Giving Compass' Take:
- A recent report from Candid and ABFE found that in 2019, there were significant funding disparities between the average historically Black college and university (HBCU) and the average Ivy League school.
- Researchers say the same disparities can be found in philanthropic funding to Black-led nonprofit organizations. How can foundations (and the broader social sector) address this racial funding bias?
- Learn why HBCUs are so crucial for local communities.
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The average historically Black college and university received 178 times less funding from foundations than the average Ivy League school in 2019, according to a new report on the underfunding of HBCUs released Tuesday.
The study -- conducted by the philanthropic research group Candid and ABFE, a nonprofit that advocates for investments in Black communities – found that the eight Ivy League schools received $5.5 billion from foundations compared to $45 million for the 99 HBCUs in 2019. Between 2002 and 2019, foundation support of HBCUs declined 30%, even before inflation is taken into account.
“We were not surprised by the findings because philanthropy generally funds Black-led nonprofit organizations disproportionately less than other similarly situated organizations,” said Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE’s president and CEO. “However, we were surprised by the data that indicated the enormity of the disparate funding between Ivy League colleges and HBCUs.”
Some study participants blamed systemic racism for the underfunding. Others said it was a result of limited connections between philanthropists and HBCU leaders.
In any case, the disparity is even more problematic, experts say, because HBCUs have proven themselves so effective in educating Black students.
According to the UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to Black students, HBCUs account for 80% of Black judges, 50% of Black doctors, and 50% of Black lawyers. Studies show that Black HBCU graduates earn $900,000 more in their lifetimes than Black graduates from predominantly white institutions or Black workers without college degrees.
Those arguments may have become more convincing in the racial reckoning that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. Preliminary estimates showed a 453% increase in foundation funding to HBCUs in that year.
That $249 million in donations does not include the $550 million that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott gave to 22 HBCUs that year, including $50 million to Prairie View A&M University in Texas.
Read the full article about HBCU funding by Glenn Gamboa at abcNEWS.