Way to Rise



Walnut, CA

Tax-Exempt Status:


Way to Rise is a left-of-center strategy group that works to direct funding from donors and grantmaking institutions to local activists and political organizations. The group opposes what it calls the “boom and bust cycle of funding” and aims to ensure a continuous flow of financial resources to local left-of-center organizations. Way to Rise is one of several groups affiliated with Way to Win, a left-of-center advocacy collective that includes activist groups, various nonprofit organizations, and political action committees. 1

Way to Rise is managed by the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, a grantmaking organization that is a spin-off from the Amalgamated Bank, a financial institution catering to left-of-center activists that is part-owned by Workers United, a division of the Service Employees International Union. 2

Parent Organization

Way to Win is an organizational strategy hub for left-of-center organizations that works to identify key elections the Democratic Party needs to win to gain control of various legislative bodies. The organization also directs the efforts of donors and other left-of-center organizations towards these key campaigns. Since its founding in 2018, Way to Win has published detailed, data-based reports that explain key elections and encourage support from grantmakers and activists. 3

The organization has pushed for activists to build stronger nonprofit institutions that will influence the Democratic Party and move it further left, rather than allowing the Democratic Party to direct the nonprofit base of support. The organization claims that, after winning the 2020 elections, it is vital that left-wing activists win “the battle for the soul of the Democratic party” against its less left-progressive members. 4

Objectives and Impact

Since 2020, Way to Rise has been pursuing a massive expansion of its fundraising and activities. That year, the organization issued a statement claiming that left-of-center activist groups, specifically those explicitly organizing based on race, were short nearly $60 million in funding and that it intended to address this alleged shortage of financial support. Groups that Way to Rise pledged to fund included Blueprint NC, which promotes Democratic Party candidates and policies in North Carolina and has stated its intent to “cripple” right-of-center causes in the state, and the Texas Civil Rights Project, which provides legal services to illegal immigrants. Way to Rise also committed to back national organizations like United We Dream, which promotes dismantling law enforcement and border security agencies, and Color of Change, which pushes for a broad range of left-of-center causes, including weakening state-level law enforcement. The timing of these announcements coincided with anti-police protests and riots during the summer of 2020. 5

In 2020, Way to Rise also launched its Latinx Justice Fund with support from the Ford Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the United States, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, which mainly funds left-of-center and Jewish organizations. The fund describes its mission as “building Latinx civic, economic, and cultural power.” 6

Despite its substantial fundraising targets and stated philanthropic goals, Way to Rise has relatively limited online infrastructure. The group’s website includes only home, news, and contact pages and directs readers to the site of its parent organization, Way to Win. 7 Way to Rise has only issued one statement on its site, which was posted in April 2020 and discussed the group’s plans to continue backing left-of-center causes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 8

Notable Funders

The Nathan Cummings Foundation gave Way to Rise a $200,000 grant in 2020 to develop programs that would increase the political power of left-of-center Hispanic and other minority constituencies. 9 The Crankstart Foundation, the personal grantmaking organization of San Francisco, California-based venture capitalist Michael Moritz, also provided funding to Way to Rise as recently as 2021. 10


  1.  Way to Rise. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  2. “Way to Rise Announces $59.1M Goal With Foundation Partners to Substantially Fund Voter Protection and Racial Equity.” PR Newswire. June 18, 2020. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  3. The Plan to Win. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  4. “Beyond Trump Report: A Theory of Political Transition.” Plan To Govern. December 10, 2020. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  5. “Way to Rise Announces $59.1M Goal With Foundation Partners to Substantially Fund Voter Protection and Racial Equity.” PR Newswire. June 18, 2020. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  6. Way to Rise. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  7. Way to Rise. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  8. “Our Response to COVID-19.” Way to Rise. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  9. “Our Partners.” The Nathan Cummings Foundation. Accessed May 22, 2022.
  10. “2021 Grants.” Crankstart. Accessed May 22, 2022.
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Way to Rise

340 S Lemon Ave #1940
Walnut, CA