Amid a surge in gun violence across the United States, funders increasingly are supporting collaborative community violence intervention (CVI) efforts, which can include hospital-based intervention, street outreach, and intense mentorship models. Such a holistic, public health-focused approach requires long-term public funding, however, so foundations are strategically supporting research and data collection, coordination, and technical assistance.

The nation has seen an increase in gun violence since 2020, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting a record 45,222 total gun deaths that year, up 14 percent from 2019 and 43 percent from a decade before. Preliminary data project a further 8 percent increase in 2021, and this year, as of October 31, the Gun Violence Archive has documented more than 37,000 deaths and nearly 33,000 injuries in gun violence incidents.

The context for that shift is that gun violence increasingly is recognized as a public health threat, as well as a racial justice issue since the racial “reckoning” of 2020. While mass shootings often lead to calls for stricter gun control measures and lawsuits against manufacturers—such as those advanced by Brady—community violence intervention (CVI) has been slowly gaining ground over the last 20 years.

In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that firearm deaths jumped 28 percent in 2020 to become the leading cause of death for children and youth under the age of 24. CDC data also showed that, in 2020, Black Americans were at least four times more likely to be killed by a gun than the overall population and 12 times more likely than a white American. Moreover, they saw the largest increase in rates of firearm homicides. Counties with the highest poverty level had firearm homicide rates 4.5 times as high and firearm suicide rates 1.3 times as high as those with the lowest poverty level. In addition, disparities in rates of exposure to firearm fatalities among Black and Latinx children widened in 2020.

Against this background, grantmaking for gun violence-related programs has grown over the last decade. While data are still being collected for 2020 and later, according to Candid, about $18.9 million of institutional grantmaking went to gun violence-related issues in 2013; by 2019, that number had grown to $83 million. The top recipients of gun violence-related funding both in terms of total grant dollars and the number of grants over the past decade include Brady and the Everytown for Gun Safety Support FundChicago CRED and the Heartland Alliance also were among the top recipients in terms of grant dollars, while Sandy Hook Promise and Everytown for Gun Safety were among those that received the largest number of grants.

Among the top funders of gun violence prevention (in terms of total grant dollars since 2012) are the Chicago Community Trust, the Joyce Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness), and the Kendeda Fund.

Read the full article about funding an end to gun violence by Kyoko Uchida at Philanthropy News Digest.