In general, the data in this brief report is based on NCRP’s analysis of Candid giving data, which we paired with Census (ACS, 2018) demographic data. Candid (formerly GuideStar + Foundation Center) is the definitive philanthropy sector source for information on foundation grantmaking.
NCRP’s query of Candid data includes grantmaking
- from each community foundation,
- for work to benefit the community foundation’s home state (or states in cases where the foundation serves a multi-state community)
- from 2016 to 2018
Q: Where and when did this data come from?
A: These data are based on NCRP’s analysis of Candid giving data, which we paired with Census (ACS, 2018) demographic data. Candid (formerly GuideStar + Foundation Center) is the definitive philanthropy sector source for information on foundation grantmaking. They get their data from a variety of sources: Sometimes foundations share their data directly with Candid (if you’re a foundation and you don’t do this, you should!); and sometimes Candid pulls data from a foundation’s Form 990. These data include 2016-2018, three years of giving which occurred after the Ferguson Uprisings in 2014, and during and after the national campaign of a white supremacist president. Demographic data are from 2018.
Q: How did we decide which grants were for Black communities and which weren’t?
A: We rely on Candid’s grant beneficiary population and grant subject coding, which comes from a variety of sources: Sometimes Candid collaborates on coding with the foundation in question (if you’re a foundation and you don’t do this, you should!); and sometimes Candid codes grants themselves using a sophisticated process which you can read more about here. Their processes – just like any coding process – are not perfect. See below for more.
Q: What are the flaws in the data?
A: The most recent year of data we have available is 2018. Additionally, Candid’s coding process is not perfect and there will always be some grants that have been erroneously coded as being for Black communities or which are erroneously not given that code when they should have been. NCRP is not aware of any systemic bias in Candid’s coding that would inflate or deflate grantmaking for Black communities across the board. When we talk about potential coding errors, it’s vital to focus on the orders of magnitude for the grantmaking in question. Even if Candid systematically under-coded grantmaking for Black communities by a factor of two (which would be a large and surprising systemic error), most of the community foundations in this dataset would see their numbers adjusted up from 1% or 1.5% to 2% or 3%. No one can responsibly suggest that their grantmaking data has been under-coded by a factor of 10 or 20 times, which is what would be required in order for most of the community foundations in this dataset to approach grantmaking parity with the Black share of their community’s population.
Read the full list of FAQs about the Black Funding Denied data report at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.