Join The Giving Project



The Giving ProjectGiving Project Cohort 4 Participants

The Giving Project is an innovative model that funds social change, builds community, and develops leaders. We bring multiracial, cross-class groups of people together to participate in Headwaters community-centered grantmaking process. Participants raise and give out money to organizations that support significant, long-term solutions for justice and equity across the state. In the past four years, 75 Giving Project participants raised nearly $500,000 to support community organizing in Minnesota. 

How does the Giving Project work? The Giving Project is a six-month commitment. The basic Giving Project structure is: 

  • A cross-class, multiracial group of 25 individuals commits to the entire process.
  • Each participant is expected to make a personally meaningful financial gift.
  • Through staff-led workshops and trainings, the group develops a shared understanding of race, class, and power within society.
  • We provide lots of hands-on support as each participant raises money from friends, family, and community.
  • Participants also learn about and are supported through the Headwaters grantmaking process. The group reads and scores proposals, takes part in site visits, makes collective decisions, and grants out money. 

Who should apply?

We believe the Giving Project is a transformative experience for everyone involved. No prior experience with philanthropy or fundraising is necessary. Apply if you:

  • want to confront issues of injustice by moving money to some of the most inspiring, effective, social change work in the region.
  • are passionate about building community across lines of race and class.
  • want to learn how to fundraise, make grants, and expand your network.
  • are open to and ready for personal transformation.

LGBTQ-identified people, people of color, Indigenous people, and low-wealth individuals are especially encouraged to apply.

Giving Project Participants at a Grantee Panel eventWe'll ask you to:

  • Honestly engage in the process.
  • Commit to the entire Giving Project. Attend all meetings, read grants, and fundraise.
  • Make a personal financial contribution.

Alumni of past Giving Projects are welcome and encouraged to apply! Contact Allison if you’re interested.

New Majority Fund

In 2019, participants of the Giving Project will raise funds for the New Majority Fund. This fund provides two-year general operating grants to support organizations led by and for people of color and Indigenous people. Information about the application process will be available in January 2019. The application deadline will be in March 2019.

Headwaters’ Giving Project is part of a national learning community of foundations working together in donor organizing, leadership development and social justice philanthropy. Over the last 5 years, Giving Projects across the country have moved $4 million from over 6,000 donors. To learn more about the national model, visit