Borealis Philanthropy Launches Fund to Strengthen Racial Equity Work

Borealis Philanthropy Launches Fund to Strengthen Racial Equity Work

Borealis Philanthropy, a Minneapolis-based philanthropic intermediary, has announced the launch of a new fund aimed at supporting practitioners who are helping nonprofit organizations integrate racial equity into their work.

According to Borealis, nonprofit organizations have a key role to play in addressing the root causes of racial disparities in society. To that end, the REACH (Racial Equity to Accelerate Change) Fund will match nonprofits with practitioners who can help them dismantle institutional racism, build race-conscious organizations, and design and lead internal and external strategy, policy, and cultural change. Inaugural grants from the fund totaling $1.2 million were awarded to eight organizations and practitioners providing racial equity learning and strategy consultative services to nonprofits. Recipients include the Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA), consultants Bari Katz, Inc. and Authentic Seeds, the Center for Urban and Racial Equity (CURE), CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, Change Elemental, OpenSource Leadership Strategies, and the Western States Center.

Funders supporting the effort include the Barr, Bush, Packard, Ford, Grove, Heising-Simons, Irvine, NoVo, Robert Sterling Clark, and S.D. Bechtel, Jr. foundations; the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; and the Meyer Memorial Trust.

 "We are investing in practitioners who have a body of work around racial equity so they can develop and scale promising tools and strategies to nonprofit organizations committed to transforming their institutions," said Marissa Tirona, program officer for Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD) at the Ford Foundation. "Long-term support for practitioners like these and this field is one of the best ways to advance racial equity in the nonprofit sector, and more resources are needed to facilitate practice development and collective learning."

"Learning and cooperation is a critical need in the racial equity field and a priority of this fund," said Lucy Mayo, senior vice president of organizational development at Demos and a member of the REACH Fund's advisory committee. "Practitioners will have opportunities to be exposed to diverse methodologies, to skill-build with each other, and to engage in deeper inquiry as a group about how to be bold, innovative, and more sustainable in their work."