The Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce (GIST) is a national network of grantmakers interested in improving the economic well-being of low-income families in the United States. Established in 1992, GIST operates as an umbrella group for participating
funders and philanthropic advisors, providing a neutral forum for strategic discussion
and acting as a vehicle to encourage co-investment among foundations and facilitate
cooperation among grantees on high priority issues.
GIST leadership provided by:
GIST helps funders and philanthropic advisors:
- Deepen their understanding of the cross cutting issues of poverty and economic
opportunity, support for low-wage workers, and adequate public resources;
- Keep abreast of policy developments, advocacy strategies, cutting-edge ideas and communications innovations that support effective grantmaking;
- Work collaboratively to support policies and program initiatives; and
- Strengthen philanthropic investments aimed at alleviating poverty and providing opportunity for all families to achieve economic stability.
GIST also provides a neutral platform for funders to convene and has the capacity to staff and incubate working groups.
- GIST Mapping Project
With guidance from an advisory group, GIST has developed an online mapping tool and a companion analysis to help illustrate to funders where investments are being made in policy, advocacy and communications work in the states, and to help foster connections across these efforts. There are 39 national networks and nearly 1,382 state policy and advocacy groups currently represented on the map.
- EITC Rapid Response and Policy Development Fund
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Rapid Response Fund (RRF) was developed in 2012 as a rapid response fund mechanism to facilitate the quick dissemination of targeted funds to state groups engaged in key communications battles. The RRF is guided by an advisory group and administered by GIST and the EITC Funders Network in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Hatcher Group. To date, $804,000 has been awarded to 19 state networks in rapid response funds. Recognizing that in some states changing the public dialog on state EITCs will take a longer-period of time, Fund leaders established a new State EITC Policy Development Fund (PDF) in 2014, to provide multi-year support. To help maximize learning and shared experiences, the PDF will focus on selecting participants from southern states. In August 2015, the PDF awarded contracts to three states (GA, MS, and WV). Each state was awarded $150,000 ($75,000 a year for two years).
- Communications Collaborative
GIST currently staffs a Communications Collaborative, a network of nearly 50 grantmakers representing national and regional foundations interested in coordinating investments to build communications capacity in the field.
- Budget Working Group
The Budget Working Group is a joint affinity group effort formed in early 2016 that brings together funders from the Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce, Peace and Security Funders Group, and Funders' Committee for Civic Participation's Money in Politics Working Group who are interested in exploring the unequal dynamics of wealth, power and influence in America through the lens of the federal budget. The goal is to enrich grantmaking strategies and connect learning across grant-making silos.