This year, as COVID-19 raged and our nation faced a collective racial reckoning, we’ve seen increased charitable giving both to Black communities and to Black-led organizations that are implementing new visions of justice and safety. But how can we ensure that this new burst in investment is more than a passing trend? How can we build awareness, systems, and processes to ensure these investments continue past this moment? Not only do these organizations need lasting and long-term support, but philanthropy needs to wrestle with past failures to invest in the very communities we claim to be working for.

After all, there have long been glaring disparities. As the National Center for Responsive Philanthropy found, “the combined funding to Black communities is 1 percent of all community foundation funding while the combined Black population is 15 percent, resulting in an underfunding of Black communities of $2 billion.” This data point is a crisis of its own, all the more so in a moment marked by headlines warning about the possible extinction of nonprofits. Just this May, Echoing Green and The Bridgespan Group published a report outlining barriers to resources faced by Black leaders, particularly Black female leaders: Even where the work targeted Black communities, Black-led organizations had 45 percent less revenue and had 91 percent less unrestricted net assets than white-led organizations.

The work is already being done, and many organizations have recently taken steps to get closer to the communities we serve. Public Welfare Foundation has narrowed and deepened investments in eight targeted locations to fund community-led ecosystems for justice reform. Chicago Beyond launched the Going Beyond initiative and the Backing the Fight Fund to reach and support Black and Brown communities during the pandemic and recent social movement. And we are not alone. Women of color leaders like Melanca Clark at Hudson-Webber Foundation and Yanique Redwood at Consumer Health Foundation are also drawing down resources for hyperlocal work.

However, while the notion of giving to local, Black-led organizations will garner supportive head nods and maybe even a snap, ensuring investments to Black-led organizations continue—and grow—won’t be easy. How, then, can we ensure the sustained existence of Black-led community organizations serving on the frontlines and organizing mass demonstrations demanding change during this moment?

Read the full article about giving to Black-led nonprofits by Liz Dozier and Candice C. Jones at Stanford Social Innovation Review.