Bread & Roses Community Fund
In 1977, a collective of organizers, activists, and donors launched Bread & Roses Community Fund as a home for channeling money to movements for real change in the Philadelphia region. To date, their leadership has unleashed more than $13 million to flow to local grassroots groups taking collective action toward the liberation of all people.
Bread & Roses believes in change, not charity. They organize donors at all levels to support community-based groups in building movements for racial equity and economic opportunity for all. They support movements and their leaders through fundraising, grantmaking, capacity building, and convening.
They believe that a better world is possible. For 43 years Bread & Roses has inspired people to take collective action and create real change in their communities, the Philadelphia region, and beyond. They raise money through donations of all sizes and make grants using a democratic, community-led decision-making process. Their grants go to local groups working for good schools, fewer prisons, better jobs, a safe environment, quality health care, and more.
They believe that the people in the best position to create real change are those who are most affected by injustice and inequality. They bring people together across issues and provide training to build leadership among people of color, poor and working-class people, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ people.
They believe that real change is created by people who have the courage to stand up, the determination to join together, and the resources they need to create solutions for justice.
About Their Name
“Bread and Roses” was the rallying cry for striking textile workers in 1912 in Lawrence, Massachusetts who won overtime pay and better working conditions. The phrase comes from a poem by James Oppenheim published in 1911:
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes.
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
Their story begins in 1971, when a group of two dozen activists and donors in Philadelphia founded The People’s Fund. The founders were members and supporters of new or controversial grassroots groups, such as the National Lawyers Guild, the Black Panther Party, and Women United for Abortion Rights, that couldn’t find funding elsewhere. So, they decided to pool their own money, do fundraising, and fund the groups that were pushing for real change.See more