ANNOUNCEMENT: In the face of COVID-19 and beyond
Today, more than ever, we must respond to a changing world in the face of climate change, food security, social and economic justice/injustice. The global pandemic, COVID-19, brings us closer to this challenging reality with transformative possibilities, that calls on philanthropy to show more courage and immediate action. At Swift Foundation we recognize this imperative and seek to deepen our work in meaningful and relevant ways in response and beyond. Currently we are engaging a review of our own work, and entering a process of re-envisioning our grant making principles, criteria, and overall vision towards a reimagined future. We will continue to make grants and respond to needs in this pandemic crisis. We look forward to announcing and sharing our new vision and grant making guidelines in the fall.
Swift Foundation's mission is to support land and water stewards who protect and defend biocultural diversity and community-based resilience systems essential to a healthy planet.
HOW WE WORK
Swift Foundation accompanies a small group of long-term partners with grants, time, introductions, and access to investment capital. We aim to develop trust-based relationships with our grantee-partners and assist in their connections and alliances with other organizations, foundations and networks. As a small staff and board, we recognize our limitations and thus try to identify and work with emerging organizations where our grants of $20,000 to $100,000 can make the biggest difference.
Swift also funds one-time program grants for particularly promising and important initiatives that fall outside of our specific guidelines yet meet our overall mission and demonstrate a high degree of effectiveness and impact.
Swift encourages our partners to explore whether investment capital can help their long-term mission and sustainability. For example, Swift has made a low-interest loan to one of our partners to help them purchase their office building. We also look for opportunities to strengthen those involved in identifying and making capital available to social entrepreneurs. This would include organizations such as Native American Natural Foods that used a grant to help finance their Employee Share Ownership Program (ESOP). Unlocking the potential of our endowment capital to support our mission in all ways is central to our thinking and practices.
These principles and themes are linked by the foundation’s understanding that to stave off the effects of climate change and avoid further ecosystem unraveling, we must focus on those who have been protecting the world’s biodiversity all along.
Swift strives to adhere to the principles put forward by the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP), that include: Respect, Reciprocity, Responsibility, and Relationships. These principles provide a strong basis for transformative philanthropic practice.