Philanthropy, like other sectors facing a moral reckoning on racial equity, continues to have a vital role to play in creating an America that lives up to the promise of its founding ideals. But we must overcome the bias and barriers that have existed in philanthropy for too long if we hope to unlock the ideas, talent, and collaborations that can drive us toward an equitable future. This demands an interrogation of philanthropy’s history, as well as a look at the state of play in the sector today. Recent research has shown that entrepreneurs of color and from underinvested communities receive a disproportionately small fraction of total funding in philanthropy, even though they often are most proximate to many of the systemic challenges we face and have the expertise and systems-focused approaches needed to address them. Bridging the racial funding gap for entrepreneurs and other leaders, which can unleash a new wave of progress against entrenched inequities – this will take a shift in mindsets among funders, first and foremost.
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