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Funding Criteria (Full Version for Recipients)

The Mass Redistribution Fund seeks donations from the financially secure, including commitments of federal stimulus payments and grants from aligned foundations. As we receive donations, pledges and grants, the MRF's Advisory Steering Committee will disburse funds according to a transparent set of criteria, shared below.  This page will be updated as necessary, as funding needs and conditions change.

Criteria for Recipient Groups
to Be Part of the MRF Cohort

Last updated April 30, 2021

The goal of the the Mass Redistribution Fund is to resource frontline pandemic response efforts by groups that are working toward a just and sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. This involves building the environmental and social resilience that will allow historically marginalized communities to withstand future crises; and crossing traditional boundaries to grow networks of solidarity that can achieve systemic transformation.  All monies raised for MRF are distributed in periodic funding cycles to a cohort of grassroots organizations and/or emergency funds hosted by grassroots groups based in and/or serving Massachusetts, that carry out all of the following 3 activities:

1.) Long-term base-building and organizing work with people in communities disproportionately affected by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.  Definitions:

     o “Base-building and organizing work”: beyond providing services to people in need, groups build a membership of the most-impacted people that takes action together, creating the power needed to improve the conditions of their lives (this could be advocating to the government for better laws/policies, protesting an abusive employer or landlord, or other kinds of actions)

     o “Communities disproportionately affected”: people economically and politically marginalized, and who have lower income/wealth and higher burden of disease/death (especially when this is due to race/ethnicity, gender, language, immigration status, carceral system involvement, or the intersections of these oppressions); also people ineligible for or unable to access government aid (such as unemployment benefits, stimulus checks)


2.) Covid-19 relief efforts that meet immediate survival needs of the communities they work with.  This can be in one or more of the following ways (or other similar ones):

     o Making Cash Payments (in the form of checks/electronic transfers, grocery-store or cash-equivalent giftcards, rental assistance payments for individuals’ housing or small business owners’ storefronts, or payments to incarcerated people’s canteens)

     o Distributing PPE/Hygiene Supplies (refers to a variety of items including masks, cleaning supplies, diapers, menstrual supplies, condoms, safe injection supplies)

     o Distributing Groceries/Produce (can be purchased, donated, or grown)

     o Providing Technology Equipment (devices and internet access to allow people to apply to aid programs, get virtual legal services for eviction issues, domestic violence advocacy, etc)

     o Preparing/Distributing/Delivering Hot Meals

     o Helpline Staffing (for Covid-related issues like housing or labor rights during the pandemic, where to get food/resources, or language/culture-specific vaccine info)

     o Paying for Legal Services (in specific circumstances – for example, petitioning for release from prison on health grounds)

     o Paying for Emergency Housing (in extenuating circumstances - for example, renting a motel room for a family displaced by fire while they apply for emergency shelter)

     o Facilitating Equitable Vaccine Access (through outreach activities, co-sponsoring vaccination clinics/ pop-ups, developing & deploying linguistically/culturally appropriate education materials)

3.) Connecting the 2 previous areas of work by:

     o Developing/joining onto policy demands for a just & sustainable recovery from the Covid19 crisis

     o Working to bring newly-affected people into their membership, in order to build up the power & solidarity needed for historically marginalized communities to withstand future crises

     o Where possible, crossing traditional boundaries to grow networks of solidarity that get us closer to systemic transformation


Note: to receive MRF funding, groups/projects/funds must be housed within or fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Process for Adding Recipients
  1. Steering Committee members accept direct requests from potential recipients and/or nominate groups or funds that fit the Recipient Criteria.

  2. Nominations are reviewed during periodic Steering Committee meetings. Nominators explain how the group or fund fits the Recipient Criteria and Committee members have the opportunity to raise any concerns.

  3. If no blocking concerns are raised, the group/fund will be added to the recipient cohort, until there are up to 15-20 active groups per distribution round (depending on funding availability).

  4. Once the cap of active groups in the cohort is reached, new nominations under consideration will be taken under advisement, and the Steering Committee will determine periodically whether to open the cohort to new member groups, rotate groups off, or otherwise manage the distribution of resources to best meet our goals.

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