Movement to End Philanthropy’s Complicity in Anti-Blackness
The Abundance movement, including Chicago Beyond, Grand Victoria Foundation, and MacArthur, challenges philanthropic organizations to significantly increase annual payout to Black-led and centered organizations.
Historically, Black-led organizations receive less funding and support from foundations than White-led organizations. However, today, three organizations, Chicago Beyond, Grand Victoria Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, announce the launch of Abundance, a movement dedicated to shifting how philanthropic dollars are allocated to Black-led and Black-centered organizations. Philanthropic organizations that join the Abundance movement will commit to significantly raising their annual payout to Black-led work by the start of 2025, with growth year after year.
“For the past two years, I have advocated for philanthropy to ensure that racial equity and racial justice are more than catchphrases by collectively developing strategies for sustained action,” says Grand Victoria Foundation President Sharon Bush. “It starts with amplifying the voices of leaders of color in philanthropy and challenging us all to explicitly practice racial equity, share power and privilege in support of Black-led and Black-centered organizations. It’s a tall order; Abundance gives us the framework to organize and act together with clear intention.”
Abundance aims to create a path for philanthropy to move beyond pledges and statements of solidarity to tangible, public commitments to change through action and creating and spreading abundance for all. Philanthropic organizations that join the Abundance movement will commit to participating in the Abundance Action Community. In this space, funders can come together to learn and then implement how and why they can be more equitable in their giving. In this shared space, participants will have a dedicated facilitator, develop a shared understanding and meaning of Black-led work, strategize collectively, share goals set by each institution, track year-over-year growth in the percentage of annual payout to Black-led work, encourage adaptive changes in practice, and be responsive to Black leaders.
“Philanthropy has perpetuated racial oppression, which systematically and disproportionately impacted organizations led by people of color,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “We must disrupt these traditional practices by giving more money to Black-led, -centered, and -serving organizations, trusting them to make decisions about how to use their grant funding. Operating from a place of Abundance allows us to ensure long-term and equitable support for Black-led organizations as we advance racial justice.”
Abundance acknowledges that giving disparities exist and invites philanthropies to explore the question: What would happen if philanthropies celebrated and invested in Black lives, Black resilience, Black joy, and Black power?
“Research has shown that foundation funding to Black communities is disproportionately low. I believe all leaders in philanthropy have an incredible opportunity to lean in and collectively become the agents of transformation,” says Founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond, Liz Dozier. “The only way to ensure thriving communities is by ensuring investment in them is reliable, transparent, impactful, and substantial. I believe Abundance provides philanthropy with a roadmap to do just that. It’s an exciting shift, and we are ready for it.”
The call to operate from Abundance aims to ensure long-term, equitable distribution of philanthropic dollars to Black-led and Black-centered organizations. This is a strategy for greater freedom for all communities. Committing to operating from Abundance goes beyond just stating solidarity — it is action.
Also, to ensure sustained support for the movement, Abundance has a committed annual budget of $400,000 for three years and will soon introduce a new director who will lead the initiative.