The Transform Finance Institute for Social Justice Leaders is a two-day, introductory training for those interested in the intersection of social justice and finance. Now in its fifth year, the Institute came out of a realization that social justice and finance are often at odds, even though we believe there is tremendous potential for capital to be a tool for real, transformative social change.

The Institute exists to empower participants to understand, engage, challenge, and ultimately reclaim finance as a tool for social justice. The Institute provides a framework for the intersection of social justice and finance, where financial concepts are learned within the practical context of social justice efforts. The Institute is not a "Finance 101" boot camp, nor is it a fundraising brainstorm, there are plenty of free resources available to learn about risk, returns, and fundraising.

By combining presentations, group activities/discussion, and personal reflection with the wisdom of participants and invited speakers, the Institute curates a shared learning environment that is unique for a finance-focused training.

The Institute will begin with an overview of the larger financial sector, its key players, and the components of an investment, which serve as a foundation for us to introduce several financial tools, such as (but not limited to):

  • Earned revenue strategies for your organization

  • Impact investing (PRIs, MRIs) by foundations

  • Shareholder advocacy to support your campaign

  • Community-governed capital funds

  • Raising capital for business or cooperative formation

Building on previous iterations, this year's Institute is much more than a two-day in-person training. To maximize our in-person time together, this year all attendees will join a Transform Finance-facilitated Basecamp team to participate in brief, offline activities in preparation for the Institute. Basecamp will serve as a place for discussion, connecting, and housing reference materials. We believe this shared background knowledge will allow us to hit the ground running in September.

As part of the Institute, we will be hosting a Family Dinner for participants. We believe there is tremendous power and potential to connect, reflect, and be in community with one another. The dinner will be held on Friday, September 21 in New York City.

This year’s Institute for Social Justice Leaders will include:

  • Virtual Discussion

  • Family Dinner, to connect and reflect in community

  • Two-day In-Person Training

  • 'Deep Dive' follow-ups

When: September 21-22, 2018

Where: New York City

Cost: $150 per person*

Application: Closed

You should attend if you:

  • work for social justice

  • are interested in learning how finance can be a tool for social change

  • can devote time to on/offline learning

  • want to build a network of like-minded peers

You will walk away with:

  • understanding of the intersection of social justice and finance

  • fundamental knowledge of key financial concepts/terms, as they relate to your work

  • financial tools/approaches that you can use to further your social justice work

  • an informal network of like-minded peers devoted to social justice

  • exposure to values-aligned experts and practitioners


Over the last four years, the Institute has trained more than 130 social justice leaders.

Notable Past Participants | Arab Cultural Center | Asian Americans for Civil Rights & Equality | BALLE | Bay Localize | CEJA | CERO | CoFED | Cooperation Jackson | Disability Rights Fund | Forward Together | Generation Waking Up | Movement Strategy Center | Mujeres Unidas y Activas | Oakland Grown | National Day Labor Organizing Network | Restaurant Opportunities Center | Roots of Success | Social Justice Learning Institute | Source International | United Roots | Urban Peace Movement | Youth SEED

Notable Past Speakers
Boston Ujima Project | Causa Justa :: Just Cause | Civic Insight | East Bay Community Law Center | Greenlining Institute | Inner City Advisors | International Development Exchange | LISC | The Working World | Mandela MarketPlace | NESRI | Next City | Nonprofit Finance Fund | Project Equity | People's Community Market | SITAWI Finance For Good



*Registration costs cover tuition and meals, it does not cover travel or lodging. Previously, when registration cost $450-850, we offered scholarship opportunities for applicants. To increase accessibility, we decided to drastically lower the cost of attendance, but at the same time, have phased out scholarships.

For inquiries, please email Eric Horvath, Program Manager for Community & Social Justice Partnerships, at