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The Fulfilling the Dream Fund (Dream Fund) was established in 2004 as a five-year initiative with a $10 million pledge by the Ford Foundation. Forty-one funders joined the Dream Fund, and their contributions were matched by the Ford Foundation. Housed at Public Interest Projects (PIP), the Dream Fund made grants through a national fund and seven regional funds and consortia.
Between 2005 and 2010, the Dream Fund awarded approximately $12 million in grants to 43 organizations. More than half of this funding went toward constituency building and organizing, both to engage a broad cross-section of society - including businesses, unions, universities and churches as well as members of affected communities - and to improve public understanding of affirmative action.
Communications and research also received significant support, helping supporters develop strategies for breaking through the political demonization of affirmative action and delivering a positive message to a public that believes in equal opportunity and tends to support affirmative action once it understands it. The Dream Fund also supported projects with the potential to have broad impacts, including trainings, webinars and assistance to grassroots groups and organizations that developed innovative local models capable of replication in other regions.
Photo: The 2008 National Fulfilling the Dream Fund Convening.