Giving Compass' Take:
- A report from Echoing Green highlights the challenges for Black leaders and entrepreneurs to secure funding and sheds light on the importance of long-term investment for Black communities.
- What dynamics in philanthropy currently serve as barriers for leaders of color to obtain funding?
- Read more about funding leaders of color to build equity.
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Echoing Green, a global social venture fund based in New York City, has released a report reflecting on nearly a decade of investment in Black leaders and communities through the Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship program—and calling for expanded long-term funding.
The report, Black Voices, Black Spaces: The Power of Black Innovation (30 pages, PDF) explores the philanthropic dynamics affecting Black leaders and reflects on lessons learned for the social entrepreneurship field with respect to funding and supporting Black innovation and community impact. Between 2012 and when the program sunset in 2020, Echoing Green invested more than $6 million in 90 BMA fellows across the United States—a first-of-its-kind initiative focused on social entrepreneurs working to effect systemic change for Black men and boys. In turn, fellows raised nearly $65 million in additional support during their active fellowships, instigating large-scale change in the areas of climate justice, education, economic opportunity, social justice, racial equity, and civil and human rights.
The report emphasizes the need for expanded long-term funding of Black communities and Black leaders and programming in support of Black innovators and social entrepreneurs. “Black leaders have always been here—fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and joy as we design solutions with and for our communities,” said Derick Pearson, founder of the Center for Black Innovation and a 2017 BMA fellow. “It is time that philanthropy and influencers of funding strategies build enduring infrastructure that meaningfully honors Black innovation and life by directing significant resources, capital, networks, and policies to Black communities so our innovation can thrive.”
Read the full article about funding Black communities at Philanthropy News Digest.