Issue Based

Philanthropy Northwest Network Call - Solidarity, Not Charity: The Rise of Mutual Aid Networks

Philanthropy Northwest Network Call - Solidarity, Not Charity: The Rise of Mutual Aid Networks

Event banner for Philanthropy Northwest Network Call with icon of three people talking

Event details

Friday, December 3, 2021
10:00am to 11:00am PST

About this event

Through the pandemic, mutual aid networks have gained prominence and popularity as a vital and useful tool to rapidly address community needs. Although historically practiced for many generations amongst marginalized communities (LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, people with disabilities, etc.) the term mutual aid has been appearing with more frequency over the past 18 months.

As funders seek new and innovative ways to address growing disparities, mutual aid has become a critical piece of the support infrastructure in many Northwest communities. Through its guiding principle of "solidarity, not charity," this community-initiated and led style of giving has supported the distribution of material goods (PPE, fans, food), grief support, and much more during a time of great need. As philanthropies seek to hone more community-centric practices, many have begun to wonder what our role could look like in the support of these funds.

Join us for a conversation as we explore the ways funders can thoughtfully contribute to and learn from grassroots, community-led mutual aid networks.


Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln (she/they), Executive Director, Add the Words

Chelsea, a queer, Latinx, proud momma and wife, was born and raised in what is known as Idaho (Shoshone Bannock lands) and stayed after college because her grams, now 93, asked her to do so. Being non-Black, bi-racial, she is also the proud granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, whom she never knew but proudly carries their name Gaona. With a background in education and psychology, Chelsea spent 18 years in the mental health field, the majority of it as a behavioral health therapist for kids with cognitive disabilities. She’s currently staffed with the feminist organization, Legal Voice, who pursues justice for all women and LGBTQ+ people through groundbreaking litigation, legislative advocacy and community education. She serves as the executive director for the statewide, volunteer-run nonprofit, Add the Words, Idaho. What was initially formed as a Political Action Committee (PAC) with a one-piece of legislation focus, (adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Idaho Human Rights Act), Chelsea has flipped into a community-centric nonprofit honoring what the LGBTQ+ community asks for, using an intersectional and radically inclusive lens. 

Chelsea has been involved in political and community organizing for well over a decade. Initially getting involved with ballot initiatives around education, she worked her way through the Democratic Party ranks starting at a county level, co-founding the statewide LGBTQ+ Caucus and now serves as the National Committeewoman for Idaho to the DNC. They have also run for the Idaho State Legislature twice in District 10. Chelsea loves getting her community paid for their intellectual labor, and has turned that love into action by initiating racial equity and inclusion workshops and facilitation, while highlighting some of Idaho’s own Black, Indigenous and communities of color. 


Participation in this meeting is open to philanthropic organizations that currently make grants. This includes corporate giving offices, private and public foundations, community foundations, government grantmakers and CDFI institutions with a philanthropic focus. You do not need to be a Philanthropy Northwest member to participate, but do need to represent an organizational philanthropic institution. Please do not join this call if you are a nonprofit organization. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact Nancy Sanabria.


Please contact JulieAnne Behar with any questions.