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Funding for communities of colour ‘falls woefully short of what is needed’

05 Nov 2020 News

Funding for charities that are led by and support communities of colour is insufficient, a network of people of colour in the trusts and foundations sector has said.

Future Foundations UK spoke to Civil Society Media's Fundraising Magazine for a feature about equitable distribution of funding for charities and communities. The article looks at what progress has been made in the past seven months, after campaigners called for support for BAME-led charities at the beginning of the pandemic.

Future Foundations UK said: “There is, as yet, no robust data on how funders have responded to communities of colour. As a collective, we have seen some efforts to get resources out to communities, but where this has happened, it has been channelled through small and siloed pots of funding that fall woefully short of what is needed. 

“There have been few attempts to embed a race lens into any mainstream programmes with little, if any, evidence of a considered and coordinated systems-level response. Instead, funding has focused on emergency activities, with little serious thought or planning given to the emerging needs that will become more urgent in the coming months and years.” 

Together with other campaign groups including #CharitySoWhite, the network had raised the issue back in spring, and called for funders to change their approach. 

A few funders, such as London Funders, Comic Relief and the National Emergencies Trust, have responded by funding grassroots infrastructure organisations to reach out to their communities, by sharing more data on what percentage of funding goes to charities led by diverse communities, and by setting up dedicated funding pots. 

However, various people in the sector told Fundraising Magazine that overall funders did not do enough. Yvonne Field, chief executive of infrastructure organisation The Ubele Initiative, said she feared it was more a “knee-jerk reaction” rather than the “root-and-branch change that needs to happen across the sector”.

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