Pledges Supporting Racial Equity Initiatives Soar, But Recipients and Amounts Still Largely Unknown

Kimberly Redmond  |

Image source: PolicyLink and The Bridgespan Group

Funders have made a record number of commitments to support racial equity initiatives in the past year, but the vast majority of donors have yet to report any data showing where those contributions are going, a newly-released report found. 

In the months that followed the murder of George Floyd, nearly $12 billion was donated to social justice causes — the most funding in the last nine years, according to a report by PolicyLink, a research group focused on advancing racial and economic justice, and The Bridgespan Group, a New York-based consulting firm.

Complex tax rules, combined with no framework to track funding for racial equity programs, have made it difficult, however, to gauge how effective the donation was.

As a result, only $1.5 billion of last year’s donations can actually be linked to recipients, the report said.

Willa Seldon, Bridgespan partner and co-author of the report, said, “For philanthropy to hold itself accountable to making progress towards an equitable nation, we need funders to share how much of their funding is going to racial equity work — including how much is going to structural or systems change efforts, to organizations led by people of color and in multi-year general support.”

Michael McAfee, PolicyLink’s chief executive officer and president, said the firms conducted the analysis “to elevate the capital needs required to win on equity and attract significant investment to equity movement leaders, especially those on the front lines.”

Understanding how funds are aggregated and deployed is a critical piece of that effort,” he added. 

A year after numerous corporations pledged to promote racial equity and donate to the cause, a recent CNBC report found that many tech companies appear to have met several of those initial targets. 

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Source: Equities News

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