Op-ed—Building equity and justice: An alternative model for grantmaking for environmental organizations

Philanthropy News Digest published an op-ed from Justice Outside President & CEO Kim Moore Bailey about inequities in grantmaking in environmental organizations and how Justice Outside’s Liberated Paths grantmaking program offers a model for a restorative alternative rooted in racial justice. Click here to read and here’s a brief excerpt:

Recent research from Yale University by Dr. Dorceta Taylor and Molly Blondell confirms what many of us have long observed and experienced in grantmaking: The systems we operate within are broken. 

The groundbreaking research analyzed grantmaking by 220 foundations in 35 states between 2015 and 2017 and found that over 80 percent of grants and grant dollars were awarded to white-led environmental organizations. Organizations led by white men received 61 percent of awarded funds. General support grants are critical to creating sustainable change, yet organizations led by people of color are disproportionately overlooked, with more than 80 percent of general support grants going to white-led organizations. Not only that, but organizations whose efforts are focused primarily on people of color received less than 10 percent of general support grants. Consequently, organizations supporting communities of color are severely under-resourced, leading to overworked staff, burnout, and unsustainable mode of operations that’s dependent on project-based, short-term funding with specific deliverables….There are more equitable and sustainable ways of grantmaking. At Justice Outside, we’ve developed a model that could serve as an example for other grantmaking organizations.

Feature photo credit: Marcella Sanchez