  HEFN supports an active membership of foundations and donors as they learn, invest, collaborate, and lead in addressing environmental health and justice problems.  HEFN expands philanthropic knowledge and engagement through programming and outreach, often in partnership with national or regional funder group partners.

Hispanics in Philanthropy
Hispanics in Philanthropy is an association of more than 450 U.S. and Latin American grantmakers and nonprofit leaders committed to increasing philanthropic support of Latino communities and to promoting greater participation by Latinos within organized philanthropy. HIP seeks to increase Latino representation on foundation staff and boards, promotes efforts to strengthen the Latino nonprofit sector, develops cross border exchanges between Latin American and U.S. foundations, and educates grantmakers about issues affecting Latino communities.

Human Rights Funders Network
(Formerly known as the International Human Rights Funders Group–IHRFG)
Founded in 1994 by a small group of human rights grantmakers who wanted to share their strategies and what they were learning, discuss field-wide trends, and collaborate. Since those early days, our community has grown into a global network of approximately 1,500 individual grantmakers and philanthropists committed to advancing human rights through effective philanthropy. Our membership includes staff, consultants and trustees of private, corporate and public foundations, community giving programs, women’s funds, and philanthropic advocacy and support organizations based in over 60 countries across the globe.

Jewish Funders Network
The Jewish Funders Network brings together Jews, nationally and regionally, who believe that their funding decisions must be philosophically and strategically sound and who understand that their philanthropy goes much deeper than the mere act of writing checks. JFN encourages membership among individual philanthropists as well as foundation trustees, executives, and grantmaking professionals.

Literacy Funders Network
Many foundations supporting literacy are highly engaged in community literacy, coalition development and in strategies for community change. Literacy Funders Network, an affinity group of the Council on Foundations, was founded in 2009 in response to an identified interest from the funding community to develop a formal collaboration to advance the literacy funding field and in turn build stronger, more resilient individuals, families and communities.

National Humanities Alliance
Founded in 1981, the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) is an advocacy coalition dedicated to the advancement of humanities education, research, preservation, and public programs. NHA is supported by more than 140 national, state, and local member organizations and institutions, including: scholarly and professional associations; higher education associations; organizations of museums, libraries, historical societies and state humanities councils; university-based and independent humanities research centers; and colleges and universities. It is the only organization that brings together the US humanities community as a whole.
What we do:

  • Cultivate support for humanities funding in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government
  • Advocate for policies that advance humanities research, programming, preservation, and teaching
  • Convene our members, government officials, and policy experts to develop policy initiatives; and
  • Promote engagement with and appreciation for the humanities among the general public.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Alliance is a 501(c)(4) non-profit association and is strictly nonpartisan. Membership in the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) is open to 501(c)(3) organizations that are involved in the humanities. Click here for information about membership.

Native Americans In Philanthropy
Native Americans in Philanthropy is a growing circle of nonprofits, tribal communities, and foundations committed to the beliefs, traditions and gifts of Native peoples. (1) We work together to develop meaningful philanthropic opportunities. (2) We learn together to master a method of philanthropy rooted in Native values. (3) We inspire each other to advance Native assets and strengths. Together, we power reciprocity and investment in Native communities. Join the Circle!

Neighborhood Funders Group
A membership association of grantmaking institutions dedicated to strengthening the capacity of organized philanthropy to understand and support community-based efforts to organize and improve the economic and social fabric of low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities.

Peace and Security Funders Group
PSFG is building on its 14 years of experience and working to implement a newly-revamped strategic plan. Over the coming years, PSFG will more effectively serve its membership and have a greater positive impact in the field of peace and security through: (1) facilitating the exchange of information and ideas; (2) fostering collaboration between peace and security funders; and (3) by increasing the number of funders engaged in peace and security philanthropy.

Peak Grantmaking
PEAK Grantmaking remains a member-led organization of, by, and for grantmakers. Across philanthropy, we are challenging ourselves and encouraging each other to take grantmaking to new heights. We are taking risks, committing to new aspirations, holding ourselves accountable to the highest ideals. PEAK Grantmaking will continue to support those efforts by advancing knowledge, learning, and collaboration with grantmaking professional and institutions throughout the field.

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE)
PACE is a national community of grantmakers and donors committed to strengthening democracy by using the power and resources of philanthropy to open pathways to civic participation. Formerly known as the Grantmakers Forum on Community and National Service, PACE recently renamed itself to signal a broader approach to educating grantmakers about effective civic engagement strategies that strengthen our communities. These strategies include community problem solving, civic education, leadership training, and political reform.

Sustain Arts is an unprecedented effort to connect knowledge and networks, building the collective capacity of art and culture in America, one region at a time. A project of the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University, in partnership with the Foundation Center and Fractured Atlas, Sustain Arts equips communities with meaningful data that answers critical questions like:

  • Where are arts and cultural organizations located?
  • Who participates?
  • Where does funding come from?
  • How do organizations maintain relevancy over time?

Program leaders, artists, private foundations, public agencies, and others access this data through the Sustain Arts platform. By combining innovative technology and on-the-ground capacity building, the project arms stakeholders with resources that assist in data-driven decision-making, strategic collaborations, and broad community engagement. Sustain Arts is grounded in a belief that a healthy creative sector is essential to any vibrant community. Beginning in Southeast Michigan and the Bay Area, the project will engage a total of six regions over the next three years, laying the groundwork for regional and national policy conversations.

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders
SAFSF envisions a world in which food and agricultural systems contribute to personal, environmental, community, and cultural health. We envision our organization as an expanding community of funders working to increase support and funding for programs and organizations that (i) increase the supply, demand, quality, and accessibility of sustainably produced foods; (ii) make our food system more sustainable; and/or (iii) improve environmental stewardship, diet and health, and viability of communities.

Technology Affinity Group
The Technology Affinity Group seeks to advance technology best practices in philanthropy through the formation of a network of technical and non-technical foundation staff. TAG helps its members to spread understanding of how technology can best serve philanthropic goals, foster partnerships with program and communications staff, explore appropriate future technologies, and identify resources for technical knowledge and expertise.

WASH Funders
Funders working together to solve the world's water crisis.

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