Applying for Funding
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) supports development projects with trade unions and community organizations around the world. Currently the projects are in Latin America and Africa. As a labour-sponsored fund, the major focus of the SHF is to work with trade unions or worker organizations. SHF project support is typically long term. This means that we have only limited resources available for new projects and new partners in any given year.
Groups interested in applying for support from the Steelworkers Humanity Fund should contact SHF staff and submit a very short letter indicating:
(a) Name of organization responsible for project;
(b) Links (if any) with union or worker organizations;
(c) Location of project;
(d) Contact person;
(e) Brief description of the project, objectives and expected outcome of project; and
(f) Approximate budget for the project, and duration.
Applications for partnership and funding may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The applications will be reviewed by SHF staff. If there is some likelihood that the funding proposal meets funding criteria, and depending on available resources, the SHF staff will contact the organization to discuss a more formal funding proposal and project.
Funding Criteria for Project Funding from the Steelworkers Humanity Fund
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) supports development projects with trade unions and community organizations around the world. Currently projects are in Latin America and Africa.
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund develops long-term relationships with partners that allow the fund to achieve its charitable objectives.
Projects undertaken by the SHF with partner organizations must be reviewed by the SHF Project Review Committee (PRC). The PRC will consider the project proposal against Guidelines for Project Funding adopted by the board of directors and the SHF project criteria, and make a recommendation to the executive committee of the board of directors for final approval.
Project criteria include the following:
- How will project activities contribute to alleviation of poverty?
- If the project objectives include capacity development, how are project activities expected to lead to changes in attitude, understanding, behaviour, relationships and activities? What will individuals or groups do differently as a result of the project?
- What is the experience of the project partner and partner's staff in project management?
- What is the governance structure and membership of the project partner? To what degree is the organization membership driven, with strong and functioning democratic structures?
- What are the objectives of the organization? To what degree does the organization have a vision of social change and a demonstrated commitment to social justice?
- To what degree does the organization have commitment to gender equity?
- Does the project have appropriate overhead costs, such that support or training reaches intended individual recipients / participants?
- How responsive is the project to views, needs and experience of participants?
- If proposal is for a renewal or continuation of a prior project, to what degree did prior projects reach objectives?
There are many worthwhile projects undertaken by progressive organizations. The Steelworkers Humanity Fund gives priority to projects that:
- are sponsored or proposed by democratic trade unions or worker organizations;
- are likely to have a significant regional or national impact;
- are likely to generate increased activism at the grassroots level;
- are likely to lead to permanent improvements and permanent strengthening of democratic organizations;
- are in countries or regions or sectors where the SHF or USW members have expertise (and are better able to contribute to objectives and monitor progress);
- involve countries, partners or themes that are likely to engage USW members in learning and action on global development issues.
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund strives to have a balance of projects that taken as a whole will contribute to the following:
- women's rights / gender equity;
- direct improvement in living standards;
- strengthening of organizations through capacity building and organizing;
- research and analysis.
- For its international development projects, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund prefers to establish partnership relationships directly with domestic groups based in the country or region where the project is located, rather than with civil society groups based in Canada or other advanced economies.
As stated in the guidelines adopted by the Steelworkers Humanity Fund board of directors:
- Programs of training and education (capacity building) with labour organizations, worker groups or community organizations, contribute in a significant way to the advancement of social and economic justice, and to the reduction of poverty. Projects and programs that build the organizational capacities of labour organizations, worker groups and community organizations, are legitimate and essential components of the poverty relief mandate of the SHF. Projects that provide funding to enable groups to advocate, organize and mobilize on their own behalf can have a significant long-run positive results in raising and sustaining living standards.
- Long-term solutions to poverty, abuse of human and labour rights and economic and social inequality will require significant change in the way the global economy currently operates. Therefore the development and promotion of alternative ideas, approaches, analysis, economic models and tools that put the needs of workers and their communities first, is an important part of the achieving the SHF long-term goals. Strategic projects that focus on the development of alternatives will continue to be eligible for funding.
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund, while primarily focused on international development, also contributes to Canadian projects and participates with Canadian partners in the areas of poverty and food security. In Canada, a limited number of educational support, research and analysis projects and advocacy projects or programs may be undertaken with Canadian-based partners, coalitions or other NGOs. These are selected based on their contribution to (a) increasing the understanding and involvement of USW activists and staff in issues of poverty reduction, human rights and international development; and / or (b) advocating for community, government or corporate initiatives that will promote increased access to social and economic justice in Canada or globally.