Frequently Asked Questions

How is PIVOT structured?

PIVOT is guided by a steering committee of 14 organizers and funders. The PIVOT steering committee determined the criteria for choosing grantees. Our grantmaking decisions are guided by the grantmaking ad hoc committee, made up of three funders, three practitioners, and PIVOT’s director. This committee takes the lead on creating the requests for information, supporting office hours, creating the scoring rubrics, reviewing RFIs, recommending the top applications to formally invite to apply, creating the grant application, and putting together a grant portfolio recommendation for the PIVOT steering committee to review, discuss, and approve. 

California Community Foundation is providing fiscal and administrative management of PIVOT.

Who are the organizers and funders that comprise the steering committee?

The Steering Committee includes leaders from ACCE Institute, Alliance San Diego, Bay Rising, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Communities for a New California, PICO California, Power California, Million Voters Project, California Community Foundation, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, San Francisco Foundation, The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation.

How were these grantees identified?

Our grantmaking is by invitation only. A total of 114 power-building organizations were invited to submit a request for information. All organizations invited to submit a request for information had been previously connected to PIVOT through our learning sessions or had been referred by a steering committee member. Of the 114, 71 organizations completed the survey. For the second phase, 35 organizations were invited to apply, and we received strong applications that reflected the incredible work happening in frontline communities across California, showcasing the strength and innovation of the state’s power-building ecosystem. We awarded grants to six statewide organizations and eight regional organizations.

How were the grantmaking decisions made?

PIVOT is committed to a new way of trust-based philanthropy that prioritizes transparency and integrity. We are experimenting in important ways with how we partner as funders and organizers, disrupting and transforming how philanthropy traditionally has supported the work of organizing and power-building groups. To move power closer to the ground and truly shift philanthropy’s culture and practices to be more movement-led, we developed a process and decision-making model that empowers organizers to play a key role in grantmaking. 

Our grantmaking process is comprised of two phases:

  • In the first phase, organizations were invited to submit a request for information. The PIVOT grantmaking ad hoc committee, which included three organizers and three funders in addition to PIVOT’s director, reviewed the submissions based on alignment, story, scale, clarity, innovation, shared infrastructure, readiness, and regional equity. PIVOT held office hours for organizations and coalitions to answer any clarifying questions.
  • In the second phase of grantmaking, 35 organizations were invited to apply, of which 14 grantees were selected. All applications were reviewed anonymously by the steering committee, with only the director having access to identifying information. Applications were reviewed in two buckets; regional and statewide, with a commitment to identifying organizations and efforts representing historically under-invested regions in the state.

Throughout the process, to avoid any conflict of interest, all steering committee members recused themselves from reviewing, recommending, or voting in decisions where their represented organizations may have a financial stake. For example, steering committee organizations who have applied for a PIVOT statewide grant did not review or vote on any statewide recommendations. This also includes recusing themselves from being part of the grantmaking ad hoc committee that will determine the final portfolio.

What is PIVOT’s grantmaking focus?

PIVOT is focused on three big bets that are informed by the direct needs of organizers, and are all critical and connected pieces of California’s power-building infrastructure.

  • Organizing Infrastructure: Strategies for recruiting, onboarding, developing, and retaining volunteer grassroots leaders and organizers to become part of the fabric of power-building organizations, not just in urban areas but in overlooked rural and suburban regions.
  • Narrative Infrastructure: Building narrative power and infrastructure to shape public awareness and opinion, develop aligned messages and communications strategies, and create more fertile ground for election debates and policy fights.
  • Independent Revenue Infrastructure: Supporting groups to find financial resources that are not tied to deliverables or public private contracts and generate new funding from small and medium donors who can help provide reliable, sustainable support for power-building which could scale over time.

This round of grants focused on two of our three big bets – organizing and narrative infrastructure – supporting new and innovative efforts to build infrastructure, rather than existing work. Although we are not funding independent revenue innovations at this time, we remain committed to innovations that will generate new funding from small to medium donors to increase the sustainability of power-building.

Does PIVOT offer flexible advocacy and lobbying dollars?

Yes, PIVOT understands that flexible advocacy and lobbying resources are critical for organizations to grow power and advance structural change, and c4 funding is available.  We supported one c4 organization and nine of the 14 projects selected in our first round of grantmaking include lobbying efforts. 

What will the inaugural grantees do with the funding?

  • AAPIs for Civic Empowerment (AAPI FORCE) is developing statewide communications infrastructure for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) grassroots organizations to fight disinformation and misinformation, and shape public opinion among AAPI communities. AAPI FORCE will develop a first-of-its kind statewide AAPI Ethnic Media Hub, creating ongoing and integrated communications infrastructure to train community leaders. AAPI FORCE will also develop narratives through research-based methods, cultural organizing, and comprehensive digital and storytelling. More than half of the grant will also be regranted to eight regional organizations.

Geographic reach: Statewide

  • APEN Action is conducting public opinion research and shaping a communications campaign to engage Asian Americans in state-level legislative advocacy and electoral work for climate justice. APEN Action is the only statewide membership program dedicated to developing the political education of young Asian Americans around climate justice. Its statewide membership pilot will build off of these successes and build membership across wider demographics and a broader set of constituencies who want to support climate justice and follow the lead of frontline communities.

Geographic reach: Statewide

  • Bay Rising, a growing alliance of over 30 community-led organizations across the Bay Area representing Black, Latino, and Asian working-class communities, will kick off a groundbreaking fellowship to train lead organizers and civic engagement campaign leaders, building a systematic approach to organizing capacity-building. 

Geographic reach: Bay Area

  • California Black Power Network, a united ecosystem of nearly 40 Black-led and Black-serving grassroots organizations, will build and mobilize community power and voice to urge California to introduce and pass reparations legislation. The network will build a multiracial coalition with a broad set of partners, communities and capacities to expand the conversation around reparations and help all communities see this as an opportunity to make statewide systemic change. Nearly two-thirds of this grant will be regranted to 34 organizations.

Geographic reach: Statewide

  • The Central Coast Civic Engagement Table, a new collaborative of three power-building organizations and a community foundation in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, will mobilize tens of thousands of voters and a new wave of policymakers, and address key gaps in the civic engagement table ecosystem, particularly in many rural parts of the state. Sixty percent of the grant will be regranted to three organizations.

Geographic reach: Central Coast

  • Communities for a New California Education Fund  will use organizing and narrative power-building to mobilize Latina voters across California. This innovation is focusing on multi-propensity households, focusing on Latina voters who can mobilize entire families to vote and participate in local issue campaigns that impact their families.

Geographic reach: Statewide

  • Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE) will grow civic and voter engagement among Black churches and community-based organizations in Inland Empire’s San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The project is intentionally working to build an interconnected network and ecosystem that is complementary to more formal civic engagement programs. Two-thirds of the grant will be regranted to local partner organizations.

Geographic reach: Inland Empire

  • East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy  will work with partners to organize and build neighborhood specific and citywide tenants’ unions–with a particular emphasis on immigrants, youth of color and likely voters–to advance housing justice. This project will develop power and leadership in suburban and rural regions that are budding hubs for racial and economic justice organizing, where local wins are underway and deeper investment is needed to see this work flourish. More than two-thirds of the grant will be regranted to four organizations.

Geographic reach: Bay Area, Central Coast, Orange County

  • OC Action  will build a pipeline and infrastructure for community leaders to step up into co-governing and leadership roles in Orange County, the third most populous county in California and the sixth largest county in the country. A portion of the grant will be regranted to seven organizations.

Geographic reach: Orange County

  • Gente Organizada (Gente), which builds intergenerational power for youth and immigrant families in Pomona, East San Gabriel Valley, and Inland Empire, will create a street team that will reach over 10,000 voters, fund grassroots leadership development for youth and parents, incubate policy campaigns, and form a 501c4 organization.

Geographic reach: Inland Empire, Los Angeles

  • Orange County Congregation Community Organization  will shape strategic narratives to advance inclusion, belonging, and community voice to advance immigrant rights and  build community power as a counterweight to corporate influence. This project is a collaboration among multiple organizations, each with the capacity to engage a specific grassroots base in the process of developing strategic narratives and learning to implement them. More than 60 percent of the grant will be regranted to three organizations.

Geographic reach: Orange County

  • Million Voters Project (MVP) will launch a narrative power academy to grow the pipeline of movement-based narrative strategists, develop a framework and dashboard to  measure and track communications and narrative power, and evolve and deepen alignment among partners in its race-class messaging project to increase support for a government of care, multi-racial solidarity and corporate accountability; 70 percent of the funds will be regranted to MVP partners and local affiliates.

Geographic reach: Statewide

  • MOVE the Valley will create and own community centered data, bring accountability to local government in how they enact policy, and build a bench of organizers to ensure all families can thrive and belong in San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys. MOVE the Valley is developing and conducting work traditionally done by for-profit polling firms, ensuring more linguistic and cultural responsiveness in the data gathering. A portion of the grant will be regranted to up to five organizations.

Geographic reach: Central Valley North, Central Valley South, Greater Sacramento Region

  • PICO California is investing in narrative strategies to mobilize, activate, and persuade faith-based and spiritually-centered Californians. These innovations include moral-based framing and messaging of racial, social, and economic justice issues, voter modeling for electoral and digital engagement, and deep integration with research, organizing, and communications aimed at critical ideological shifts undergirding systemic change in the target audience over time.

Geographic reach: Statewide

Who are the funders currently investing in PIVOT?

Funders currently investing in PIVOT include Akonadi Foundation, California Community Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, East Bay Community Foundation, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The California Endowment, and The California Wellness Foundation.

When will additional rounds of grantmaking take place?

PIVOT raises and deploys resources for transformative innovations in voter organizing across issues and geographies at scale. Our grantmaking is supported by the funds we raise, and we are actively fundraising to support additional rounds of grantmaking. We invite funders and donors to contact us to learn more about how we can partner together. Email Diana Colín:

Please note that our grantmaking is by invitation only. We are not accepting inquiries at this time.

How can I learn more about or be involved in PIVOT? 

Email Diana Colín: or fill out the contact us form on our website to be added to our email list, be notified about upcoming learning sessions, and more.