CBMA and Foundation Center Issue New "Quantifying Hope" Report

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) and Foundation Center are pleased to announce the 2017 edition of Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys. Amidst current racial tensions in the United States and the ever-shifting social and political landscape, the report analyzes foundation funding explicitly targeted to improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys. The report also examines strategies and milestones in the field of Black male achievement and how philanthropy can build on this work for stronger coordination and greater impact.


Five years ago, CBMA and Foundation Center published the first-ever report on philanthropic funding for Black men and boys. Black male achievement was then a nascent field; since that time, the landscape has changed in remarkable ways. Organizations and philanthropic initiatives have shifted from start-up mode to increasingly mature networks. 

The philanthropic community has a crucial role to play in improving life outcomes of Black men and boys, and addressing the stark challenges they face in navigating the fine line between promise and peril." Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Quantifying Hope analyzes foundation funding trends for Black men and boys, with a focus on giving in 2013 and 2014, the most recent years for which comprehensive data are available. Highlights include:

  • Recipient organizations located in the South received the largest share (45 percent) of foundation dollars explicitly intended to benefit Black males. These grants supported local, regional, and national projects.
  • Most foundation dollars explicitly designated for Black men and boys provided program support (59 percent). A large proportion (41 percent) also supported policy, advocacy, and systems reform. This is significant, given that among overall foundation grantmaking, only 13 percent supported policy, advocacy, and systems reform.
  • Education continued to be the top priority of grants explicitly designated to support Black males, followed by human services and public safety.
  • Support for boys and men of color as a broader population category continued steady growth—$50.9 million in 2013 and $62.7 million in 2014. While these grants cannot be considered as explicitly benefiting Black males, many of the grants undoubtedly had an implicit benefit for Black men and boys. Funding for boys and men of color increased more than six-fold since 2010.
  • Foundation funding explicitly benefiting Black men and boys totaled $45.6 million in 2013 and $61.4 million in 2014. This was a decrease from 2012 when funding topped more than $64 million. These fluctuations can be attributed, in part, to very large grants for targeted initiatives in 2012 and 2014.


“Reliable data that can inform social justice efforts are critical, now more than ever. We hope organizations use the data and shared learnings presented in this report to shape their partnerships and strategies. Lawrence T. McGill, Vice President for Knowledge Services, Foundation Center.

In addition to the grants analysis, the report examines where the field of Black male achievement stands at this current moment in time, based on interviews with leaders in foundations, nonprofits, and government. The field now has several defined approaches to this work that include targeting investments in local communities, impacting policies and systems, and working intersectionally with other marginalized populations. Recognition of Black males as vital assets and contributors to society is a core value. 

The best way to move this work forward is to have ‘proof points that this work can be done and can be successful. Knowing these examples exist is an important part of continuing the momentum and keeping hope in the process that this work can be done and will be done. Tonya Allen, President & CEO of the Skillman Foundation, Board Chair of CBMA, and Co-Chair of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color

This report builds from previous collaborations between CBMA and Foundation Center, which began in 2012 with Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys. The analysis of the field of Black male achievement follows up on research from Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement. These and other resources can be found at BMAfunders.org. A key feature of this site is an interactive funding map displaying the most current data on grantmaking for Black men and boys, as well as boys and men of color.


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