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Black-led non-profits get funding

Words by Smiley Team

A new program is in the works to help establish funding for Black-led non-profits. Called Abundance, the program is a joint effort of three Chicago-area grantmakers, Chicago Beyond, the Grand Victoria Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The Abundance Movement is intended as a resource for grantmakers to offer and share information with one another about how to best handle funds and their allocation of them – particularly referring to often underfunded local Black-led organizations.

It was inspired by the social upheaval that followed the 2020 death of George Floyd – the organizers felt that the eye on social justice movements at the time provided an opportunity to inspire other grant-makers to help support Black-led movements.

To the organizers, it was also a problem of philanthropy. 

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 “We often have these ways of thinking about Black communities as problems to be solved as opposed to people that we will love, like any other groups of people,” Sharon Bush, the president of the Grand Victoria Foundation, told The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

“What would we do if we decided to support them differently?”

Bush’s organization is known for its grants in five areas: economy, education, Elgin, engagement, and environment. Elgin is the city in Illinois where the foundation is based and the organization started to carry out a commitment that the Grand Victoria Casino had, donating up to 20% of its profits to fund local initiatives.

Abundance also plans to spread beyond organizations already taking part in funding Black-led organizations. For organizations that are curious about how to take part in the space but not totally involved, the effort will hopefully bring in more funds for these initiatives. 

The goal is to bring together a group of foundations that want to learn about how to include more Black-led groups in their grantmaking and ultimately get more funding for them. 

“It’s about how do we fundamentally change practice and our own understanding of how bias creeps into our practices,” said Liz Dozier, CEO of Chicago Beyond. “It really is not some scripted thing, but rather truly trying to learn together to do better.”

Inspired to act?

JOIN: You can join the Abundance Movement and help commit to change. Find out more

DONATE: Support Black Charities is a nonprofit itself, raising awareness for fundraising organizations working towards the same cause. Support them here

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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