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Funding Disparities (Black-led Organizations)

By: Janet Martin Del Campo, Community Engagement Manager

Date: March 29, 2021

Why are black-led organizations severely underfunded?

We can cite multiple reasons for funding disparities, but I would like to focus on the problem at hand. Black-led organizations are notoriously underfunded and underappreciated by society as a whole. Dorsey, Bradach, and Kim (n.d) cite that the disparities add up to a $20 million racial funding gap between black-led and white-led early-stage organizations (p. 13). With 492 of those organizations raising only "$40 million overall compared to the $61 million raised by white-led organizations" (Dorsey et al., n.d p. 13). It is of particular concern because black-led organizations make up a large number of organizations in the nonprofit sector. This issue isn't new, and the differences are rather alarming when you compare unrestricted funding, which is "76 percent smaller than white-counterparts" (Dorsey et al., n.d, p. 11). Furthermore, "this pattern of neglect is likely worse for social-change organizations, given that organizing and advocacy account for a relatively meager amount of overall giving..." (Taylor-Batten & Williams, 2017, p. 5). With less staff, smaller budgets, and less funding, black-led organizations are red-lined—a term used to signify the severely underfunded and under-supported community of organizations.

So, what can you and I do to help these organizations?

To combat the redlining of black-led organizations, Edgar Villanueva (as mentioned in McCambridge, 2020) suggests moving to untether resources or unrestricted funding to help heal generations while prompting other philanthropic organizations to do the same. Others recommend increasing awareness and developing racial equity and diversity plans (Taylor-Batten and Chioke Williams, 2017). These are just some ways individuals like myself and you, the reader, can help black-led organizations. Don't let them fall through the cracks. Uplift their voices, show them that they have an army but most importantly, support them with your dollars. You can start with a gift to the Minority Freedom Community Fund's Black Bottom Campaign.

Donate. Donate. Donate. Educate yourself.


P.S. If you'd like to read more about the topic, click here: Rendon, J. (2020, May 7). Nonprofits Led by People of Color Win Less Grant Money With More Strings (Study). COP.


Dorsey, C., Bradach, J., & Kim, P. (2020). Racial equity and philanthropy: disparities in funding for leaders of color leave impact on the table (pp. 1–19). Echoing Green and The Bridgespan Group.

McCambridge, R. (2020, June 4). Time to Untether Philanthropy to Back Black-Led and Defined Work. Non-Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly.

Taylor Batten, S., & Chioke Williams, N. (2017). The Case for Funding Black-Led Social Change (pp. 1–19). Hill-Snowdon Foundation.

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