Arch Community Fund launched in 2017 in response to the alarming rise of overt racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, religious intolerance, and corporate dominance in the United States. With family members who narrowly escaped the Holocaust and went on to benefit from opportunities in the United States, the founders of the Arch Community Fund felt compelled to invest in efforts to challenge the rise of intolerance and fascism and help build a more equitable society. We are especially concerned with the rise of hateful ideologies of white nationalism in the current political climate.
Our Mission is to strengthen grassroots movements to resist oppression and build towards a more equitable future.
We believe that this moment calls for resistance. We must actively challenge the authoritarian threat posed by the current administration, and invest in long-term, tranformative change.
At Arch, our focus is on transformative organizing efforts that center:
- Resistance. Resistance in the face of injustice is a moral obligation. Inaction is complicity.
- Community Leadership: Movements for change are most effective when led by members of the affected communities.
- Systemic Change: Hate and intolerance arise from longstanding systems of oppression. Dismantling these systems requires bold, transformative solutions that address root causes and inspire action.
- Intersectional Racial Justice: Structural racism is embedded in our culture and intersects with all forms of injustice. It is important to use a lens that provides an intersectional analysis in addressing these injustices.
Arch Community Fund makes grants to support transformative organizing for systemic change. Arch does not prioritize specific issues in its grantmaking, but rather seeks to fund community-led organizing that is visionary, intersectional and focused on building power. Our grants provide general operating support for small, grassroots organizations, including fiscally sponsored projects. We are not currently making grants to alliances, networks or coalitions.
We consider the totality of Arch’s assets, not just grantmaking dollars, through a lens of social impact. We will prioritize investments that shift control of and access to resources over those that maximize return and accumulation of foundation assets. We are currently developing an investment policy statement that aligns with our mission. We expect to release details on that plan by early 2020.
Who We Are
Arch Community Fund was founded by three siblings:
- Alan Preston: Alan has over 25 years experience in nonprofit management, most recently serving as co-director of a homeless advocacy group in Seattle. He has also been an organizer for state and national tax fairness campaigns.
- Leslie Preston: A lifelong social worker, Leslie spent two decades championing the mental health needs of low-income immigrant communities at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, CA. Forming Arch Community Fund was a top priority for her before her untimely passing in 2018.
- Dean Preston: Dean is an attorney and activist at the forefront of the struggle for housing justice. He is the founder and director of California’s only statewide organization for renters’ rights. Most recently, Dean championed the nation’s first universal right to counsel law for tenants facing eviction.
Arch’s Program Consultant is Seattle-based Cynthia Renfro. Cynthia has 20 years experience in philanthropy, currently as principal & CEO at Civis Consulting LLC, supporting social justice grantmaking and community-based organizations. Prior to Civis, she was a director of programs at the Marguerite Casey Foundation and the Turner Foundation; and program officer for the Beldon Fund.
Arch Community Fund greatly appreciates the generous assistance of retired philanthropic consultant Beth Rosales in helping to launch and guide this fund. Beth has over 30 years experience in progressive philanthropy. Beth continues to serve as Internal Strategic Advisor to Arch.
We welcome questions, comments, or suggestions. Thank you for your interest in Arch Community Fund.