Third Wave Fund resources and supports youth-led, intersectional gender justice activism.

Yellow, blue, green, and red blobs of solid color surrounding a picture of a line of people (mostly Black and Asian femme folks) standing behind a large banner that reads "Rise up with us / No more wars / #WeAreDissenters / #NoWarWithIran." The photo is centered on a femme Black person with a shaved head speaking into a megaphone.

We build on the brilliance of our communities using responsive and participatory grantmaking so we can sustain our movements and thrive—now and long term. ​

We define gender justice as a movement to end patriarchy, transphobia, homophobia, and misogyny.  Since gender oppression is tied to capitalism, classism, racism, ageism, and ableism, gender justice can only truly be achieved when all forms of oppression cease to exist. 

Our grantmaking and donor mobilizing advances the community power, well-being, and self-determination of young Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) most directly impacted by and best positioned to end gender oppression. We specifically resource grassroots movements that are 1) multi-issue, 2) community-led (we define "community-led" movements as being led by those who are directly impacted by oppression) and 3) unapologetically queer, trans, intersex, and sex worker-led.

Our vision is a world where ALL people have full autonomy over our own bodies and lives. 

This means our people are fully resourced and empowered, and no longer need to rely on traditional philanthropic funding. In this world, wealth, power, and all forms of life-giving resources are redistributed and shared. Philanthropy is no longer understood as "charity" controlled by the few; but instead is in the hands of our communities so we can make decisions for ourselves on where to share and invest those resources.

Third Wave Fund uses a “by-and-for” leadership model that centers young BIPOC, builds on a strong intersectional Black feminist legacy, and organizes philanthropy to redistribute wealth and power.

By-and-For Leadership

Third Wave is led by and for the constituencies we serve because there can be nothing about us without us. We believe that lived experience generates wisdom, creativity, and expertise. Those most impacted by oppression are best positioned to design and lead the way towards justice. Philanthropy has a responsibility to be responsive and accessible along that path to justice.


Young people bring critical analysis and power to all movements for justice and collective liberation. While we need young visionary leaders, they are most often underestimated and last to be invested in by philanthropy. In our by-and-for leadership, Third Wave centers work led by and for people under 35.


Our commitment to social justice and collective liberation runs through all we do and how we do it. All forms of injustice are inextricably interrelated and create systems of oppression at individual, community, and structural levels. We support our grantee partners in working toward personal and structural change.
current initiatives


Our approach to grantmaking is to have flexible, de-siloed funding that meets movements where they are, while also focusing on particular communities that have been excluded from philanthropy. We do this with long term funding, capacity building, and rapid response grantmaking.


Three of these programs are a part of a de-siloed strategy of funding intersectional gender justice work that can be too expansive to fit into traditional funder categorizations – the Mobilize Power Fund, Own Our Power Fund, and the Grow Power Fund. The Mobilize Power Fund makes rapid response grants to urgent and unexpected movement moments year-round, while the Own Our Power Fund and Grow Power Fund make long-term investments in visionary and emerging organizations moving reproductive and gender justice forward at the grassroots level.


The remaining three grantmaking initiatives – the Accountable Futures Fund, the Disability Frontlines Fund, and the Sex Worker Giving Circle – seek to spotlight thriving areas of gender justice work that are under-resourced and under-represented within philanthropy. The Accountable Futures Fund supports young BIPOC to navigate conflict and harm in ways that decrease the power of carceral and state systems, specially via transformative justice, restorative justice, and community accountability. The Disability Frontlines Fund resources by and for disability justice groups working for gender justice. The Sex Worker Giving Circle is a cross-class, multi-racial, intergenerational, and participatory grantmaking and donor organizing strategy to support sex worker-led organizing. The Giving Circle is made up of a group of Fellows with current or past experience with sex work or the sex trade.

Five colorful shapes overlap slightly to form one image, all solid colors: a green illustration of a leaf (DFF logo), two blue interlocking half circles (MPF logo), a yellow triangle (AFF logo), two red semicircle lines, one within the other (GPF logo), and a pink flower-like shape with four sides (SWGC logo).

Leadership Development

Our Leadership Development program provides grantees with essential capacity building, training, and tools that emerging groups need to grow. Third Wave’s long-term grantmaking, capacity building, and networked approach has led to significant growth for Black, Indigenous, women of color-led (BIWOC) and trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people of color-led reproductive justice and gender justice infrastructure.

Our Leadership Development also includes making sure there is space for young Black women, indigenous women, and women of color (BIWOC) and trans, gender non-conforming Black people, indigenous people, and people of color (TGNC BIPOC) to be in decision making roles in philanthropy. Through our participatory grantmaking programs, we build upon the skills and insights that young BIPOC feminists already bring to the table, and ensure they have the tools they need to successfully make decisions about where our resources should go. 

Philanthropic Advocacy

Our Philanthropic Advocacy bridges the deep gap between philanthropy and grassroots activism and ensures that gender, race, disability, and class aren't left out of how we resource movements for justice. We are effective at building relationships with allied progressive funders, and we work to educate funders about issues and communities who are missing from the table.