Explore 40+ funders, grants, and innovative projects disrupting traditional philanthropy's landscape and making transformational change within institutions and communities.
But before you dive into the full list, it's important to understand the history behind Black philanthropy.
Black philanthropy's rich history
While today's major philanthropic institutions are built on the fortunes of robber barons, the actual practice of philanthropy (giving to those in need) has long been driven by marginalized communities with the least generational wealth. Black Americans actually give the biggest share of their wealth to charity compared to all other racial or economic groups in the U.S. Furthermore, studies show that Black families donate 25% more of their annual income than white households.
Giving is built into the fabric of Black communities. Givebutter celebrates this rich past and present during Black Philanthropy Month and beyond by lifting leaders in Black-led organizations funded by philanthropy and the vibrant communities they serve. Here are some of the top foundations, grant opportunities, and other philanthropic resources by and for Black-led nonprofits.
Foundations serving Black communities
Did you know the United States is home to over 100K foundations with combined assets totaling more than $1.5 trillion? Unfortunately, 90% of foundations don't even have websites, so it can be difficult for organizations to find some of these funding opportunities.
That's why we've done the digging for you. Here are foundations that are loudly and proudly funding Black-led organizations.
The Fund for Black-Led Change
The Meyer Foundation houses this fund that has committed $20M to strengthen the infrastructure and sustainability of Black-led and Black-centered organizations.
The Libra Foundation
This Black-led foundation's guiding principle is that "those closest to the issues understand those issues the best." Their Democracy Frontlines Fund seeks to disrupt traditional practices and deepen the conversation about antiracism within philanthropy.
The Power Fund
A new initiative from Robin Hood, this fund is explicitly designed to support nonprofit leaders of color working on solutions to end poverty in New York City.
The California Black Freedom Fund
Dozens of foundations back this state-wide fund. The California Black Freedom Fund has committed $100M over five years to bolster Black-led organizations working to end systemic racism across California.
Vida Afro Latina Fund
Vida Afro Latina Fund is an international women's fund. This fund facilitates participatory grant-making with Black women-led organizations working to address sexual violence in Latin America.
One Million Black Women
The Goldman Sachs Foundation funds this project to give a total of $10M to 50 Black women-led charitable nonprofits over the next two years.
Black Art Futures Fund
A Red Olive Culture Commons project, Black Arts Futures Fund successfully granted $115K to 12 Black-led cultural organizations across eight states in 2021.
Brooklyn Community Foundation
This foundation is committed to moving foundation money and individual donations to BIPOC-led organizations historically underfunded by philanthropy. People of color lead more than 70% of their Community Fund portfolio grantees.
Grants for Black-led nonprofits
Like foundations, grants come in all shapes and sizes, from local, state, and federal government grants to those from massive corporate foundations like Coca-Cola and Walmart, and Google. It can be challenging to sort through to find the ones you're eligible for.
Grant Watch lists more than 1,500 grants for nonprofits, businesses, and schools led by or serving BIPOC communities. And tools like GrantStation, Candid, and Instrumentl can help you navigate this massive landscape. Keep reading for more fantastic grants that prioritize Black-led organizations.
Well-being for All
A Power of She Fund project of the Women's Sports Foundation, Well-being for All is a $10K grant for women of color entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders working to make fitness and wellness more accessible to and inclusive of female BIPOC communities. They even have Alicia Keys on board as an advisor to grant recipients.
Chicago Beyond's Rapid Response Fund
Trust and flexibility are drivers of this unrestricted fund for hyperlocal Black and Brown-led Chicago organizations responding directly to their communities' needs.
Mobilize Power Fund
Another rapid response grant, this one from the Third Wave Fund, supports grassroots gender justice groups (no 501(c)(3) status required) facing time-sensitive projects. Prioritized grantees are lower-budget organizations whose leadership identifies as young, BIPOC women or gender nonconforming/intersex/queer folks.
Black Equity & Excellence Grant
This grant from the Central New York Community Foundation has funding levels from $10K to $75K per year for community-based projects benefiting Black communities in this geographic region.
The Scherman Foundation houses this rolling application grant. The Arts Program gran gives an average of $30K over two-year periods to performing arts-based organizations led by and serving BIPOC communities in New York City.
Giving circles empowering Black philanthropic leaders
A lesser-known form of philanthropy, giving circles are groups of people that pool their financial resources and decide where to donate their money. Approximately 2,000 giving circles exist across the U.S. Many build on the legacy of Black-led giving circles that support under-funded organizations and programs in their communities.
A few such circles are listed here. You can find many more, as well as resources for starting your own giving circle, over at the Triangle Foundation or through Givebutter Expert, Philanthropy Together.
Black Giving Circle Fund
The Hartford Foundation created this fund out of a shared desire to celebrate Black philanthropy in the greater Hartford, CT community. The Black Giving Circle Fund is committed to creating sustainable change through collaborative giving.
Philadelphia Black Giving Circle
The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle cultivates charitable giving by leveraging community resources to build strong Black-led organizations. This giving circle continues to address the discrepancy in funding between Black and white-led nonprofits in Philly.
New Generation of African American Philanthropists
This started as a 15-person giving circle in Charlotte, NC. Now, the New Generation of African American Philanthropists has become a powerhouse of Black giving history, resources, and community initiatives committed to "disrupting conventional philanthropy."
African-American Women's Giving and Empowerment Circle
Arizona Community Foundation endows this giving circle committed to empowering Arizona's Black women and girls. It's been running for nearly a decade!
Even more resources for Black giving
Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity
Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity is a project of the Tides Center that works with foundations to make racial equity an absolute priority. They also create critical resources like "What does philanthropy need to know to prioritize racial justice?" and their 2022 report, titled "Mismatched: Philanthropy's Response to the Call for Racial Justice."
"Black Giving is Magic!" proclaims Give 8/28, the only giving day in the U.S. dedicated to Black grassroots nonprofits. It is now in its fifth year. Young, Black, & Giving Back Institute spearheads this project which is a capstone to Black Philanthropy Month each August.
Communitas Ventures Accelerator
From Communitas America, this business incubator supports a 4-month cohort of primarily BIPOC and women social entrepreneurs in New York City. This cohort boasts leaders of brilliant organizations like The Bronx is Reading and Black Women's Echo Chamber.
Chicago Beyond, Grand Victoria Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation launched this platform for philanthropic institutions to join "a movement to free mindsets, dollars, policies, and practices to address anti-Blackness in philanthropy."
Investing in Black communities all year long
The New Generation of African American Philanthropists wisely points out that the meaning of the word philanthropy is a love of humanity. We hope you'll join Givebutter and the Women Invested to Save Earth Fund (WISE) Fund as we celebrate the deep roots of giving and loving humanity within Black communities during Black Philanthropy Month and beyond.
Anna brings more than a decade of experience in community engagement, campaign planning, and strategic communications at small, progressive nonprofit organizations in New York City.