Art as a Tool for Organizing

Art can inspire people to see the world in new and different ways and strengthen social justice ideals and the larger movement. Art is also used as a resource for organizing for those who experience injustice to explore and represent their experiences and share their work with community, potential allies, and people with power.

Social justice based arts groups can apply to MRG if the work meets our funding criteria and is rooted in community organizing.

Community Organizing

Building and strengthening connections within a group of people mobilized by identity or issue related to systemic oppression, working to inform and empower one another to change the world we live in.

Cultural Preservation Organizing

Cultural preservation organizing seeks to preserve and share cultural traditions as a way to build strength and resiliency in communities whose cultures have been and continue to be marginalized or silenced. It can also be used to organize a community to resist assimilation/colonialism and promote social justice ideals that lead to community organizing for social change.

Cultural preservation organizing work will be considered if it meets our funding criteria and is being done by people from that cultural community.

Economic Justice Organizing

Groups addressing economic justice issues like fair treatment of workers should note we will fund this work. However, we cannot fund direct union organizing, such as direct support of striking workers or conducting personal visits to advocate for a union vote.

Lobbying

Proposals for lobbying or including lobbying will only be considered if:

  • You (or your fiscal sponsor) has a 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt status; AND
  • You (or your fiscal sponsor) has elected to be covered under the 501(h) election; AND
  • The funds from MRG are not earmarked for lobbying, and the dollar amount of the non-lobbying activities exceeds the amount of the grant requested from MRG.

If your organization applies for work that includes lobbying and does not furnish 501(c)(3) and 501(h) documentation, your proposal cannot be funded.

For more information, visit Bolder Advocacy. We encourage you to contact your legal advisor to securely utilize your 501(h) benefits.

Movement Building

Movement building exists to build collective power of impacted communities. When MRG talks about movement building, we refer to the ways the multiplicity of social change work intersects and how those intersections inform, transform, and deepen one’s analysis of their group’s issues.

Understanding how your group’s work fits with other social justice issues and communities builds a stronger collective movement for justice and liberation.

Voter Education and Registration

Voter education refers to activities that educate voters about ballot measures and candidates for public office. Such activities must be strictly neutral and non-partisan. Organizations with 501(c)(3) status can never try to influence the outcome of an election for a candidate for public office.

Voter education and registration work will only be considered if you have your own 501(c)(3).