Giving Compass' Take:

• The Solutions Project wants to address the grantmaking imbalance that exists in philanthropy by only providing philanthropic dollars to people of color who are leading projects on climate change. 

• The author mentions that approximately 95 percent of philanthropic funding goes to nonprofits that are headed by white people. Funders can address this issue, but how can nonprofits work on diversifying leadership roles at their organizations? 

• Read more about how donors can support diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Of the billions of philanthropic dollars that foundations give to nonprofits, virtually all of it–an estimated 95%–goes to organizations run by white people. Up to 80% of those are men.  That imbalance is reflected both in grantmaking as a whole and in the realm of funding for climate change.

By 2020, The Solutions Project, an organization known for leading the push for 100% renewable energy, plans to invest 95% of its resources in projects led by people of color. At least 80% will go to organizations led by women.

“We know that these are the communities that are not only most impacted by dirty energy and climate change–overwhelmingly so–but they’re also at the forefront of solutions,” says Sarah Shanley Hope, executive director of The Solutions Project.

In 2018, The Solutions Project invested 53% of its funds in organizations led by executive directors of color, far more than a typical foundation, and 56% in female or nonbinary leaders. But it saw the opportunity to go much farther, and is calling for other organizations to do the same, particularly those that are also working on clean energy and climate change.

If other foundations ramped up investment in these organizations, even to just 10% of their total funding, “it will be game-changing,” she says. “This is about impact. It’s not just the right thing to do from a moral perspective…if we want to win on climate solutions, we have to radically redistribute resources and change the narrative.”

Read the full article about investing in organizations of color by Adele Peters at Fast Company