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PEAK Grantmaking

By the Numbers: Exploring the Black experience in philanthropy

In exploring the Black experience in philanthropy, it’s necessary to start by naming the roots of philanthropy and its continuing challenges around diversification – of boards, executive leaders, staff, grantees, and partners. Despite, or perhaps because of, philanthropy’s roots in oppressive practices, it becomes even more important to have the conversation and to take action aimed at creating organizations and practices that foster greater inclusion for those it has traditionally left out. Drawing on research from the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the Building Movement Project, the Council on Foundations, BoardSource, and PEAK Grantmaking in partnership with Frontline Solutions and Arabella Advisors, we can lay the groundwork for understanding the experience of Black professionals within the philanthropic sector in general, and in grants management in particular. It is always complex, and often troubling, yet still hopeful. The statistics are stark. Philanthropic organizations (and nonprofits) are largely led and heavily staffed