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We foster movement building capacities by giving donations, training and support to migrant-led communities.

We aim for a world where borders become a place for meeting and exchange, and societies acknowledge and enjoy their diversity. For that, we prioritize our support for those who work first-hand to improve their lives, and simultaneously work to engage a broad range of social actors to spark this change. Three flagship programs support our mission:
Safe Passage Fund+

We give financial and organizational support to local grassroots initiatives to support migrant communities so that they have the resources to stand for their rights and rebuild their lives with dignity. Our main funding+ lines are Movement-Building Capacity, Migrant Leadership, and Women & Gender-Diverse Leadership, with which we resource groups with few other funding opportunities to build initiatives and organizations that stand for their rights and allow them to rebuild their lives with dignity.

The Fund+ works as a low-barrier and flexible funding accompanied by skill-building support for grassroots initiatives. It includes a basic application process that, if successfully approved by our board, leads to financial support as well as trainings, exchanges, networking, skill-sharing, and more. Projects like welcome centers, advocacy campaigns, mutual support groups, psychological counseling and coordination gatherings are some of the forms of grassroots organizing that we support.

Safe Passage Hub

As networking is often essential for many grassroots groups to develop effective change-making strategies and sustainable infrastructures, with this program we support and facilitate cross-cultural, cross-border dialogues where initiatives mutually learn from each other and shape our collective movements. With our hub, our aim is to support the diverse ecosystem of organizations and individuals to become supportive, mutually aligned and cohesive.

Concretely, we organize in-person and online gatherings for skill-sharing exchanges and mutual learning across borders, so that grassroots social actors can think alongside one another and be introduced to other organizations that work in the field.

Since 2019, Safe Passage is a key feminist and activist-led participatory grant-making fund in the pan-European migration field.
What is participatory grant-making?

Participatory grant-making is a unique practice of funding that cedes grant-making power to the communities who would be affected by these granting decisions. Traditional philanthropy often faces the critique about the top-down problem, where a large divide exists between the social realities between funders and grantees. This can translate into a gap between the people who are being served, and the people who are able to decide where funds are distributed. We’re joining the movement of radical philanthropists who take active steps to shift these practices, by putting decision-making power into the hands of individuals and organizations who would also be grantees. Our participatory grant-making process has been a key tenet of Safe Passage’s structure since its founding in 2019. Activist-centric, feminist, and anti-racist, we firmly and passionately believe that empowering grassroots activists and valuing their knowledge as experts of the realities on the ground can create powerful social movements to build the world we want to see. 

What does our participatory grant-making process look like?

Safe Passage’s decision-making power over funds and processes is entirely in the hands of a board of young activists who identify as women or gender non-conforming. Staying true to our principle that radical change comes from below rather than from above, our board brings a diverse range of experiences and perspectives of grassroots and non-governmental organizations focused on migrant rights.
Our board is international, bridging the divide between Europe and the countries affected directly by European policies of border externalization. Currently the board representatives work in the Western Balkans, Germany, the Central Mediterranean, and North Africa.
Each board member stays on for 2 years, after which other feminist activists take their place. With this rotation cycle, we strive to de-hierarchize knowledge and collectivize decision-making power. We have a committed vision of more inclusive board membership with each rotation round, through prioritizing smaller grassroots organizations, overlooked geographical areas, and/or representatives with experiences of migration or forced displacement.

Why do we use participatory grant-making?

Our goal is to shift decision-making power directly to those who are affected and organizing for the freedom of movement for all. We aim to influence the classical philanthropic field in Europe, encouraging funders to work in collaboration with grantee partners, innovating traditional top-down hierarchies and uplifting the voices, needs, and experiences of activists and the most impacted. 

What has happened?

Over the past four years, we’ve gained lots of insight into the ups and downs of feminist participatory grant-making. This has included a handful of crucial benefits: for example, by having representatives of grassroots organizations sit on our board, we’ve been able to quickly identify the usefulness and sustainability of many of the applications. We’ve been able to connect grantee partners to one another through our embedness in the migration ecosystem. With on-the-ground knowledge, we’ve been able to anticipate when certain regions or situations will become urgent and distribute resources accordingly, even before mass media picks up on it. Our board members have reflected on how our practices deepen team-building, networking connections, and allow complex, passionate conversations about feminist and anti-racist politics to take place.

We’ve also had some bumps in the road – which we embrace with patience and flexibility and think it is a necessary part of any learning process. For example, board members might have limited time capacities due to their commitments to their activist work, which requires particularly effective moderation during the bi-weekly board meetings we do have.

We plan to release annual reports of our findings and some of our tips and tricks that we’ve discovered during our feminist PGM process.

If you are interested in connecting over our PGM practices, please reach out to