As we look to imagine a post-pandemic future, philanthropy is considering its next steps to advance a more equitable future. We witnessed an unprecedented response from our sector to support Black-led organizations and movements in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that if we want to, we can transcend our traditions and self-imposed limitations to fund quickly and across issue areas to meet communities where they are to address racial disparities.

Investing in racial justice is a key strategy to get to a more just world. While Black and Brown organizers and movement leaders have modeled extreme heroism and dedication, much of their work has occurred with limited or nonexistent financial support. They are fighting for racial justice, yet most do so without significant philanthropic investment. A new Schott initiative, #JusticeIsTheFoundation, addresses the current challenges in philanthropic support for racial justice in education—and offers pathways to shape racial justice in health grantmaking as well, since race, income, and educational opportunities most clearly predict health outcomes.

Earlier this year, Schott Foundation for Public Education’s commissioned new research with Candid showing that in education, philanthropy drastically underfunds both racial equity and racial justice. In fact, from 2017 through 2019, education philanthropy—the second most popular issue for foundations—disbursed $14 billion, but just ten percent of that ($1.4 billion) went to racial equity, and less than one percent ($109 million) went to racial justice. There are 56.6 million K–12 students nationwide, which means the philanthropic investment in racial justice works out to less than $2 per student. An examination of health philanthropy’s investments would likely reveal similar trends.

Read the full article about racial justice in philanthropy by Edgar Villanueva at Grantmakers In Health.