U.S. foundation funding in support of programs and organizations working to improve the life outcomes of African-American males totaled $64.6 million in 2012, up from $40.4 million in 2011, a report from Foundation Center and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) finds.
According to the report, Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys (20 pages, PDF), both the number of grants and total grant dollars designated for black male achievement have trended steadily upward since 2003 — reaching a cumulative 1,791 grants and nearly $246 million over the ten-year period, with more than half the grant dollars distributed in the last three years. In 2012, the average grant amount increased to $174,216, from $136,087 in 2011, although the number of foundations awarding grants in this area fell from 114 to 98.
In terms of issue area, the report found that while education historically receives the largest share (31 percent) of foundation funding, giving in areas such as human services (30 percent) and public affairs (29 percent) is growing. Indeed, the report found that the top ten recipient organizations — which together received 47 percent of all funding designated for black men and boys — included national civic, policy, and advocacy organizations such as the NAACP and PolicyLink alongside the educational institutions that have dominated the list in the past. The top funders in the field for 2012 were led by the Open Society Foundations — which earlier this year spun off CBMA as an independent organization — followed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Heinz Endowments, and the California Community Foundation.
The report, which follows up on baseline data presented in the 2012 study Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, also highlights select grants and their outcomes and describes recent initiatives in the field, including efforts to secure greater foundation, corporate, and public-sector support in alignment with the Obama administration's My Brother's Keeper initiative.
"Momentum has been building on many fronts to address social and racial disparities in our nation, and the time is right to keep pushing forward to improve opportunities for black males of all ages," said Shawn Dove, CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. "The role of philanthropy in those efforts is critical, and this report highlights the organizations and programs that have made meaningful investments in the growing field of black male achievement. I am encouraged by the progress we've made so far, and yet it's really only the beginning. We still have a long way to go toward achieving our mission of helping organizations committed to this work build their capacity and strengthen their efforts to maximize the assets and potential of America's black men and boys."