Leadership and Storytelling

Leadership and Storytelling Grant Highlights

Since 2011, the Compton Foundation has funded efforts to advance climate change, progressive foreign policy, reproductive justice, and a healthy democracy through two primary strategies: transformative leadership and courageous storytelling. Over the past decade, one of our most important lessons learned is that these strategies are not mutually exclusive. In fact, many of our grant partners are integrating deep investment in leadership approaches with cultural and narrative work.

Below are descriptions of the grants we have made this year that we believe fall squarely at the intersection of transformative leadership and courageous storytelling. For more information about our programs, please read what we support.


2021 Grants
All* Above All General Support $375,000/5 years
All* Above All is a campaign that seeks to unite organizations and individuals to build public support for lifting the insurance bans that deny abortion coverage. Its fundamental values are safe, accessible, and affordable abortion care for everyone. The campaign’s core strategies and activities reflect a vision of a bold future that includes unapologetic and proactive policies, as well as a culture shift toward acceptance and inclusivity of everyone’s personal health care decisions. All* Above All launched over six years ago and is currently the only campaign led by women of color that is mobilizing to repeal the Hyde Amendment and advance reproductive justice. Over 130 organizations nationwide have signed on to its efforts. This is the second year of a three-year grant.


Auburn Theological Seminary General Support $225,000/3 years
Leaders of faith and moral courage have guided social change throughout our nation’s history, from the abolition of slavery and the fight for Civil Rights to the struggle against gun violence and global warming. This multi-year grant is supporting Auburn Theological Seminary’s work to identify and strengthen leaders—from the pulpit to the public square—to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice, and heal the world. This is the second year of a three-year grant.


Auburn Theological Seminary General Support $50,000
A supplemental grant will support Auburn as the organization goes through a leadership transition.


Fight Back Table / MoveOn Education Fund General Support $300,000/3 years
The Fight Back Table is a national coalition of progressive groups to coordinate cross-movement messaging, strategy, and priorities. Aside from providing leadership and a central hub, the Fight Back Table continuously looks to expand its coordination with new organizations across issues.
Forward Together General Support $375,000/5 years
Forward Together’s mission is to unite communities to win rights, recognition, and resources for all families. Forward Together’s core work has always been to advance reproductive justice, recognizing that racism, sexism, and homophobia impact one’s ability to exercise bodily autonomy. As one of the largest women of color-led organizations in the country, Forward Together transforms culture and policy to work for all of us nationwide. Through civic engagement, movement building, and culture-shift, Forward Together activates its base in key states and nationally on the following issues: expanding healthcare access, including abortion, to those who are most often denied access; prioritizing behavioral healthcare and economic opportunity over incarceration; and ensuring that policy and culture recognize all families, whether related by blood or affinity. This is the second year of a five-year grant.


Forward Together General Support $50,000
A supplemental grant will support Forward Together as the organization goes through a leadership transition.


GALvanize USA General Support $300,000/3 years
GALvanize is a nonpartisan voter engagement organization building women’s political confidence and agency. GALvanize develops online and offline strategies aimed at educating, persuading, and supporting women to vote in line with their values to advance progress for all. Its strategies include working within communities, using the bottom-up tactics of relational organizing to meet people where they are; holding two-way, values-based conversations that leverage innovative organizing strategies, such as deep canvassing, to foster meaningful engagement across audiences; and using technology and digital media to connect with and support communities of women in new ways.


Green New Deal Network / Tides Foundation General Support $300,000/3 years
At a time of global pandemic, with millions out of work, deepening racial inequity, and a worsening climate crisis, the need for action--a Green New Deal for all people, Black, Indigenous, Brown, and white--has never been more urgent. The Green New Deal Network is building grassroots and political power to form a new consensus that supports the massive government investments that are needed to make this vision a reality, while proactively addressing and making up for discriminatory policies that hurt people of color, working-class communities, and other marginalized groups. The Green New Deal Network is a coalition of grassroots organizations, labor, and climate and environmental justice organizations growing a movement to pass local, state, and national policies that create millions of family-sustaining union jobs, ensure racial and gender


Native Organizers Alliance / Alliance for a Just Society General Support $225,000/3 years
The Native Organizers Alliance (NOA) supports grassroots-driven social change rooted in Native traditional practices and values to advance sovereignty and the health and wellbeing of rural and urban Native communities and reservations across Indian Country. NOA is a training and organizing network dedicated to building the capacity of Native tribes, traditional societies, and community groups to make transformational change. It also provides a forum for Native leaders and organizers to work in collaboration with each other and promote their work with non-Native national allies.


People’s Action Institute General Support $375,000/5 years
People’s Action Institute (PAI) is one of the largest multiracial people’s organizations in the country, comprising 44 powerful local and state-level member organizations, 600 local staff in 30 states, and one million grassroots leaders. PAI invests in building state and local power and aligns local and state member organizations around a visionary long-term agenda for racial, climate, and economic justice. PAI drives coordinated campaigns on a range of interconnected issues—including climate, health care, housing, economic justice, and the future of workers—that win real change in people’s lives and also shape an economy and democracy that work for all of us. The network organizes and moves people in large numbers to build a bigger “we” through its issue campaigns and civic engagement, using base-building, leadership development and training, non-violent direct action, and large-scale grassroots and netroots action to shape policy solutions and advance racial and economic equity. This is the second year of a five-year grant.


Sunrise Movement Education Fund General Support $225,000/3 years
Sunrise Movement Education Fund (SMEF) is the 501(c)(3) organization that trains the youth climate movement base in key organizing skills and educates the public about the dire threat of the climate crisis and the bold, equitable solutions proposed by the Green New Deal. The goal of SMEF’s work is to strengthen a multiracial, cross-class movement through training and building the leadership of the local leaders in its 300 existing hubs across the country and seeding hundreds more, with the goal of mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Americans for the Green New Deal. This is the second year of a three-year grant.


URGE General Support $225,000/3 years
URGE envisions a liberated world where everyone can live with justice, love freely, express their gender and sexuality, and define and create families of their choosing. To achieve its vision of liberation, URGE builds power and sustains a young people’s movement for reproductive justice by centering the leadership of young people of color who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and people of low-income. As a state-driven national organization, URGE provides a political home for young people, advocates for meaningful policy change, and shifts culture, working in states where the challenges and opportunities are greatest. This is the second year of a three-year grant.