Giving Compass’ Take:
• Rodney Foxworth, CEO of Common Future, explores why it is crucial for more donors to directly fund leaders of color in a system that perpetuates racial funding disparities.
• How are you building racial equity and justice in philanthropy? Are there opportunities for you to fund Black leadership?
• Read more about the funding disparities for leaders of color in philanthropy.
As we mourn the tragic loss of black life from police brutality and white nationalism over recent weeks, we must also recognize that the injustices affecting black people are innumerable.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how systemic racism in healthcare, housing, and public health has left black people disproportionately at risk to the outbreak, with black deaths nationwide from COVID-19 nearly two times greater than would be expected based on our share of the population. As the virus wreaks havoc on the US economy, black people are particularly vulnerable and further pushed to the margins, while the number of active black businesses has already dropped more than 40 percent over the past few months.
But we refuse to break, and here we stand, unbroken and undeterred. Like many black people in this country, I live each day with anger and pain, but also joy and optimism.
Right now, I challenge donors and impact investors to begin to rectify the myriad funding disparities faced by black, indigenous, and people of color organizations. We know what they are, even though we rarely acknowledge them: a report by Echoing Green and Bridgespan on racial disparities in philanthropy found that white-led groups that applied to the prestigious social entrepreneur fellowship had budgets 24 percent larger than those led by people of color, while unrestricted assets of organizations led by people of color were 76 percent smaller than those led by whites.
In another recent report, “The Case for Funding Black-Led Social Change,” the Association for Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) discovered that 60 percent of the black-led organizations it surveyed had budgets of $500,000 or less, and just 23 percent had reserves of 3 months or more. If you’re a funder looking to be in allyship with communities of color in this moment, your task is simple: fund and invest in institutions led by people of color that are focused on equity and justice.
Read the full article about funding leaders of color by Rodney Foxworth at Medium.
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