Editor’s Note: Why Measuring Targeted Funding to Black Communities Matters

In the weeks since we released our Black Funding Denied report, there has been some confusion around the kind of funding that NCRP was referring to when drawing its conclusions around community foundation’s specifically targeted grantmaking support of Black Communities. In an effort to further clarify our point and methodology, we have edited several parts of the report and the related press release to make it clear that we are discussing community foundation grants that were specifically targeted to or explicitly designated for the Black Community.

These numbers do not, and were never meant to, represent the totality of community foundation support that may reach Black residents. What these numbers do identify – from the best, currently available, public data – is the amount of grants that were specifically coded as being designated for Black communities as a percentage of foundations overall grantmaking portfolio.

Why is that important? We have said it across various platforms, but it’s worth saying again: If foundations are not targeting funding to specific BIPoC communities with a racial equity lens, then they may be addressing some symptoms of inequality, but they are not doing enough to address the underlying conditions of structural racial injustice.

Data transparency is a responsibility of every foundation and a key accountability tool that we should all be striving to make easily accessible. While some foundations may disagree with the importance of the report’s metrics or its overall value to the conversation,  past research and lived experiences of a host of partners finds that funders who specifically named these communities in their giving strategy were more likely to make progress against their equity goals and to hold themselves accountable.

It is in that spirit, that we continue to present our interpretation of the data to the sector and the public at large. Community foundations who disagree with our initial analysis are encouraged to provide any new information around these designated funds directly to us, Candid or the public at large to provide greater depth to our calculations and conclusions.


  • In the fourth paragraph, we replaced the word ‘to benefit” with for so that the sentence now reads: ‘Altogether, only 1% of grantmaking from the 25 foundations that we looked at was specifically designated for Black communities, even though a combined 15% of these 25 cities’ populations are Black.’
  • In the fifth paragraph, replace “distributed” with “designated” and the phrase “only” with “only explicitly designated”, so that the sentence reads ‘Put another way, these 25 foundations together designated $78 in funding per person in their communities, but only explicitly designated $6 per Black person in their communities.’
  • In the chart after the fifth paragraph, we replaced the column heading “% of foundation giving for Black communities (2016-2018)” to “% of foundation grants explicitly designated for Black communities (2016-2018)”
  • In the sixth paragraph, we replaced the word “gave” with the phrase “designated.” We also replaced the phrase “spent __ on” with “designated__ for ___” and “explicitly designated for” so that the entire paragraph reads as follows: ‘ These 25 foundations also designated a greater percentage on direct services, but less on structural change, in the general population than they did per Black person. Of the $78 designated per capita on the general population,  $52 (66.7%) was designated for direct services and $2.42 on structural change (3.1%). Of the $6 they explicitly designated for Black community residents, $0.51 (8.3%) was designated for structural change and $3.66 (61%) designated for direct services.’
  • In the seventh paragraph, we replaced the phrase “invested in Black communities” with the phrase “explicitly designated investments for” so that the sentence reads:  ‘If community foundations explicitly designated investments explicitly designated for Black communities on a per capita basis like they invested in the general population, Black communities in these cities alone would have been the beneficiaries of $2 billion more in grantmaking since 2016.’
  • In the ninth paragraph, we replaced the word “have given” with “have designated grants at a rate” and “than they have for” with “than they have explicitly designated for” so that the sentence reads “The 25 community foundations that we examined designated grants at a rate 13 times more for non-Black communities than they have explicitly designated for Black communities since 2016.”



  • In the Press Release’s subtitle, we replace “going to” to explicitly “designated for” so that the sentence reads ‘Analysis of publicly available data finds that among some of the largest community foundations, only 1% of grants are explicitly designated to Black communities*, despite their 15% share of the local population.’
  • In the first paragraph, we placed “goes to” are explicitly designated for” so that the sentence reads: ‘As advocates from the streets to the boardrooms call for greater funding of Black-led organizations, a new brief from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) finds that only 1% of grantmaking by some of the largest local community foundations are explicitly designated to Black communities, even though they represent a combined 15% of the population in areas served by those institutions.’
  • We also added the following Editor’s Note with a designated * ‘ When this press release was originally published, we used the term “going to” in an attempt to keep language simple, less jargony and more accessible. In an effort to clear up any potential or lingering confusion about what data that we specifically analyzed, we are using the term “explicitly designated for” to make it clear that we are analyzing the level of funding for grants that specifically and intentionally targeted the Black Community. If community foundations had coded these as such, then these grants would have been included in our report.’