The Foundation for Black Communities awarded stewardship of $200 million Black-Led Philanthropic Endowment Fund by federal government

For Immediate Release 

 

The Foundation for Black Communities awarded stewardship of 

$200 million Black-Led Philanthropic Endowment Fund  

by federal government 

 Historic investment to support and empower Black-led, Black-focused and Black- serving non-profits and registered charities to transform communities across Canada. 

February 8th, 2023, (Toronto, ON) – The Government of Canada has awarded the stewardship of the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund to the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC). This historic and ground-breaking investment of $200 million will positively impact Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving non-profit organizations and registered charities across the country by investing in them to build, sustain and expand on transformational ideas and initiatives generated by Black communities.   

“On behalf of the FFBC Board of Directors, employees, and Black Canadian communities across our nation, we are pleased to accept stewardship of the endowment from the federal government,” said Gladys Ahovi, FFBC President and CEO. “The FFBC was honoured to receive overwhelming community support and over 830 letters of endorsement in response to our proposal for the stewardship of the federal Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. We look forward to working collaboratively with other Black-serving organizations to realize projects that directly benefit Black Canadian communities and improve social and economic outcomes.”  

“In Canada, diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. Our government recognizes the systemic barriers that Black Canadian communities have faced and continue to face,” shares Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion. “The Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund will provide direct support to Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving non-profit organizations and registered charities across the country to help in the fight against systemic anti-Black racism. This selection is a significant step toward building a more inclusive and more equitable Canada where no one is left behind.” 

Black-led non-profit organizations and registered charities are critical to ending anti-Black racism and inequities across the country. However, as concluded in the FFBC’s Unfunded research report, Black-led and Black-serving community organizations are systemically underfunded in Canada’s philanthropic sector. Of the 40 public and private foundations reviewed in this study, only six had funded Black-serving organizations over the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years. Further, grants to Black-serving organizations represented a meagre 0.7 percent of total grants during the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years. 

“We celebrate the historic nature of this endowment and recognize the deep commitment to community it requires,” said Djaka Blais, Chair of the FFBC Board of Directors. “Our work begins now.” 

Black Canadians are calling for a new approach to philanthropy that is reflective of the community being served. The FFBC has experience answering this call, having partnered with organizations like the MLSE foundation, Jumpstart and Laidlaw to distribute over $800,000 in grants to-date and we continue to do so through our own grant-making initiatives. FFBC will use this experience to implement innovative solutions and partnerships to maximize the potential of the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. For example, FFBC has already signed an MOU with leading Black organizations to support our administration of the endowment, including lenders and investors such as FACE, Groupe 3737 and BKR. Further, as a part of our proposal, the philanthropic community has pledged to raise an additional $201 million—a transformational commitment.  

We thank the Government of Canada for their commitment to establishing the Black-Led Philanthropic Endowment Fund, dedicated to supporting Black-led charities and organizations serving youth and social initiatives.   

Additional Quotes  

“The Black-Led Endowment Fund is a remarkable opportunity to enhance infrastructure, and the economic well-being of Black Canadians. We applaud the leadership of the Foundation for Black Communities for their self-determination and tenacity to steward these resources and advance the work of our Ancestors. This is a phenomenal victory for Black communities across Canada. We are resolute in our decision to support this work and rally around FFBC in any way we can.” 

— Victor Beausoleil, Executive Director, Social Economy Through Social Inclusion (SETSI) 

“Following the release of the Unfunded report by the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) and its revelations on the socio-economic issues experienced by Black Canadians, Group 3737 proudly supports their appointment to manage the Philanthropic Endowment Fund. We are pleased to be able to work alongside them in synergy for a more inclusive and equitable Canada.”  

— Louis-Edgar Jean-François, CPA, Chief Executive Officer, Groupe 3737 

“Vancouver Foundation is proud to support the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) and their successful bid for the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. FFBC are leaders in community-informed, participatory grant making and are uniquely positioned to support Black communities across Canada to invest in their own solution-making.” 

— Kevin McCort, President & CEO, Vancouver Foundation 

About the Foundation for Black Communities 

The Foundation for Black Communities invests in change-making, working alongside the Canadian community, philanthropic, political, and business organizations 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. 

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Media contacts: 

Winy Bernard
Communications
(o) 1-833-442-5225 ext 709
winy@forblackcommunities.org 

 

A Thank you Letter to our Community

Dear friends and community members,

This Black History Month we want to celebrate the tradition of “call and response” which has been a vital aspect of African-disaporic/Black communities for generations — serving as a means of communication, expression, and community development for people of African descent for millenia. This tradition has been a quintessential element and fuel for the Foundation for Black Communities’ journey over the last 3 years. We have witnessed the power of community, wherein individuals from all walks of life come together to create a collective voice that resonates with energy and strength and allows us to support each other in our times of need.

Our community has consistently demonstrated its commitment to supporting each other and making a positive impact in our country through call and response. This was evident in the contributions you all made to our ground-breaking Unfunded Report, the rally to encourage the creation of a historic $200 million Black-led philanthropic fund in Budget 2021, and the co-designed granting programs that have invested over $2.5 million dollars in community-led initiatives to date. These efforts have led to substantial changes in the philanthropic sectors’ support of Black communities and will continue to allow us to confront the needs and challenges of our community.

When we called for assistance, our community responded with tremendous enthusiasm. This was most recently demonstrated by the overwhelming support we received from over 800 organizations and individuals in response to our submission for the Black-led Philanthropic Fund. This was an important reminder that the work of the Foundation for Black Communities is your work and that indeed, your work — is our work.

These achievements are a testament to the power of call and response in our community and the unwavering commitment of our members to creating a better future for us all. We can be proud of the impact we have made and the positive changes we have inspired through our collective efforts. As we continue to work together, our community’s call and response will continue to be a driving force for progress and change, and we look forward to building an even brighter future for all Black communities.

In the near future, we hope to have some positive news to share as to the next steps for the Foundation for Black Communities. And in that future, you can be certain of one thing, when our community calls, we will respond!

We look forward to continuing to work closely together to support a future where all Black people have the resources, infrastructure and agency to thrive and define our own futures! Happy Black History Month!

Gladys Ahovi
President & CEO

FFBC Announces Bid for $200 million Black-Led Philanthropic Endowment Fund

The Foundation for Black Communities announces intent to bid for the Government of Canada’s historic, Black-led philanthropic endowment.

The organization is calling on Black community, partners and allies to endorse their bid by signing a letter of support.

November 17, 2022, (Toronto, ON) – As the leading Black-led voice in Canada’s philanthropic sector, the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) announced today that it will be responding to the Government of Canada’s request for proposals for the new $200 million Black-Led Philanthropic Endowment Fund.

The Government of Canada’s historic pledge to support Black-led charities, non-profits, and grassroots community organizations was first announced in the 2021 Federal Budget, referencing our ground-breaking report “Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy,” which included a vision to establish a Philanthropic Foundation for Black Communities.

“This endowment puts Black communities squarely in the driver’s seat to relentlessly invest in our own agenda and priorities today and for future generations,” says Liban Abokor, Co-Founder and Board Member.

While there are many organizations that focus on addressing systemic barriers and anti-Black racism, what sets the FFBC apart is their community-informed and equity-focused approach to grants and giving. The FFBC continues to examine and evaluate the grant process to ensure that community needs are addressed, and communities thrive.

“Trust-based, participatory grant-making is central to our identity at FFBC. Our role as trustees of Black wealth is not to decide which priorities are funded or who receives funding. Instead, the best decisions are made by those who use the services and those who provide them. Nothing for us, without us. Simple,” shares Omar Omar, Director of Community Investments

To-date the Foundation for Black Communities has partnered and worked closely with foundations such as the MLSE Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, Edmonton Foundation, Calgary Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Laidlaw Foundation, Inspirit Foundation, Sunlife Foundation, and Canadian Tire Foundation to ensure Black communities are prioritized and supported.

Through these partnerships they are:

  • Investing over $2.5 million dollars into Black communities through grant programs to date
  • Advocating to amend legislation to make it easier to fund Black-led community organizations and increase funding available to Black communities

The Black-led philanthropic endowment will allow the Foundation for Black Communities to continue investing in Black-led, Black-serving, and Black-focused charities, non-profits, and grassroots groups throughout Canada. The FFBC’s vision includes a future where Black communities in Canada have the resources, organizations, and influence necessary to shape their own future.

“FFBC is working every day for a future in which Black communities can readily and responsively invest in our own solution-making. It is no longer a question of if, but of when, and this endowment would bring us one step closer,” Djaka Blais, Co-Founder, Board Chair

About the Foundation for Black Communities

The Foundation for Black Communities invests in change-making, working alongside the Canadian community, philanthropic, political, and business organizations 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.

 

Media contact:

Courtney Roberts

Communications Lead

Foundation for Black Communities

416-857-9036

Media@forblackcommunities.org

 

FFBC Investment Readiness Program (IRP) Launch

The Foundation for Black Communities is proud to announce its Investment Readiness Program (IRP) in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada (CFC).