ABFE

ABFE is a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. Partnering with foundations, nonprofits and individuals, ABFE provides its members with professional development and technical assistance resources that further the philanthropic sector’s connection and responsiveness to issues of equality, diversity and inclusion. Established in 1971 as the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the all-volunteer organization was credited with many of philanthropy’s early gains in diversity. It since has evolved into a fully staffed, influential network. In 2013, the organization shed its descriptor and adopted the simpler ABFE (ab-fee) to better reflect its broadening membership. Read more




Black Out: Understanding LGBTQ Advocacy and Black Communities

This webinar, published by ABFE and co-sponsored by Funders for LGBTQ Issues and The Third Wave Fund, examines how leaders and organizations connect racial and LGBTQ identity to secure social justice for LGBTQ people.

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Career Pathways A Philanthropic Leadership Pipeline Expansion Program

The Council is now accepting nominations and applications for the Career Pathways program. The program’s goal is to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline who are considered, appointed, and retained in senior and executive leadership positions in philanthropic organizations.

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Changing the Odds for Kids (Part One): What capacity do the supports and opportunities in the six Good Neighborhoods provide for young people and what characteristics of a system are in place?

This first assessment of the systems of supports and opportunities (SOSO) informs the Foundation and its partners about availability and quality of youth development opportunities and basic services supports in the six Good Neighborhoods.

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Diversity and Inclusion: Lessons from the Field

Features the stories, successes and experiences of CEOs and trustees of some of our nation’s leading foundations and corporate grantmaking programs, both large and small. Each has shared their unique perspectives—their struggles and strategies to overcome challenges. They have provided insight into how and to what effect diversity and inclusive practices have been embedded within their organizations. With leaders reaching out to leaders, we hope you will be inspired by their successes, and see yourself in this important work.

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Diversity Framework

In developing the Diversity Framework, the Minnesota Council on Foundations found it helpful to frame the discussion around four roles that private grantmaking organizations play in a civil society as funders, employers, economic entities, and citizens of the community. Two values guided the development of this work: The quality of grantmaking is enhanced when grantmaking organizations reflect the cultural diversity of the communities they serve through their grants. Every private grantmaking organization has the responsibility and the capacity to understand issues of diversity and inclusiveness and should take action in each role where opportunities exist. The four roles and the values that support these Read more

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Donor Profile: Dwayne Steele Inspires a Hawaiian Renaissance

Is it possible to help preserve a language and culture that is not your own? Dwayne Steele worked together with local Hawaiians to reverse the decline in native Hawaiian speakers and catalyze a broad cultural preservation movement.

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Embedded Philanthropy and the Pursuit of Civic Engagement

This article examines a range of civic engagement strategies pursued by embedded funders conducting community-change work in chronically disadvantaged communities. Embedded funders are place-based foundations that (1) commit to working in a particular community or communities over an extended period of time; (2) pursue direct and ongoing relationships with a range of community actors; (3) make community relationships and partnerships a primary vehicle of their philanthropic operation; and (4) provide extensive supports and resources beyond conventional grantmaking. Working as an embedded funder tends either to correlate with a prior commitment to civic engagement or to promote the development of such Read more

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Final State of the Work 2015

D5’s Final State of the Work highlights voices of leaders in the field who share their stories of change and progress.  Some are longtime advocates; some are newer enthusiasts. Each of them shares a perspective on what has worked and what challenges remain as they lead their institutions through changes to meet the demands of a new America. This final report catalogs the stories that tell of human impact and human struggle to create a more equitable philanthropy. Some of these stories are: Rethinking Grantmaking: Using Data to Inform Investments The Meyer Memorial Trust uses data to achieve more equitable grantmaking Engaging Read more

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Finding the Win in Wicked Problems: Lessons From Evaluating Public Policy Advocacy

Many of the social issues private foundations and other philanthropies attempt to address — poverty, homelessness, global climate change — are wicked problems. That is, they defy easy definition, lack permanent solutions, and have multiple stakeholders. The wicked problems framework helps make explicit the challenging nature of the issue to be addressed, requires an inclusive style of leadership that seeks stakeholder involvement, and demands candid exchange among stakeholders about the nature of the problem and effectiveness of efforts to address it. A wicked problems framework provides a set of criteria and questions for evaluators of advocacy efforts to ask all Read more

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Forty Years of LGBTQ Philanthropy

At 40 years and counting, LGBTQ grantmaking has played a significant role in the fight for LGBTQ rights and equity. Forty Years of LGBTQ Philanthropy: 1970 – 2010 documents the amount and character of the first four decades of U.S. institutional support to LGBTQ communities through community, public, family and private foundations.

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Foundation Strategies for Investing in Food Security

This white paper was created to map the spectrum of activities that, taken together, endeavor to create well nourished, food secure communities. It will discuss the continuum of both publicly and privately funded activities that address food security in the U.S., to provide foundation staff and trustees with a framework for considering food security investments. For each general strategy or activity area, a brief overview will be provided, as well as some examples of investments that foundations and others make to support the work. The paper will serve as a guide to the growing interconnections between different activities, suggesting new Read more

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Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change

This report outlines compelling demographic, aesthetic and economic reasons for foundations to rethink their grantmaking practices to stay current with changes in the cultural sector and to continue to be relevant to the evolving needs of our communities. Regardless of its history or primary philanthropic focus, every foundation investing in the arts can make fairness and equity core principles of its grantmaking.

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Gender Transformative Philanthropy A Case for More Effective Giving

Feminist donors and social justice funders who apply a gender lens undoubtedly share as many differences as similarities. What they do have in common is a passion for gender equality and a commitment to seeking systemic solutions that produce sustainable progress.  

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Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Equity Blueprint to Address America’s Housing Challenges

It has long been obvious that a lead-laden home or a house located by a toxic dump impacts health. The implications of a house far from fresh food or a safe place to exercise can also seem apparent. Less understood are other factors. For example, paying more than half of one’s salary for a home, living in crowded conditions to save on rent, the tension and worry of being in and out of homelessness or in high-crime environments all take a toll. So, too, does living in a community isolated from jobs, job-connecting networks, and reliable public transportation. As this Read more

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How Much is Enough?

How much is enough? Guidance for forming a realistic assessment of your assets. Because there is no objective definition of enough, and because there will always be others who have more. Millionaires and those with far less net worth can share similar anxieties about having enough.

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I Am a Philanthropist

A powerful chorus of diverse donors is profiled in “I Am a Philanthropist,” a video produced by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the D5 Coalition. An inspiring testament to the spread of philanthropy in communities across the nation, the video was a centerpiece of a gathering of diverse donors we held in Los Angeles in November 2011. We celebrated diverse donors, gave them opportunities to network and learn, and aimed to inspire more giving. Check out this resource to learn more.

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Infographic: The State of LGBTQ Philanthropy in the Northwest

This resource highlights demographics and foundation funding for LGBTQ communities.  

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Insights on Arab American Giving

This report is the first initiative of the Center for Arab American Philanthropy, formerly known as the Collaborative, a program to promote strategic philanthropy in the Arab American community nationwide. While there are many challenges and barriers to Arab American giving, the research shows a strong demand for support to donors and broad recognition of the potential for philanthropy to strengthen and showcase Arab American civic participation.

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Inspiring Arab American Giving

Inspiring Arab American Giving tells the story of five Arab American philanthropists, whose stories represent the broader Arab American community. Arab Americans make significant contributions to communities, arts, education and human service needs, and more. All Arab Americans can be philanthropists by giving strategically of resources and/or time to impact the community.

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Involve Children and Teens in Your Foundation

Ingrid Fox, advisor to the junior board of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, compiled these ideas for involving teens in philanthropy. *This content is available for Exponent Philanthropy members only

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Leadership Insights: What Foundation Executives and Trustees are Saying About Diversity and Inclusion

A video series featuring leaders sharing their insights about their organizational journey to become more diverse and inclusive and lessons learned along the way. All videos are close captioned.

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Leverage the Trust

Leverage the Trust is an effort to identify and engage Black foundation trustees in ABFE’s mission through peer networking and learning opportunities. The work of Leverage the Trust is led by a committee of dedicated trustees of philanthropic institutions that are representative of the diversity of geography, type, and size of grantmaking entities in the sector.

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Logic Model Template

Sample Logic Model Worksheet for Racial Equity and Particular Issues

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Philanthropy in a Changing Society: Achieving Effectiveness through Diversity

This publication offers helpful information on how the field’s approach to diversity has evolved over time and the major strategies that have been piloted. First in a series of three publications.

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Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide

Advancing race equity and inclusion can sometimes seem daunting and often leaves many wondering how and where to start. One way to achieve social change in an organization is to incorporate race equity and inclusion at every stage of work. The seven steps in this guide provide a clear framework for undertaking this important work. This tool adds to the resources already created by partners who have been working in the field. It works by demonstrating how a race equity lens can be adopted by foundations or other organizations that work directly with systems, technical assistance providers and communities.

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Rural Philanthropy: Building Dialogue From Within

Studies the disparity in giving between urban and rural nonprofits, and how geographical isolation and capacity-building needs greatly reduce the ability for rural nonprofits to secure funding. Also offers substantive recommendations on ways to make philanthropy more responsive to rural America. (Note: Printed copies are available for purchase)

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Social Justice Philanthropy: The Latest Trend or a Lasting Lens for Grantmaking?

Report defines and discusses the concept of social justice philanthropy and provides an assessment of its future in philanthropy. Social Justice Philanthropy: The Latest Trend or a Lasting Lens for Grantmaking? explores how grantmakers define and apply the concept of social justice to their work. The report’s findings indicate that social justice philanthropy is fraught with many definitional variations, as well as disagreements on how to apply social justice concepts to grantmaking. While many agree that social justice philanthropy is somehow concerned with a more equitable redistribution of economic, political, and social power, there is little consensus on what a Read more

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Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing and Civic Engagement in Los Angeles County

This report looks at how 20 nonprofits and their allies in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana helped improved their communities and amplified the voices of vulnerable residents in the democratic process through advocacy and community organizing efforts. These nonprofits leveraged foundation grants that generated a $150 return for every dollar invested in their policy engagement efforts.

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Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing and Civic Engagement in Minnesota

In this report, NCRP documents how 15 local nonprofits and their allies leveraged foundation grants to secure nearly $138 of benefit for every dollar spent for Minnesota’s citizens.

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Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing and Civic Engagement in North Carolina

In this report, NCRP document how 13 local nonprofits and their allies leveraged foundation grants to secure nearly $2 billion in benefits for North Carolinians.

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Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing and Civic Engagement in the Gulf/Midsouth Region

This report looks at how 20 nonprofits in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi and their allies helped improved their communities and amplified the voices of underserved residents in the democratic process through policy engagement. These nonprofits leveraged foundation grants that generated a $114 return for every dollar spent.

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The Alliance magazine June issue – Solidarity – more in common?

Solidarity – more in common? ‘We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.’ These were the words of Jo Cox in her maiden speech to the UK Parliament on 3 June 2015. On 16 June 2016, just over one year later, Cox was murdered on her way to a meeting in her constituency. The Alliance special feature, guest edited by King Baudouin Foundation’s Stefan Schäfers, explores the complex and sensitive relationship between philanthropy and solidarity. Jo Cox’s murder was not just an affront to our common humanity but a Read more

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The International Charitable Nonprofit Subsector

Though international nonprofits are just 2 percent of the U.S. charitable nonprofit sector, they have continued to grow in size and scope to meet pressing demands around the world. This policy brief provides a snapshot of the international subsector through an analysis of trends in their size, resources, and scope from FY 2001 to FY 2003 in three major areas of operation: international development and relief assistance, international understanding (e.g., educational exchanges), and international affairs. It gives an overview of the geographic concentrations and the depth of U.S. international nonprofit activities and enumerates the importance of small organizations in international Read more

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The Road to Achieving Equity 12 Findings from a Field Scan of Foundations That Are Embracing Equity

Over the past few years, equity has emerged as a key issue in American society, described as the “defining issue of our time” by authors and speakers in various fields. In the first half of 2016, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked Putnam Consulting Group to conduct a field scan to learn how other foundations are working to incorporate equity — both in their internal operations and in their grantmaking. We conducted 30 conversations with staff leaders at 15 foundations considered by their peers to be on the forefront in embracing equity.

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The State of Giving to Underserved Communities 2011

Numbers from The State of Giving to Underserved Communities 2011 show that there was a slight increase in giving to benefit marginalized groups, broadly defined, such as the economically disadvantaged, racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQ citizens and others, at 42 percent in 2011 compared to 40 percent average in 2008-2010.

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The Women Effect

Try this exercise. When you think ‘women’ and ‘investing’ what do you think about? This piece is going to ask you to think about the ‘women effect’ as a factor across multiple dimensions where ‘women and girls’ and ‘impact investing’ come together. Across all asset classes, and a variety of stakeholders.

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Tools and Tips for Collecting and Analyzing Racial and Ethnic Data

This webinar looks at how researchers, legislators and advocates can address racial discrimination and inequities when access to racial and ethnic data provided by public institutions is either limited or too broad in scope.

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Transformational Leadership Services

As a pilot for advancing culturally-relevant leadership training and effective practice in Black philanthropy, ABFE’s Transformational Leadership Services support a broad range of its members and allied partners within the philanthropic sector. We offer capacity building activities that strengthen management and leadership skills to address the complex issues that face Black communities, and coaching & training models that address the effects of long-term institutional racism and discriminatory policy implementation.

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Understanding Social Justice Philanthropy

This report examines the meaning of social justice philanthropy based on literature reviews and conversations with grantmakers, academics and nonprofit practitioners. What are the main elements of social justice philanthropy? What are the contradictions? This paper sets the stage for a report published by NCRP in the fall of 2004 that assesses the size and scope of the philanthropic social justice field and offer recommendations for funders.

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Webinar Recap – Community Voices Heard: Engaging Constituents for Social, Economic and Racial Justice

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure social, economic and racial justice for all.  They accomplish this through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy. Learn how CVH builds leadership development and collective power towards broader goals of government transparency and social justice. We explored case studies around three impact issues: welfare policy reform, public housing reform, and participatory budgeting. We also learned what it looks like to fund this work. Attendees learned how funding community Read more

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