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Funding Strategies to Accelerate Power-building Cohort

Funding Strategies to Accelerate Power-building is a 4-part learning and collaboration series that will help philanthropic grantmakers sharpen their power-building strategies by engaging in 501c(4) funding and complementary 501c(3) funding strategies.


At NCG, we believe that funders should take full advantage of every tool in their grantmaking toolbox to advance their systems-change, power-building, and racial equity goals. 501(c)4-aligned funding can accelerate movement building, strengthen our democracy, and advance racial equity.  

Funding Strategies to Accelerate Power-Building is a four-part cohort-based learning and collaboration series that will help philanthropic grantmakers sharpen their power-building strategies by engaging in 501(c)4 funding and complementary 501(c)3 funding strategies. The curriculum includes an overview of the legal parameters of (c)4-aligned funding, promising tactics for both (c)3 and (c)4 funders, and an introduction to high-impact, timely opportunities to invest in the field. Additionally, the series will provide opportunities for participants to engage with peer funders and make progress on their strategic goals.  

Target Audience

NCG designed this curriculum to serve its members committed to funding power-building and advocacy efforts across issue areas. This cohort is geared toward grantmakers from both public and private foundations who want to learn new grantmaking strategies, deepen the impact of their funding, collaborate with peer funders, and promote a healthy multiracial democracy.    

You should join this series if: 

  • Your grantmaking includes power-building and/or issue-based advocacy strategies
  • Your public or private foundation has little to no experience with (c)4 funding but is interested in engaging in (c)4 or (c)4-aligned funding strategies 

This learning cohort might be of less interest to: 

  • Those unlikely to engage in (c)4 or (c)4-aligned funding 
  • Individual donors or corporate foundation staff
  • Highly experienced (c)4 funders seeking an advanced course 

Watch The Info Session

Participant Expectations

This program is intended for foundation teams of 2-4 participants. Participating staff can include program staff, grants management and compliance, and foundation leadership. Individual participants may be approved on a case by case basis.  

We encourage consistent participation among all participants, especially the member designated as the lead for the series. In addition to four 3-hour sessions, we anticipate you will spend an additional 2-3 hours per session for readings, homework, or other preparation.  

Series Outcomes

  • Foundations will have a shared analysis about the mechanics, application, landscape, and structure of (c)4 and related funding strategies.
  • Participants will commit to take an initial step toward (c)4-aligned funding (e.g., participating in a pooled fund, developing an internal process, recommending a new grant, etc.) 
  • California leaders advancing racial equity, democracy, and power-building will have greater opportunities to sustain and scale their work.  


Session 1: Introduction to the (c)4-Aligned Ecosystem  

  • When: June 25, 10am-1pm  
  • Where: In Person 

Description: The first session will introduce participants to the curriculum and establish a shared analysis on the importance of engaging in (c)4 funding strategies. Participants will come away with a shared alignment on definitions of power-building, multiracial democracy, and multi-entity work and how that currently fits within their own grantmaking strategies. Participants will engage in collaborative activities to identify areas of shared interest with their peers and set their learning goals for the series.  

Session 2: Methods & Opportunities for Funding Long-Term Power Building 

  • When: August 2, 10am-1pm 
  • Where: Virtual 

Description: In the second session we will discuss the various avenues for supporting power-building and advocacy through (c)4-aligned funding. Participants will understand the various activities related to a campaign that can be funded through both (c)3 and (c)4 grants and how these activities contribute to long-term power-building. Participants will hear from movement leaders about how their organizations utilize both (c)3 and (c)4 strategies, the challenges and opportunities on the horizon, and the importance of long-term (c)4 investments.  

Session 3: Maximizing Your Grantmaking and Operationalizing (c)4 Funding Strategies 

  • When: September 11, 10am-1pm 
  • Where: Virtual 

Description: The third session will delve into how foundations can integrate (c)4-aligned strategies into their grantmaking. Participants will understand the legal parameters and systems required to achieve their (c)4-aligned grantmaking goals, as well as other strategies that complement long-term investments in power-building and advocacy. Particpants will also hear from experienced (c)4 funders about their institution’s journey with (c)4-aligned grantmaking and their tools and best practices.  

Session 4: The Life Cycle of Democracy & Movements 

  • When: October 21, 10am-1pm 
  • Where: Virtual or In-Person, San Francisco 

Description: The final session will plant the seeds for deeper learning, action, and what comes next. Participants will understand how (c)4 funding is used as a tool for long-term power-building beyond electoral cycles. Participants will have the opportunity to preview/debrief the 2024 election and hear about new innovations in building efforts. Participants will finish the series by committing to one action that move them along their (c)4 journey and celebrate their learning to date.  

Registration Deadline: May 23, 2024


  • Member Team (2-4): $2,500 
  • Non-Member Team (2-4): $4,000 


You can register for the series by clicking Register Now below. 


Victoria Rodarte headshot

Victoria Rodarte, Senior Democracy Fellow, Northern California Grantmakers

Interested in participating or want to learn more? Contact: