Organizational Strengths

Unparalleled Experience
Public Interest Projects has unparalleled experience in the programmatic and financial management of large, donor collaborative funds dedicated specifically to social justice issues. We currently work with more than 100 donors. Our funds have budgets ranging from $2 to $11 million.

Expanded Reach and Effectiveness
Public Interest Projects’ substantive expertise and contacts within the field make it possible for our collaborative funds to reach strategically important grantees regardless of their location or size. These funds allow national foundations to support smaller regional or field organizations. Similarly, local and regional donors can also use them to support change on a national scale or across cities, states or regions.

Neutral Third Party
Public Interest Projects often acts as a neutral third party bringing together diverse groups and creating the space for joint decision-making. By facilitating partnerships that are productive for everyone, philanthropic efforts are coordinated and leveraged, conflicts are avoided and synergies are identified and exploited. Public Interest Projects’ approach circumvents divisive tactics and finds strength around common goals. The outcome: creative, innovative alliances that embolden and empower.

Expert Team
One of Public Interest Projects’ greatest strengths is the ability to identify and hire highly qualified individuals who know the key players and understand the challenges related to a particular issue. Our staff is highly experienced and diverse; the majority has worked in multiple capacities in philanthropy and in the social justice field. Collectively they have decades of experience and have established nonprofits, managed donor collaboratives, led advocacy campaigns, worked on research, litigation and organizational development and shaped strategic communications. We develop teams comprised of staff and consultants to leverage our institutional expertise and knowledge of the field.

“Link Tank” Approach
Public Interest Projects has developed a “link tank” approach to program work, which entails sharing knowledge and strategic research with a broader audience beyond our own donors and funds. By facilitating the dissemination of information we reach a more extensive network of funders and advocacy groups and, in turn, assist donors in achieving their own goals. Public Interest Projects does this in myriad ways such as in-person meetings, large convenings and funder briefings. This year, for example, we will host several national and regional briefings for donors on a range of topical social justice related issues.

Strategic Alliance Building Capability
In addition to an issue-specific expertise, Public Interest Projects helps funders explore the ways in which their social justice goals overlap with those of other funders and grantees. Identifying these common areas and forging alliances between sometimes seemingly unlikely partners lead to deep, foundational change and, over time, the realization of social justice goals.

Increases Capacity Across the Social Justice Sector
Although a number of capacity-building tools have been developed to help nonprofits at the organizational level, there are relatively few models for increasing capacity across an entire sector, especially in fields that have relatively small organizations. Public Interest Projects has developed tools, systems, and approaches that inform work across multiple fields and disciplines and enable us to use a more integrated approach in our work.

Provides Opportunities for Donors
Public Interest Projects offers donors numerous opportunities for engaging in strategic thinking, informed by research and analysis prepared by our experienced staff and consultants. Donors report they often gain fresh perspectives through networking with other funders and learning about their colleagues’ approach to similar work. They also benefit from understanding how their goals are influenced by issues and strategies in Public Interest Projects’ other funds.

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