Rise of Global Corporatist State
Henry A. Wallace was deeply concerned by what he saw as the rise of a corporatist state that concentrates power in the hands of the few and wields unchecked authority at the expense of the common good. Corporatocracy, now a global phenomenon, poses a fundamental threat to our political and natural systems.
Threats to Democracy and Rights
Our systems of government must put people before profits. From unfettered campaign contributions and insidious surveillance in the US to coercion and the suppression of dissent in Zimbabwe, democracy is under assault by those who wish to maintain the privileges enjoyed by the few.
Climate change caused by unprecedented consumption of fossil fuels and the poisoning of the planet by harmful chemicals have pushed the Earth’s natural systems to the point of collapse, with profound consequences for human health and existence. Rather than reverse the disastrous practices at the root of these problems, corrupt governments seek ineffective technological fixes in order to maintain and maximize corporate profits.
Power Differential and Weakened NGOs
Many nongovernmental organizations struggle to achieve impact because of limited resources and dysfunctional governments weakened by powerful economic interests. Real change comes from the power generated by authentic movements of people dedicated to fundamental transformation and represented in decisions that affect their lives. The best NGOs are those that tap into and galvanize such movements, working collaboratively to achieve bold goals.
WGF believes we must address these challenges directly to be effective in advancing real change.
In order to address these challenges, we embrace the following approaches:
We advocate structural change and defend the rights of the disenfranchised in the face of corrupt power.
We will fund the best social movements and become partners in helping them grow and succeed.
We will build new and broader constituencies for social change.
We will help train new and courageous leadership for the future.
Our work will reflect the common links among global problems.
Grants are awarded to high quality organizations with strong leadership that are catalyzing significant change in line with the Fund’s priority areas.
Challenge Corporate Power
Occupy K Street to Counter Corporate Machinery
- Counter corporate lobbyists
- Empower new voices to demand equitable and sustainable policies
Change Rules of the Game to benefit the Public Good
- Change the global rules, practices and institutions that enable corporate dominance of democracy
- Pressure companies to pay their fair share, protect natural resources, and respect human rights
Advance a Movement for “Accountable Ownership”
- Leverage institutional investors influence to change corporate practices
- Strengthen the field of mission related and impact investing
Defend and Renew Democracy
Challenge Corporate Money in Politics
- Stanch the flow of corporate spending in politics
- Return democracy to the people
Protect and Expand the Pillars of Democracy
- Safeguard and expand voting rights
- Push back the right wing’s War on Voting
Strengthen Democracy in Transitional Societies
- Encourage the development of democracy in places where strategic investment by WGF will meet other interests of the Fund
Protect the Environment
Address Climate Change
- Break the Fossil Fuel Cartel, Divest from Fossil Fuel, Invest in Climate Solutions and End Dirty Energy Subsidies
Empower Democratic Movement for Action on Climate
- Build Local Community Power to Confront Corporate Dominance (fracking, tar sands, etc.)
Recognize Rights of Nature and New Environmental Human Rights
- Confront deep anti-environment bias in our legal and political system
- Frame new rights of individuals, such as access to water and protection for public health
Promote Truth and Creative Freedom in Media
Protect and Expand the Channels of Public Discourse
- Advance media policy activism
- Shift the balance of power away from corporate interests and toward the common good
Support Progressive Independent Voices
- Sustain and amplify progressive content
- Support courageous truth-tellers in traditional and new media
Foster Creative Use of New Media Tools to Promote Progressive Change
- Advance innovative uses of new tools to increase effectiveness of organizing efforts
- Leverage creative power to engage people in activist campaigns and shift agendas on topic of concern to WGF
Advance Women’s Human Rights and Empowerment
Advance and Protect Global Reproductive Health and Rights
- Advance and defend global reproductive health and rights against mounting threats
Promote the Global Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
- Support organizations that promote the global “abandonment” of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C)
Illuminate Issues Affecting Women, Human Rights and the Global Economy
- Seek deeper understanding and action on the intersecting issues affecting women in the global economy