The Open Philanthropy Project awarded a grant of $250,000 to the Ayni Institute to support its work on research, communication and training on movement ecology and movement metrics. This grant falls within Open Philanthropy's work on criminal justice reform.
The Ayni Institute is a training institute that aims to effect social change by providing innovative strategies to its partners and participants. It plans to use this grant to support a research project to identify and make the case for a set of metrics to use in assessing the capacity of groups to successfully mobilize the public on a large scale around issues such as mass incarceration. In particular, the Ayni Institute aims to identify metrics that can be used to determine both 1) the capacity of movements to create or capitalize on trigger events to shift public opinion, and 2) their capacity to absorb increased participation in high-profile moments. Open Philanthropy believes that the resulting analysis of how to strategically fund the movement ecosystem may help to inform the way that it and other funders think about supporting movement-building, both in criminal justice reform and in other areas. We believe that the creation of movement metrics, if successful, is likely to increase the effectiveness of funding for social movements and attract new funders who currently do not support social movements due to the lack of measurability.