Non-profit

The Heartland Fund

Website:

www.windwardfund.org/heartland-fund

Location:

Washington, DC

Type:

Charitable Foundation

Formation:

2018

The Heartland Fund is a left-of-center advocacy group promoting left-economic and environmentalist causes in rural communities in the Midwest through grantmaking. It is the project of several different left-wing nonprofits and the nonprofit management firm Arabella Advisors, whose director of advocacy, Scott Nielsen, has specifically stated that President Donald Trump’s electoral success in the Midwest served as a wake-up call for the need for more rural left-of-center activism and involvement. [1]

The Heartland Fund is a project of the Windward Fund, managed by Arabella Advisors.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­History

The Heartland Fund was formed in 2018 as a donors collaborative consisting of several left-wing organizations. It is currently funded and run by several different groups, including Arabella Advisors, a left-leaning nonprofit management firm; the Windward Fund, a left-leaning foundation managed by Arabella and the Heartland Fund’s parent nonprofit; the Wallace Global Fund, a left-progressive foundation founded by former Vice President Henry Wallace; the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, an order of Catholic nuns concerned with the environment; and the George Soros-founded Open Society Foundations. [2] [3]

It is focused on supporting liberal groups and activists across the Midwest, in part, at least, stemming from President Trump’s decisive victories in the region during the 2016 election. [4] Its stated mission revolves around environmental and economic issues as well as the health of Midwestern communities. [5]

Funding

According to Inside Philanthropy, the Heartland Fund is financed “by Wallace Global Fund, Open Society Foundations, Franciscan Sisters of Mary, and two anonymous backers.” In 2018 it made $500,000 in grants, and the group has a grantmaking budget of $1.5 million for 2019. [6]

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, a major left-of-center grantmaking foundation, is a founding grantor to the Heartland Fund. [7]

Activities

The Heartland Fund made nine grants worth $500,000 in 2018 and expects to grant triple that amount in 2019. [8]  These grants went to left-wing environmental and activist groups that are also involved in rural communities. Some of the grantees included the Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy; Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (which is a member of the Green New Deal Coalition); the Missouri Rural Crisis Center; and the Midwest Environmental Justice Network. [9] [10]

Leadership

Scott Nielsen is the current managing director of advocacy at Arabella Advisors and is involved with the management of the Heartland Fund. Nielsen described the 2016 election as a “wake-up call” that progressives need to be involved with rural Americans and address their concerns. Nielsen claims that the Heartland Fund will do this by engaging and supporting local leaders on environmental and economic issues. [11]

References

  1. Strode, Ryan, and Scott Nielsen. “Building Communities—and Working for Change—in America’s Heartland.” ArabellaAdvisors.com. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/blog/building-communities-working-change-americas-heartland/. ^
  2. ““Heartland Fund Launches Wth First Round of Grants.” WindwardFund.org. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.windwardfund.org/heartland-fund/. ^
  3. Williams, Tate. “The Progressive Funders Looking to Build Power Across Divides in the American Heartland.” Inside Philanthropy. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/4/18/the-progressive-funders-looking-to-build-power-across-divides-in-the-american-heartland. ^
  4. Strode, Ryan, and Scott Nielsen. “Building Communities—and Working for Change—in America’s Heartland.” ArabellaAdvisors.com. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/blog/building-communities-working-change-americas-heartland/. ^
  5. “Heartland Fund Launches Wth First Round of Grants.” WindwardFund.org. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.windwardfund.org/heartland-fund/. ^
  6. Williams, Tate. “The Progressive Funders Looking to Build Power Across Divides in the American Heartland.” Inside Philanthropy. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/4/18/the-progressive-funders-looking-to-build-power-across-divides-in-the-american-heartland. ^
  7. “The Heartland Fund Launches Its First Round of Grants.” Franciscan Sisters of Mary. September 27, 2018. Accessed August 27, 2019. https://www.fsmonline.org/news/the-heartland-fund-launches-its-first-round-of-grants/. ^
  8. Williams, Tate. “The Progressive Funders Looking to Build Power Across Divides in the American Heartland.” Inside Philanthropy. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2019/4/18/the-progressive-funders-looking-to-build-power-across-divides-in-the-american-heartland. ^
  9. “Heartland Fund Launches Wth First Round of Grants.” WindwardFund.org. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.windwardfund.org/heartland-fund/. ^
  10. “Supporting Groups.” GreenNewDealForAll.org. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.greennewdealforall.org/supporting-groups. ^
  11. Strode, Ryan, and Scott Nielsen. “Building Communities—and Working for Change—in America’s Heartland.” ArabellaAdvisors.com. Accessed July 8, 2019. https://www.arabellaadvisors.com/blog/building-communities-working-change-americas-heartland/. ^
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The Heartland Fund

1201 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC