Since our inception in 2016, we’ve kept our focus on helping emerging leaders who are focused on the biggest climate and societal emergencies of our time. We’ve provided a steady drumbeat of support for several nonprofits and companies who see new ways to solve big problems, helping to get their important work off the ground. We consider some of our biggest success stories to be partnering with folks like Carbon180 and PL+US to not only elevate and amplify the issues of carbon removal and paid family leave, but to also build and scale teams and budgets that catalyzed progress on these challenges.
In line with our commitment to funding early-stage nonprofits, after nearly 5 years of supporting some of these now-established organizations, we decided to “graduate” a few of them and to look for new leaders and changemakers working on world positive initiatives. Earlier this year, we embarked on a 4-month journey to open up our giving aperture and learn about companies and nonprofits working on new areas of impact in categories we were less familiar with.
After dozens of conversations, Incite is proud to announce our support of four organizations that are working purposefully and thoughtfully to amplify AAPI voices or pursue honest news narratives. Each of these organizations reflect our deep conviction in providing early, catalytic support to nascent organizations working on underserved problem areas. We focus on transformative categories that may have a high risk of failure, but the potential to be truly gamechanigng if they succeed. We provide hands-on help, guidance and unrestricted funding for a few years.
Our learning work began just as the world was plunging into the chaos of the last 18 months, with a tumultuous pandemic laying bare so many challenges that need committed changemakers to take them on.
COVID-19 highlighted just how many of our systems and institutions were in need of repair, and how many new challenges our world faces.
Rampant misinformation attempted to discredit the severity of the virus and the vaccine’s efficacy. And, advancing the health and safety for all populations became nearly impossible until we addressed the inherent racism of our nation. Meanwhile, the existential threat of climate change continues to create disasters, natural and man-made. Each of these themes were present in the political rhetoric, daily coffee chats, and the news we digested.
We found two areas specifically where our ability to quickly provide unrestricted funding and startup support could make a difference:
Battling misinformation and advancing AAPI advocacy.
Both of these have become two new pillars of our grant making and investing focus.
Please join us in welcoming them to the Incite.org family!
Amplifying AAPI Voices
With only 0.2% of US foundational funding going to AAPI issues, it’s hard to not get frustrated by the lack of funding for such a large, diverse community that makes up so much of the US population and an important part of our cultural fabric. We are excited to announce our support of Gold House and APIA Vote, two organizations fighting the good fight to elevate AAPI voices. During our learning work, these two organizations rose to the top due to their creative solutions, collaborative approach, and meaningful impact.
Gold House is a nonprofit collective of Asian & Pacific Islander founders, creative voices, and leaders that seeks to increase representation, unity, and success in the AAPI community. With the precipitous rise in hate crimes fueled by anti-Asian rhetoric, it is critical to remove pernicious narratives in the media and create communities of support across industries for AAPIs. Gold House does this by acting as a consultant to big movie studios, shifting the portrayal of AAPIs to one of nuance and accuracy. Their recent partnership with Netflix will amplify and celebrate culturally relevant AAPI storytelling. Their work in coalition building and funding AAPI founders seeks to empower individuals and create a powerful community.
APIAVote is a national organization committed to increasing and enabling electoral and civic engagement among the AAPI community. As a demographic largely ignored by political organizations historically, AAPI voters are one of the most complicated communities to accurately target, with only 30% of AAPI voters messaged about voting in the 2020 election. With language access repeatedly cited as one of the biggest barriers to voting, APIAVote’s language initiatives across this diverse community have demonstrated tangible results time and time again. By partnering with local organizations, APIAVote sets a unified strategy to encourage voter education, voter registration, and voter participation for all types of elections.
Pursuing Honest News Narratives
With the democratization of information creation and distribution in our digital age, misinformation has run rampant with often negative implications for our public health and climate policy. The mechanisms of spreading disinformation have contributed to undermining our democracy by fanning the flames of extremism, gnawing at public trust in institutions, and suppressing voting. We need new generation media organizations that can create and amplify honest news narratives. That’s why Incite has committed to support Floodlight News and Courier. Both of these organizations stood out to us due to their unrelenting pursuit of the truth, their focus on delivering important news to diverse audiences, and their honest, principled leadership teams.
Floodlight is an environmental news collaborative that investigates corporate interests holding back climate action through partnerships with local journalists and the Guardian. Their work is critical in bringing light to the harmful deeds of large corporations against climate action and keeping them accountable. As a result, their stories bring the disengaged or skeptical middle into the climate conversation by focusing on issues in their local communities. At the same time, their partnerships with local and national journalists ensures that resources and expertise are being properly funneled to the environmental issues most needing exposure. Check out their news coverage here.
Courier is a social-media first national news organization dedicated to helping people better understand what’s happening in our local and national governments. Leveraging 8 news rooms across the nation, Courier unpacks the policy decisions made by our leaders and talks directly to the people being affected by them. Courier believes that the nation’s most complex issues should be accessible to everyone and strives to lift up the too-often untold stories happening in frontline and underserved communities across the country. Check out their news coverage here.
We’re thrilled to be working with these innovative teams and supporting them. We hope you’ll get to know them too.
As always, If you know of really great organizations or people we should get to know, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us!