An Anti-Hate Effort in San Francisco That Brought Together Grantmakers and Small Donors

 photo:  Christopher Penler/shutterstock

photo:  Christopher Penler/shutterstock

When many people think of white supremacy hubs, the American South is the first place that comes to mind. But former slave states like Virginia certainly isn’t the only place these groups exist. It turns out Oregon is another stronghold of white supremacists. And while the San Francisco Bay Area is considered to be one of the most diverse and inclusive places in the country, not even this region is exempt from demonstrations from white supremacists and other extremist organizations. Progressive grantmakers in this area are looking for ways to help and, last month, showed that when long-time activist Cleve Jones organized an effort to counter a planned white supremacist rally. 

Jones, who founded NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and wrote When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, partnered with the San Francisco-based Horizons Foundation, a group that’s been fueling the LGBTQ movement for over 30 years, to create a new fund called No Hate SF. The purpose of this fund is to draw in support to counter extremist rhetoric and behavior in peaceful and productive ways. Although the fund is held at the Horizons Foundation, four other top Bay Area funders took a stand as well.

The four additional funders that supported No Hate SF are the San Francisco Foundation, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Hellman Foundation, and the Rosenberg Foundation. They jointly announced a $40,000 donation to support Bay Area residents as they stand against hate in their city.

Donations to the No Hate SF Fund are being divided equally among a group of local nonprofits that are working for equality and diversity. These are the organizations that are seeing the new fund’s support:

  • Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
  • Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund
  • Friendship House/Association of American Indians of San Francisco
  • La Raza Community Resource Center
  • Muslim Advocates
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • Planned Parenthood
  • San Francisco NAACP
  • San Francisco Jewish Community Center
  • San Francisco LGBT Center
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Transgender Law Center
  • Counter protests

Roger Doughty, president of Horizons Foundation, said:

Philanthropy can play an important role in advancing social justice. There is no place in our community for the type of hatred these groups represent, and I’m proud that some of San Francisco’s most dynamic philanthropic organizations are taking the lead in countering hate with love and service. Horizons is proud to be part of this effort.

As it turned out, the controversial Patriot Prayer rally in San Francisco was cancelled due to fear of clashes with counter-protesters and an all-out riot.  

The No Hate SF fund was set up as an emergency fund with a specific date and target event in mind. This is something we don't see all that often in the world of philanthropy, especially activist funds gain the backing of such prominent foundations so quickly. But, as we've reporting, funders have demonstrated quite a bit of nimbleness since Trump's election, rolling out various rapid-response grantmaking initiatives.

What's notable about the No Hate SF campaign is how it got well-known foundations and ordinary citizens on the same page by creating fundraising platforms that are accessible to everyone. The No Hate SF campaign more than met its total fundraising goal, raising $116,138 from 669 donors.