What We Support

Compton Foundation has adopted a new mission:

We ignite change. We support transformative leadership and courageous storytelling, inspiring action toward a peaceful, just, sustainable future.

The status quo is not shifting rapidly enough toward a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Our new mission highlights a sense of urgency and a willingness to take risks in order to transform the way we live. Bringing forth a positive future requires innovative ways of understanding and naming the problems we face, as well as new methods for collaborating to solve them. Implicit in the mission is support for progressive and democratic social change.

What will we fund?

Change requires both long-term movement building and the ability to respond quickly to opportunistic moments when transformation and/or real short-term gains are possible. We will support organizations building the long-term capacity to ignite change as well as providing rapid response and emerging opportunity funding. We value projects that explore the connections between issue areas.

Transformative Leadership

We believe that the most effective leaders focus not only on strategizing, organizing, and campaigning, but also on personal relationships. Success in creating a more just and sustainable world will require emotional authenticity in addition to intellectual analysis, and the courage to lead morally, as well as politically.

The leaders (and the institutions that support them) with whom we will engage are driven by a strong sense of social purpose and have a searing passion for making a difference. As leaders, they are able to craft and communicate a compelling vision of the future, translate that vision into clear strategies and achievable goals, build community, and adapt flexibly to shifting contexts for their work. They take risks. Not only do they respect and embrace diverse voices, they are also able to work across boundaries to find agreement around shared goals.

In this area, we expect to support:

  • Institutions that are training, convening, and coaching leaders with the above qualities.
  • Networks of leaders working across difference in issue, approach, or constituency.
  • Exemplary organizations that demonstrate new ways of working, creative collaboration, and transformative leadership qualities.

Courageous Storytelling

We believe that there is a need for compelling stories about who we are, how we should live, and our purpose on this planet. This moment of global transition requires translation. How can we imagine a new world without sharing brilliant stories about what the future could be—how it might taste, smell, sound, and feel? To us, courageous storytelling means:

  • Disrupting our understanding of the status quo, or giving voice to previously unheard narratives.
  • Using visual art, music, drama, film, writing, and creative social media to amplify critical issues and to blend personal with political, emotional with intellectual.

In this area, we expect to support:

  • Creative media (art, music, drama, writing, photography) that captures imagination, expands our understanding of critical social and environmental problems, and articulates a positive vision for the future.
  • Organizations that help creative artists engage with social and environmental change.

Please note that we will not support film projects directly through this inquiry process. We are working with Impact Partners to choose the films we will support. Please use their Open Submission process (http://www.impactpartnersfilm.com/) in order to have your project be considered as part of Impact Partners standard review process.



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