Community foundations award few grants specifically for Black communities: report

Youth practicing marching band outside.
Youth practicing marching band outside.
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The New York Community Trust dedicated about 4% of its funding to help Black New York City residents, according to the report.

Community foundations award few grants specifically for Black communities: report

Foundations were also more likely to fund health and human services over initiatives for human rights and democracy.
September 13, 2020

Only 1% of grants given away by 25 community foundations across the country are specifically set aside for Black residents, according to a new report from the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy.

The analysis included the New York Community Trust, which dedicated 4.2% of its grantmaking to Black communities from 2016 to 2018, despite the fact that 15% of the city’s population is Black – but it still gave proportionally more to Black communities compared to most other cities’ community foundations analyzed in the report. 

It also found that the funders examined gave “13 times more for non-Black communities than they have for Black communities since 2016.” Foundations were also spending significantly more on health, education and human services than on activities related to human rights and democracy. 

“Choosing to direct 99% of their grantmaking away from Black communities undermines the community foundation brand,” the report reads.

Though other funding that isn’t specifically designated as such may still be going to support Black communities, the report said that isn’t enough. “Our research has shown that funders who named specific marginalized communities in their giving strategy were more likely to make progress against their equity goals and to hold themselves accountable,” it reads.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.