Zebra Solidarity Fund

Zebra Solidarity Fund

An intro to the Zebra Solidarity Fund by Sheeza Shah, Zebras Unite Director of Operations and Partnerships

🎉 What is the Zebra Solidarity Fund?

Inspired by the principles of Zakat (read our Founding Member, Sheeza Shah’s article in The Guardian), a morally obligated Islamic practice that dissuades hoarding to redistribute wealth and eradicate poverty, Zebras Unite Co-op has set aside 2.5% of all gross revenues for a Zebra Solidarity Fund for its co-op members. This fund will be used to offer financial assistance, advance projects centred on economic justice, underwrite scholarships and experiments serving the solidarity economy.

🤗 Who benefits from this fund?

This fund is specifically for Zebras Unite Co-op members that are aligned to the values outlined in our manifesto here.


The fund will be used to distribute a no strings attached grant to Zebras Unite Co-op members provided they are addressing activities and projects that fall within the following streams. This fund will not be used to generate any income for Zebras Unite.org or Dazzle LCA (Zebras Unite Co-op).

🚀 What activities and projects qualify for a Zebras Solidarity Fund grant?

  • Subsidizing member fees for Zebras Unite Co-op members struggling to meet the financial ask
  • Non-profit or charitable projects centered on economic justice work
  • Community experiments to create solutions for solidarity issues
  • “Emergency Response Fund/Rapid Response” for disaster relief, and/or emergent social issue support, “care and health” fund impacting our members
  • Care fund for physical and mental health of founders that are members of Zebras Unite Co-op
  • Sabbatical fund for rejuvenating founders that are members of the Co-op
  • Underwriting or providing scholarships for travel to come together for solidarity in action
  • Redistribute wealth to those who are vulnerable or cut out from wealth/work

⛔ Areas of work that we are unable to support

  • Arms trade/war/conflict
  • Extractive and exploitative activities/projects
  • Electoral/Political campaigns
  • Projects that go against the thesis and values of Zebras Unite
  • Interest-bearing loans

🦓 What is the composite of the committee?

  • Volunteer Co-op Members will serve on the committee and earn patronage for their time.
  • The committee will rotate every 6 months with a quarterly and annual check-in
  • The committee will be made up of:
    • 1x member of the Dazzle District team
    • A diverse group of 4x Co-op members
  • The committee will at all times be made of an odd number of members to break the tie on making decisions
  • The committee will review and qualify applicants based on the criteria. They will hold the authority to decide how the quarterly budget of $3k is distributed amongst qualified applicants in 2022. The quarterly budget for 2023 will be decided on in Q3 2022.

⏳ Application window

  • Applications will open and close for a month each quarter so that the committee has time to review and decide on the most effective deployment of these funds.
    • May 1 - May 30, 2022 (extended to June 22nd, 2022)
    • August 1 - August 30, 2022
    • November 1 - November 30, 2022
    • February 1 - February 28, 2023

🔜 What is the cadence of the grants being made available to members?

Funding will be distributed quarterly however the committee will extend flexibility to respond to emergency needs. If you have an urgent need, please complete this application and select the ‘emergency’ category in the priority field. The committee will do its utmost to respond within 7 working days of receiving your application.

⚠️ Is there a cap on how much funding a member can receive through the Zebra Solidarity Fund?

Yes; a maximum of $3k will be available for distribution per quarter in 2022. Co-op members are eligible for one grant each fiscal year. The committee will decide how the quarterly budget is distributed amongst applicants based on the needs outlined in applications.

🔜 How can a member apply to access the Zebra Solidarity Fund?

ZU Co-op Members are invited to apply using this form. Kindly note, if you are an entity seeking funding, then you will need to be a corporate member of the co-operative. If you're an individual member but your company is unable to afford corporate membership, you are welcome to apply as an individual on the understanding that you will upgrade your membership upon receiving a grant.

📩 What is the best way to contact the team behind the Zebra Solidarity Fund?

You can reach the team at: [email protected]