Building Power Learning Community is an invite-only program for staff (or volunteers) at culturally-specific, cross-racial/multi-cultural or disability-led organizations to learn from national peer organizations that have successfully built political power for people of color, and/or people with disabilities.

What happens?

  • Staff (or key volunteers if you have no staff), including the Executive Director, from your organization attends 10-12 monthly meetings, beginning in the first quarter of 2018, that will be no longer than 90 minutes, and will likely be in the morning to accommodate all time zones. They will be at NWHF offices in Portland. They will be scheduled by conferring with you and others in the learning community.
  • You will be joined by 10-15 other organizations, for a total of up to 30 people. (No more than 40 organizations are invited to apply.)
  • These meetings will feature in-person or video conference presentations and discussion from state or city/region-based organizations that have successfully used 501(c)4 & 501(c)3 capacity to build power for people of color, and/or people with disabilities through organizing, candidate, legislative and issue campaigns. These meetings may possibly be recorded, but not shared beyond NWHF staff and board.
  • Staff from Northwest Health Foundation will also be in attendance.

What is my organization committing to?

  • Sending, in person, your Executive Director (volunteer or paid) and the primary staff or volunteer person that leads, or will lead, or could lead, your political work to at least 80% of meetings. (That could be the Executive Director in a small organization, but a second staff person (or key volunteer) is encouraged to attend.) If you live more than 70 miles from NWHF offices, you may attend by video conference (not phone only).
  • Participating in discussions within the Learning Community.
  • Maintaining confidentiality unless an individual explicitly waives that confidentiality.
  • Accepting a grant of $2000 for your organization and using that grant however your organization sees fit.

Who can apply?

  • Culturally-specific, cross-racial or disability-led 501(c)3 organizations or fiscally-sponsored programs, that have or intend to have a 501(c)4 affiliated organizations or programs. We define more here:
  • Organizations without a legal status but a track record of community leadership or civic engagement.

What is a 501(c)4?

  • It’s a non-profit legal status that allows an organization unlimited lobbying (through city councils, legislatures, etc, and ballot measures) as well as a lot of opportunity to support candidates for office. Check out more here and here.

What are the Application questions?

  • Is your organization cross-racial, culturally-specific and/or disability-led as we define them here?
  • What current political work does your organization do? For this application, we define political work here as any campaign where voters must decide the outcome, including local/statewide ballot measures, non-partisan races (ex: school boards, city councils, district attorneys), partisan races (ex: legislature, governor). (150 words max)
  • What political work would your organization like to do (or do more of)? (150 words max)
  • What prevents your organization from doing more (or any) political work? (150 words max)
  • What excites you about participating in the learning community? (150 words max)
  • Please list the staff names, titles and email addresses of the two people who would attend from your organization. (20  words max)

How does my organization apply?

  • Apply online, no later than 2pm on November 27, through our Grantee Portal below. If you don't yet have an individual user account, visit this page to register. Then head on back here.

How Will You Decide?

  • We seek to have representation from across our state, and our equity priorities. We seek organizations that, regardless of their experience, have a sincere interest in not just learning more, but doing more.


  • Awesome! Email or call Jesse Beason, Vice President of Strategy & Public Affairs at or 971-230-1281.