Today, CEP released the second report in a three-part series about foundations’ responses to the crises of 2020. Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Equity? focuses on how foundations have changed their practices to support communities most affected by the pandemic and how they have reckoned with racism in a deeper way following the murder of George Floyd and nationwide protests against racial injustice and police violence.

Foundation leaders say that the events of this year have motivated them to change their practices. Almost 90 percent of foundations we surveyed are making new efforts to support organizations serving communities particularly adversely affected by public health and economic consequences of COVID-19 caused by systemic racism — primarily Black, Latino, and lower-income communities. Compared to their pre-pandemic practices, 59 percent say they are now giving a higher percentage of grant dollars to organizations created and led by CEOs from communities most affected by the pandemic. These funders are more frequently increasing their giving to organizations created and led by individuals from Black, Latino, and lower-income communities.

Leaders at over 80 percent of foundations we interviewed said they are making changes that incorporate racial equity into their grantmaking or programmatic strategies. About two-thirds described dedicating time to learning and reflecting about racial equity at their foundation, though slightly less than half reported making changes to internal practices. More than 80 percent of interviewees raised the important role for philanthropy to play in advancing systems change and engaging in policy, especially advocacy and organizing.

These findings are most certainly encouraging. But there is still much room for progress.

Read the full article about philanthropy and racial equity by Ellie Buteau at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.