New Research on Philanthropy Directed to Black Males in U.S. Reveals Important Trends

Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701

Maria Archuleta
Communications Officer
U.S. Programs
Open Society Foundations
(212) 547-6916

New York, NY -- October 1, 2012. Nearly every major indicator of economic, social, and physical well-being shows that black men and boys in the U.S. do not have access to the structural supports and opportunities needed to thrive. It is within this context that the Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundations jointly release a new report of groundbreaking research entitled Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys.

"It is my hope that this report will motivate other philanthropists and foundations to invest in efforts to improve achievement by African American boys and men," said George Soros, founder of the Open Society Foundations. "This is a generational problem that demands a long-term commitment."

This report is the first of its kind to document the wide variety of philanthropic activity in support of black men and boys, raising the visibility of critical issues facing communities across the nation. The research reveals that annual funding designated for black men and boys has been rising steadily, from $10 million in 2003 to $29 million in 2010. Education is a top funding priority for this group: between 2008 and 2010, education garnered 40 percent of these grant dollars.

In addition to providing crucial baseline numbers against which future giving can be compared, the report also describes several foundation initiatives across the U.S. that address structural barriers and improve the lives of black men and boys. For example, in 2011 George Soros and Michael Bloomberg each contributed $30 million to a New York City program designed to improve the life outcomes of black and Latino males. The effort is a leading example of public-private partnerships taking shape across the country. And in Los Angeles, the California Community Foundation recently launched the only major philanthropic initiative focused on black male youth involved in the delinquency system.

The Open Society Foundations' Campaign for Black Male Achievement commissioned the report from the Foundation Center, which used available data to examine U.S. foundation giving explicitly in support of black males by issue area, type of support, and geographic area served. The report also explores "implicit" funding in which black males are likely to represent a majority of clients or beneficiaries served, but are not part of an explicitly named program.

"This report vividly portrays a stark reality that has haunted this country for far too long," said Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "But it also provides solid data and compelling stories that illustrate what America's foundations are doing to turn the tide."

Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys can be downloaded for free at the Gain Knowledge area of the Foundation Center's web site and at the Open Society Foundations' web site. To receive future updates on Foundation Center news, sign up here.

About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants -- a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 470 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

About Open Society Foundations
Active in more than 70 countries, the Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.