The Open Philanthropy Project recommended a grant of $50,000 to New Virginia Majority to enable it to hire formerly incarcerated staff. New Virginia Majority is a political base-building organization that we see as highly competent, and that is beginning to address the issue of criminal justice reform in Virginia. Its organizing is centered on securing rights restoration for the formerly incarcerated.
This is a discretionary (formerly called “no-process”) grant. For discretionary grants, the grant investigator (in this case Chloe Cockburn, our Program Officer for Criminal Justice Reform) can recommend the grant without needing to go through our normal process of providing their reasoning, discussing with the team, and providing input on and review of our public page. These grants are limited to a relatively small proportion of our grantmaking, and some other stipulations apply to what types of grant are eligible. The overall aim is for us to be able to move forward on relatively small and low-risk grants, based purely on the judgment of a single staff member and with minimal delay.