A Self-reflection Tool for Black Trustees on Foundation Boards

ABFE brings a point of view: Black trustees who sit at tables of power and influence have a unique opportunity to significantly influence outcomes for Black communities by “leveraging the trust” that they hold as trustees. A companion to ABFE’s Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities: A Framework and Agenda for Change, this tool discusses the unique role of Black trustees and opportunities for reflection as they fulfill their roles.  ABFE encourages the use of this tool as a way to make a difference for Black communities.


A Call to Action: Trustee Advocacy to Advance Opportunity for Black Communities in Philanthropy

This Call to Action encourages foundation Trustees to increase the representation of Black leadership among foundations’ staff, vendors, consultants and grantees. It emerges from the Association of Black Foundation’s (ABFE) initiative, “Leverage the Trust”, which promotes the role of Black Trustees in making philanthropy more responsive to Black communities.


The Exit Interview: Perceptions of Why Black Professionals Leave Grantmaking Institutions

In most major foundations today, it is now commonplace not just to track but to require diversity of staff and leadership both within their own organizations and externally among their grantees. Yet, emerging data suggest that the experiences of many Black professionals in grantmaking institutions may challenge the current thinking on the field’s increasing commitment to diversity. This study is patterned after a traditional “exit interview”—a brief conversation conducted with an outgoing employee for the purpose of helping an organization assess its own performance and understand why the employee is seeking opportunities elsewhere. By sharing these candid reflections, this report aims Read more


Investment Manager Diversity: The Hardest Taboo to Break

This case study examines how one community foundation — Silicon Valley Community Foundation with assets under management of $4.7 billion — approached the issue of increasing investment manager diversity with its investment advisor — Colonial Consulting which advises $30 billion of capital. These first-person accounts from the community foundation’s CEO and the investment advisor provide candid assessments of how they addressed the issue of increasing investment manager diversity. The hope is that by sharing these observations other foundations and their investment advisors will find the courage to discuss and address the issue of investment manager diversity, the hardest taboo to Read more


Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities a Framework and Agenda for Change

ABFE brings a new framework on RPBC to realize its mission of promoting effective and Responsive Philanthropy in Black communities. This new template builds upon grantmaking with a racial equity lens but is tailored specifically to grantmaking in and for Black communities. As a result, we have designed a set of defining characteristics of philanthropy that we believe is more likely to reduce gaps in racial disparities facing Blacks in the United States and are looking to partner with grantmakers around the country to apply this framework to their investments.


Who Manages the Money?: How Foundations Can Democratize Capital

A case study of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For the past twenty-five years or more there has been a groundswell of activity among investment managers institutional investors, consultants and diversity advocates to democratize capital — that is, to create more opportunities for diverse investment professionals and the firms they lead, to manage institutional capital. This effort, grounded in both fiduciary and equity principles, has led to the growth of many diverse investment management firms like Progress Investment Management Company LLC (“Progress”) and others. A range of stakeholders now recognizes that democratization of capital brings a range of positive benefits to Read more


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.