Our Work: Mission & History

Mission Statement

The Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) is a multiracial organization that promotes the connection between fundraising, social justice and movement-building. We believe that how groups are funded is as important to achieving their goals as how the money is spent, and that building community support is central to long-term social change. We provide training, resources and analysis to strengthen organizations, with an emphasis on those focused on social justice and based in communities of color.

We believe:

  • Social justice organizations are more effective when they have a broad base of individual donors
  • The leadership of people of color in fundraising is important for building strong social justice movements
  • Fundraising, program, and organizing need to be integrated so that all staff, board, and volunteers are aware of and involved in all aspects of the work

GIFT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Our History

GIFT was started in 1996 by the Center for Third World Organizing and the Southern Empowerment Project, two longtime organizing training centers. They believed that grassroots groups working for social change needed an organization to teach fundraising skills and support people of color to be fundraisers. The Grassroots Fundraising Journal was co-founded in 1981 by Kim Klein and Lisa Honig, who saw that most of the resources on nonprofit fundraising are not applicable to grassroots groups, especially those challenging and changing the status quo.

GIFT and the Grassroots Fundraising Journal merged in 2008. The new organization continues to be called GIFT and the magazine it publishes is still called the Grassroots Fundraising Journal.