What is a Giving Project?

Giving Project cohorts move significant financial resources to grassroots organizations pursuing social justice in Minnesota. Click here to learn more about our 2022 cohort. 

Headwaters call our community to act boldly and give meaningfully. Participating in the Giving Project is a great opportunity to build deeper connections and take part in serious action to create a more equitable Minnesota for all. 

Here’s what you need to know about Giving Projects:

  • A cross-class, multiracial group of 20 folks come together to move money to BIPOC-led organizations that focus on systems change.
  • Through staff-led workshops and training, the cohort develops a shared understanding of race, class, and power within society, which supports their collective action in fundraising and grantmaking.
  • Each cohort member makes a personally meaningful financial gift and  fundraises from their family, friends, and community. 
  • Program staff guide cohort members through reading and scoring proposals, conducting site visits and making collective decisions to fund organizations.

Components of the Giving Project

  • Community building through active participation in large group and small group sessions.
  • In-depth workshops on racial justice and class analysis that center the wisdom and experiences of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
  • Caucusing by race and class throughout the program.
  • Skills-based training in relational fundraising and ongoing coaching support to raise money for movements in Minnesota.
  • Move money to organizations led by and for BIPOC communities through a democratic, community-led grantmaking process.
  • Celebrate the cohort’s success and evaluate the Giving Project program for continued growth.

We Look for People Who...

  • Want to confront issues of injustice by moving money to some of Minnesota’s most inspiring and effective social change work.
  • 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.

The Giving Project is a transformative experience for everyone involved. No prior experience with philanthropy or fundraising is necessary. 

We encourage all people, and especially Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color; LGBTQ people; low- or no-wealth individuals; and folks over 40 to apply. 

What Do Alums Have to Say?

Marsha from Cohort 6

“This is the first time I’ve given at this level and this experience has meant that now I don’t look at money with a scarcity mindset. I know money can truly heal. Money can be used as medicine.” 

Wayne from Cohort 6

“I learned a lot about myself and how I perceive privilege and supremacy. I also learned there are great friends and allies in this work across every race and class designation.“ 

We Will Ask You To...

  • Come ready to learn from and contribute to the cohort experience through online platforms (Zoom and Slack). 
  • Commit to the entire program by attending all meetings, reading grants, fundraising, and participating in small and large groups. 
  • Make a personal financial contribution. Every gift is meaningful, and there are no minimum or maximum amounts.

Accessibility Statement

The 2022 Giving Project cohort met online through Zoom and Slack platforms. Program and written materials are provided in English. Program staff can support technological access needs by loaning laptops, providing wifi hot-spots, providing webcams and by giving technical assistance for these platforms. We also offer childcare support in the form of a stipend.

Cohort members will learn, build community, and act for change through a combination of large group, small group, and individual work throughout the program. By participating you agree to attend all small and large group sessions and engage in all aspects of the work. Each cohort member is supported through one on one coaching with a Headwaters staff member.

Our Impact


Since 2015, $1,172,912 has been raised and invested in Minnesotan movement organizations by HFJ Giving Projects.

$4 Million

Over the last five years, Giving Projects across the country, including ones based in Chicago and Seattle, have moved $4 million from over 6,000 donors.