Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Program Foundation helps to better support black-led non-profit organizations

A new initiative was launched today to help donors change the way they work to better support black-led charities. Abundant with three Chicago area sponsors, beyond Chicago, the Grand Victoria Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. The MacArthur Foundation is a partnership.

It is not a pledge of allegiance, but a program of support. The foundation is in the process of hiring a plentiful director and has provided the group with an annual budget of $ 400,000. Although much of the process is decided by the director, the idea is to create a platform for donors to learn from each other how to change their practices, which will effectively support black-led groups, often small ones. Locally focused and historically the least funded.

“When we think of the real change that needs to take place, we need more than just signatures and commitments,” said Chicago Beyoncé CEO Liz Dozier. “The hope must be met with some kind of commitment and then action.”

The MacArthur Foundation will provide financial support as needed, said John Palfree, President of the Foundation. According to McArthur’s recent efforts to include justice in all decision-making processes, Palfry was attracted to the program in part. The Foundation hopes that a large international charity will be involved in this effort.

“The plentiful activity in my mind is moving from the promise we were talking about to practice, and it is really intentional and clear and accountable for our support,” says Palfree. “None of these things can easily happen overnight.”

Lisa Mለርller, vice president of thought management and knowledge at Echoing Green, an investment and support organization for young social enterprise leaders, is trying to solve long-standing problems in charities. Ecoing Green conducted a study and found that groups led by color leaders earned less money than whites and had fewer restrictions.

According to Mለርller, donors are now interested in donating to people of color because of the 2020 racial equality questions. But their own internal practices sometimes prevent them from doing so effectively. She says Echoing Green is being offered to non-profit corporations led by blacks. They generally want to support large groups with a long history. Mለርller says that because of the historical investment in these organizations, few meet that requirement.

“Once you start investing in these kinds of criteria, the pool will shrink with each limit you set,” she said. “It looks great at first because you are committed, you are making this promise, but once we get to the end it can be very difficult to find the right matches.”

Palfei has seen similar restrictions among donors that have led to unfair financial support. “Big charities need to change their metrics,” he says. “We have to work in a way that changes the course of history and is different from the past. And some of them are looking for ways to copy organizations in the early stages.”

Beyond Chicago, Dodgers and Grand Victoria Foundation President Sharon Bush read out an editorial on a local business newspaper urging them to take the plunge. Business communities.

“He felt very inhumane,” Bush said.

She says charity was part of the problem. “We often have a tendency to think about black communities as a problem that is solved by any group of people who are different from our loved ones,” she said. “What do we do if we decide to support them in a different way?”

Bush and Dodie want to find more donors to support black-led charities with years of support, to understand the challenges faced by black-led groups, and to help such groups grow in a sustainable way.

They also knew that there was an opportunity for George Floyd’s assassination. Grant makers wanted to support black-led groups in a way they had never done before. And, as the Dozer puts it, they knew the opportunity would not last forever.

The goal is to find out how to include more black-led groups in their donations and finally mobilize a group of foundations that will receive additional funding at their doorstep.

“It’s basically how we change our practice and how our own perceptions are put into practice,” says Dozer. “It’s not really a script, it’s just a matter of learning together to do better.”

No funding targets – The group is asking donors who join the model to give more to black-led groups. The group plans to pursue that funding, although Bush and Dozer do not say for sure whether those figures will be made public.

Abundant Planning Black-led groups may be more curious but not yet engaged than just financially successful. This does not increase the amount of money available to these groups.

Bush and Dozer say the next director will have his own idea of ​​how to get to the bottom of the effort, but both expect a certain amount of phone calls and basic communication.

The $ 7 billion contribution to the MacArthur Foundation could help, says Mውller from Ecoing Green. “I really think it sends a signal to the field,” she said. “We need a lot of family-name institutions to make these kinds of partnerships and to run these kinds of campaigns because this is very important for how change in the field is going to take place.”

Joining foundations must be prepared to truly participate and learn, says Dozer.

“He is not just telling people to do it,” she says. Instead, she said, participating donors will “be part of a community where they are invited to join and test experiences and try and break things down and work together to advance and work on the issue.”


This article is for the Associated Press. Jim Rendon is a senior writer in the Chronicle. Email Fill [email protected] Associated Press and Chronicle Charitable and Nonprofit Coverage is supported by Lily Endowment. Associated Press and Chronicle are solely responsible for all content. For all Associated Press charity coverage, visit


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