Social Change Leaders

Tides partners with social change leaders and organizations to provide the comprehensive operational, grantmaking, and capacity-building solutions they need to advance justice.

Social Change Leaders
Social Change Leaders

Building Community Power

Communities historically denied power already possess the knowledge to realize a just future. At Tides, we shift money, power, and resources to social change leadership within these communities to propel their work. 

Our Innovative Solutions Help our Partners:

  • Scale their justice-advancing ideas, backed by our robust financial and operational infrastructure 
  • Raise tax-deductible donations to support mission-driven work 
  • Unite individuals or organizations around their shared passion for advancing social justice

Ways to Partner

Tides’ offerings serve to support the agency of social change leadership from communities who have been historically denied power, including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other historically excluded groups.

  • Fiscal Sponsorship

    Fiscal Sponsorship

    We support social change leaders with operational infrastructure and a 501(c)(3) home to power their work through our fiscal sponsorship options.

  • Collective Action Funds

    Social Change Leader Funds

    Through Tides Foundation, we offer a variety of solutions to help social change leaders and organizations enhance collective action and fuel their own movements.

  • Tides Initiatives

    Tides Initiatives

    Though Tides is not a traditionally endowed foundation, we maintain discretionary funds to make grants that advance our mission. Our grants support organizations advancing climate justice, racial equity, reproductive freedom, and more. 

Why Tides

Tides equips our partners with tools to generate momentum for their solutions and cultivate transformative change.


Tides is built on genuine partnerships that ignite lasting impact by shifting resources, money, and power into community-centered solutions.


Our vast network of partners spans the globe, enabling social change leaders and organizations to forge bonds with donors and other leaders who share their passion for social justice.


With nearly 50 years of experience, Tides has the expertise to connect our partners’ solutions with the right resources to amplify impact — whether that’s serving as a fiscal sponsor or helping them build a powerful, participatory grantmaking process.


Social change leaders are the experts on how to build a just and equitable world. The Tides team is here to affirm their power and connect them to opportunities — not govern their solutions.

Community Stories

Celebrate the ingenuity and tenacity of the bold visionaries working with Tides to foster change.

  • Tides partnered with the Green New Deal Network — a coalition of environmental and climate justice organizations — to oversee grantmaking administration and due diligence as they push for policy solutions to address the climate crisis. Since 2019, the Green New Deal Network has sparked the passage of a federal commitment and three major federal investment packages totaling nearly $3.5 trillion to push for environmental and climate justice. 

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Interested in Partnering with Us?

There’s no greater force than the collective power of people united for justice. Join us to fuel lasting change.

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Frequently Asked Questions


A Tides fiscally sponsored project's director is responsible for overall programmatic operations, all fundraising and the financial sustainability of the project, and the supervision of their employees and volunteers. Directors must:

  • Maintain an effective working relationship with Tides
  • Ensure all staff are trained to follow all Tides processes and procedures
  • Manage finances in accordance with Tides cash management policies
  • Authorize all financial transactions in accordance with funding guidelines and Tides policies
  • Direct allocations of financial and human resources to successfully carry out the project’s mission and activities within Tides and funding guidelines
  • Ensure compliance with applicable employment laws, rules and regulations
  • Communicate the goals, policies, and procedures of the project and Tides to staff, volunteers, and participants 
  • Provide employees clear direction, set appropriate work standards, and ensure a fair and healthy work environment
  • Follow all Tides procedures associated with the obligation and expenditure of funds. Develop, submit to Tides, and manage the annual budget and regularly review the fiscally sponsored project’s fiscal status with Tides staff
  • Assure timely and accurate delivery of all requisite information for employee benefit elections and Supplemental Personnel Policies, the hiring and terminating of employees, and any other employee status changes
  • Resolve any excess expenditure, unallowable cost, personnel, or other risk management issues of the fiscally sponsored project in a timely manner
  • Review staff job performance and address any employee performance issues in consultation with Tides
  • Prepare grant proposals consistent with Tides policies and ensure compliance with all grant agreements
  • Inform Tides of any new program activities in order to assure timely budgeting and assessment of potential risks
  • Develop internal systems to effectively collaborate with Tides and track activities as required
  • Maintain clear communication with the project’s advisory board, consult with the advisory board when appropriate, and keep Tides informed of all current advisory board members’ names, contact information, and term-ending dates

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Tides is comprised of five separate legal entities – Tides Network, Tides Center, Tides Foundation, Tides Two Rivers Fund and Tides Inc. Tides Network employs the majority of Tides staff who service to other Tides entities. Tides Two Rivers Fund and Tides Inc. operate our two Tides Converge centers in San Francisco and New York.

Tides Foundation serves as a grantmaking organization, holding over 400 donor advised funds, as well as Collective Action and Single Entity Funds. The vast majority of Tides Foundation grants are made based on partner recommendations. Tides Foundation does not take unsolicited grant requests. Tides Center primarily offers fiscal sponsorship and nonprofit acceleration services.

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Tides Center projects are covered by a robust insurance portfolio structured to protect against a broad range of property & casualty and management liability exposures. Insurance costs are not included in the standard fee charged for Tides’ fiscal sponsorship services. You will instead receive an annual allocation bill for your insurance coverage. Allocation amounts vary across projects but are based on risk factors such as revenue and employee count. Please note that some specialized programs (such as farming, legal services, and counseling) may require additional coverage.

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Tides encourages its fiscally sponsored projects to engage in forms of lobbying and advocacy activities permissible under our 501(c)(3) designation. We are obliged to track all such activities, as the IRS places a cap on total lobbying expenditures. Tides fiscally sponsored projects may always engage in non-partisan research and get-out-the-vote efforts. IRS regulations for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations such as Tides preclude fiscally sponsored projects from engaging in direct or implied support or opposition of any candidate or party.

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Tides manages all incoming and outgoing funds for each of its fiscally sponsored projects and processes all financial transactions on their behalf. Tides provides a financial orientation that covers Tides financial services overview, budgeting, cash management, coding expenses, monitoring expenses, the Tides chart of accounts, systems training (including NetSuite), and reading and utilizing the monthly financial statements prepared by Tides. Invoices are paid via check or ACH on a weekly basis and expedited payments are available for an extra charge. Fiscally sponsored projects are able to access their funds via purchase cards, direct invoicing, and petty cash accounts. Fiscally sponsored projects are responsible for coding transactions, submitting original receipts, honoring our timelines, and monitoring their own cash flow.

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Tides fiscally sponsored projects are required to offer all full-time staff Tides’ comprehensive health and dental benefits package; part-time staff may also be eligible. There is a selection of HMO and individual provider plans to choose from. Coverage for spouses, children, and domestic partners is also available at the discretion of each individual project.

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