Our Approach

Focused on people who have historically been systematically deprived of voice and power, our work is grounded in core strategies.

Foster Enhanced Advocacy Efforts

Advocates are passionate and fully committed to their mission. These attributes are critical to complex, long-term efforts. However, advocates and advocacy organizations are often so focused on their day-to-day work – work that shifts frequently as opportunities, barriers, and crises emerge – that sometimes they do not have time for reflection. Tools and resources that can inform advocacy are not always well disseminated or readily accessible. Wellspring programs support on-the-ground advocacy and efforts to improve how advocacy is conducted.

Establish Effective Policies and Standards

A specific policy change often is the “end goal” of an advocacy strategy. However, targeted policy changes are often necessary but not sufficient to bring about enduring social change.

Once in place, policies and standards need to be implemented effectively, adopted by a broader set of stakeholders, protected, and enhanced. Wellspring programs support efforts to establish new policies and standards, increase awareness and adoption of existing policies and standards, and enhance and expand the rights and protections addressed by policies and standards.

Build a Strong Evidence Base

Nonprofits and advocacy organizations seek to understand whether and how their interventions, strategies, or programs are likely to be efficient or effective. This happens because either the evidence doesn’t exist or it has not been disseminated to a degree that makes it readily available and actionable.

To establish a strong evidence base, Wellspring programs support efforts to create knowledge, disseminate knowledge uniquely tailored to key audiences, and facilitate the adoption of knowledge depending on what is needed in a particular field.

Change Social Norms and Public Opinion

Long-term, sustainable progress requires changes in the attitudes or behaviors of a broader swath of the public to support and encourage the work of government, nonprofits, and opinion leaders.

Wellspring programs assess whether changes in public opinion or social norms are relevant to achieving long-term goals, support efforts to shift social norms through a range of strategies, and encourage grantees to document and measure how their work affects social norms.

Facilitate Field Building

Social change and progress depend on healthy, functioning organizations working collaboratively to achieve ambitious goals. Wellspring selects grantees that it believes are well-positioned to contribute to the achievement of these collective goals.

While the bulk of our funding goes directly to social change work, some grantees also need organizational development support to ensure they have effective programmatic and operational systems and practices in place to achieve their goals.

Similarly, some organizations benefit from assistance that enables them to better engage with their field and make connections at the local, national, regional, and international levels. Wellspring programs develop and manage grants, facilitate capacity-building support, and dedicate time and resources to help establish and maintain strategic, coordinated engagement at the field level.