The Libra Foundation has funded people of color (POC)-led groups in the social justice space for years, and we applied what we’ve learned about funding in this space to the core strategy for the Fund.

These are the key lessons we brought with us into this effort: We must listen to our grantees, even when they tell us uncomfortable truths.   We must help organizations that are controversial, struggling, or just getting started in the work, too, since these are the organizations often leading change where it’s most needed. We must back up our allies. And we must be willing to be corrected if we make a mistake.

Importantly, we in philanthropy also have to do our own work. In our learning community, we will examine the ways white supremacy inhibits philanthropic effectiveness, identify blind spots that privilege creates, and build authentic relationships with grantees and movement leaders. We will work together to shed the bad habits of philanthropy’s paternalistic and racist past in order to build new practices of trust and partnership.

Philanthropy has a special responsibility to help our nation confront and resolve systemic racism. Meeting that responsibility starts with a fundamental shift in the way our sector does business. We must focus on supporting the people on the frontlines who have gained the trust of the most vulnerable among us. The Democracy Frontlines Fund is just the first wave of change toward that goal. We must keep going until justice is no longer out of reach for anyone in America.

Read the full article about philanthropy supporting black-Led organizations by Crystal Hayling at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.