In the fifty days since Donald Trump took office, we have seen a myriad of responses from both large and small funders across the country. Inside Philanthropy has recently compiled their articles on the “Trump Effect,” which examine how Trump administration policies have affected funders’ priorities and reactions. The Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) recently announced 29 new grants totaling $50,000 toward its 100 Day Fund, which aims to provide a rapid-response to Trump’s first one hundred days in office. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spoken out against the “global gag rule,” which prevents foreign NGOs from receiving US government funding if they counsel, perform, or promote abortion practices. In response to Trump’s recent executive orders regarding immigration, the Robina Foundation awarded $25 million to the University of Minnesota Law School — the largest gift in the school’s history.
The recent shifts in donor giving have enabled nonprofits to scale their efforts and engage in innovative approaches. The ACLU announced this past weekend that it will be spending millions of dollars on a grass-roots “People Power” campaign, which aims to direct citizen attention toward Trump’s policies, rather than his persona. As Executive Director Anthony Romero explained, “We’ve seen this exponential growth in people becoming card-carrying members of the ACLU… They’re younger. They’re in every state around the country. The biggest danger was in not doing something like this, where people get apathetic and they fall asleep.” The ACLU has tripled its membership and raised over $80 million since the 2016 election. People Power hopes to mobilize this base to resist Trump policies at a local level.