A strong foundation for Canadian philanthropy to shift capital to Black communities.
Less than 0.1% of philanthropic funding in Canada is going to Black-led organizations.
The Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) came to fruition from perseverance and leadership of Black philanthropic leaders. This organization was created for, and driven by, Black communities in Canada; it exists to ensure their flourishing and self-determination. At Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside FFBC.
In 2021, the groundbreaking Unfunded Report from the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities and Carleton University drew stark attention to the systemic underfunding of Black-led and Black-serving organizations by foundations in Canada. The report found that between 2017 and 2018, grants to Black-serving organizations represented only 0.7 percent of total grants and grants to Black-led organizations were only 0.07 percent of total grants made in the same period.
In response to the data and recommendation in the Unfunded Report , FFBC was established as the first of its kind, Black-led, Black-serving community grant-maker, convener, and — for a growing network of philanthropic organizations like CFC — a partner in addressing this systemic inequity. They are working to ensure that Black-led, Black-serving, and Black-focused non-profit, charitable, and grassroots organizations have the sustained resources and infrastructures they need to make a meaningful impact. In recognition of their critical role in shifting capital to Black-led and Black-serving organizations the Government of Canada selected FFBC to administer the $200 million Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. Their work has also been supported by many community foundations including Vancouver Foundation as an Allied Foundation Partner.
Since its establishment, FFBC has worked in close collaboration with CFC to respond to systemic racism and advance Black-led solutions to pressing community challenges. In collaboration, we have: developed and modeled new grantmaking systems and processes that centre equity and address critical gaps identified in the Unfunded Report, partnered to support the implementation of the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program (IRP), a $50 million fund designed to support social purpose organizations, supported the development of strong regional partnerships between FFBC and local community foundations, and partnered to support educational programming for foundations, including through CFC’s 2021 ALL IN Summit and RECONNECT 2023 Conference.
“Community foundations not only anchor local communities but also bridge connections between them. Being a part of this movement is both profound and transformative, allowing us to become part of a network of individuals who share our values regarding local, community-centered decision-making. This network sheds light on solutions to combat inequities such as Anti-Black racism, spanning from coast to coast.”
- Liban Abokor, Board Chair , Foundation for Black Communities
FFBC is Canada’s first-ever philanthropic foundation that exists to ensure that every Black community in Canada can thrive and have agency in defining their own future. At CFC, we see the work they are doing and want to be part of the solution. The opportunity to work in partnership with FFBC has strengthened CFC’s efforts as well as those of Canada’s community foundations, and provided a strong foundation for Canadian philanthropy to shift capital to Black communities. Following the leadership of the FFBC, we have a unique opportunity to ensure Black communities have the resources and organizations necessary to shape their own solution-making and self-determination.
Philanthropy exists to support and serve communities— communities that are defined by geography, language, race, culture, gender identity and more. We are thrilled to welcome FFBC as a member of CFC. They join an incredible and growing network that works across all intersections of community. In recent years, we have been fortunate to welcome and work collaboratively with foundations such as La Fondation franco-albertaine and The Ulnooweg Indigenous Communities Foundation who are serving communities at the intersection of identity and geography.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming FFBC to the network of community foundations working coast to coast to coast. Our work together supports us to shift how we do and think about philanthropy. FFBC demonstrates how community can be defined by where you live, who you are and how you are connected to the people around you. We look forward to how FFBC will inspire us and the network of community foundations in how we work and better serve Black communities.’
- Andrea Dicks, President, Community Foundations of Canada
The strength of our network of community foundations is our diversity as we continue to pursue a future where everyone belongs. Working with community foundations throughout the network, we look forward to supporting and working alongside FFBC in their mandate to serve Black people in Canada. We are excited for the perspectives they will bring, and how they will inspire all of us to look at our processes, granting and how it impacts Black communities across the country. In partnership with FFBC’s leadership, we can increase funding the Black-serving and Black-led organizations from coast to coast to coast.