Giving Compass' Take:
- The Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity reports that confirmed funding for racial equity and racial justice initiatives in 2020 was far less than initially reported or pledged that year.
- How can you support the realization of promised racial equity funding? How can you help sustain the movement?
- Read about the challenges of tracking racial equity charitable dollars.
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Roughly $11.9 billion in philanthropic capital was pledged for racial equity in 2020 according to Candid – however, new research from the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) has found that only $3.4 billion, or less than a third, has been actually confirmed as awarded by foundations and corporations in 2020.
The findings were published in PRE’s report Mismatched: Philanthropy’s Response to the Call for Racial Justice, and is the most comprehensive assessment of racial equity and racial justice funding to date, providing a detailed analysis of funding from 2015-2018 and preliminary analysis of 2020. Most prior reports on funding for racial equity work in 2020 examined dollar amounts pledged, but PRE’s report looks only at actual confirmed grants awarded, the organization said in a statement.
The estimate of $3.4 billion is preliminary – based on institutional funders that have already reported detailed grants data for 2020 to Candid, and could grow as more data from last year comes in – nevertheless, it is an indication that prior estimates of 2020’s surge in racial equity funding were vastly exaggerated.
Within racial equity funding, PRE’s research has also found that an even smaller percentage was allocated specifically to racial justice work. According to the report, $1 billion – or one percent of total giving in 2020 – supported racial justice work.
PRE makes a distinction between racial equity and racial justice, writing in the report: ‘Racial equity focuses on the prevention of harm and the redistribution of benefits within existing systems. … Racial justice focuses on power building and transformative goals, explicitly seeking to generate enough power among disenfranchised people to change the fundamental rules of society.’
Like philanthropy overall, the largest share of racial equity dollars went to education. Meanwhile, more than half of racial justice funding supported human rights.
Read the full article about racial justice and racial equity funding at Alliance Magazine.