Here are some recommendations I gathered from speaking to leaders from marginalized communities, especially communities of color:

Assess how much you’re investing in organizations led by communities of color and other marginalized communities: Go through all your investments, and determine how much actual funding—and what percentage—you’re investing in these organizations.

Add back the zero. This pervasive notion we have that grassroots orgs led by marginalized communities cannot handle large amounts of funding is as patronizing and insulting as it is destructive.

Increase your payout: As I mentioned here, “When our communities are hurting, the right response from foundations is not to hunker down and save for a rainy day.

Change your priorities around how you select which orgs get funding: We need to shift funding decisions from which orgs write the best proposal and have the best “capacity” and start considering factors such as do at least half their board members and the majority of their senior staff come from the communities they’re serving.

Stop punting to individual donations: As I mentioned in “Why individual donation strategies often do not work for communities of color,” the statistics that the majority of nonprofit funding comes from individual donors is misleading and has been used as an excuse to not invest in grassroots organizations.

Stop listening to the siren song of “strategic philanthropy”: If I had a nickel for every time I hear of a brilliant, community-driven solution that runs smack into the wall of “that doesn’t align with our catalytic/strategic/paradigm-shifting/innovative/disruptive funding priorities that we created two years ago,” I would have, like, 70 cents. We have all been trained to think strategically, to have strategic plans. We believe we are most effective, and that we are doing the right thing when we stick to our plans.

Take risks and accept failure. And do it faster: We cannot achieve Equity if we do not accept risk and failure. Injustice is complex. If it were simple, we would have ended it already. It’s not, so we have to be willing to try different things, and accept that not everything we try will succeed. And we must do it all much faster.

Read the full article about protecting marginalized communities by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.