Giving Compass’ Take:
• An article at Harlem World Magazine describes how institutional racism and underfunding create an uphill battle for organizations with leaders of color.
• How can we work to deconstruct these inequities in funding toward organizations with leaders of color? Are you doing enough to support leaders of color?
Organizations led by people of color from Harlem to Harare win less grant money and are trusted less to make decisions about how to spend those funds than groups with white leaders.
This is according to a new report by the consultancy Bridgespan and Echoing Green, an organization that invests in and provides support for leaders of emerging social enterprises.
The differences described in the report are sometimes stark. The authors analyzed three years of informational tax returns of 164 U.S. groups that were winners, finalists, or semifinalists in Echoing Green’s highly competitive fellowship program. They examined three years of funding data for each group that applied from 2012 to 2015 to determine funding levels and other available information. The authors found that white-led groups had budgets that were 24 percent larger than those led by people of color. It also found that groups led by black women received less money than those led by black men or white women.
African American leaders are well aware of these funding disparities, says Susan Taylor Batten, CEO of the Association of Black Foundation Executives. “Our organizations are underfunded and for that reason have smaller staffs, smaller budgets, and little to no operating reserves,” she says.
Even the process that leaders of color face when they do receive grants can be needlessly arduous, she says. As the association did the research for its report, leaders told of very rigorous reporting requirements and surprise visits that don’t apply to all grantees.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to both institutional racism and personal bias,” Batten says. “These are things that are extremely difficult for this sector to take on.”
Read the full article about systemic racism against organizations with leaders of color at Harlem World Magazine.
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