Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys

by Seema Shah; Grace Sato

Oct 1, 2012
Drawing on eight years of grants data and twenty years of history, this report describes important trends in foundation funding for black men and boys. It also describes innovative philanthropic efforts in the field. While disparities faced by black males remain staggering, new partnerships and initiatives based on an assets-based approach and institutional supports may be on the cusp of turning the tide.
  • Successful Strategy: Through a combination of tuition assistance, academic support, and mentoring, Call Me MISTER has increased the number of black male teachers in South Carolina's public elementary schools by 40 percent.
  • Successful Strategy: Through a combination of tuition assistance, academic support, and mentoring, Call Me MISTER has increased the number of black male teachers in South Carolina's public elementary schools by 40 percent.
  • Total annual foundation giving for black men and boys has gone from $10.8 million in 2003 to $28.6 million in 2010, increasing every year with exception of 2004.
  • Observation: Only 47 percent of black males in the U.S. graduate high school, compared to 78 percent of white males.
  • Observation: Only 47 percent of black males in the U.S. graduate high school, compared to 78 percent of white males.
  • From 2008 through 2010, education was the subject focus that captured the largest share of grants explicitly designated for black men and boys (40 percent), followed by human services (25 percent), and health (14 percent).
  • Observation: From 2008 to 2010, education received the largest share (40 percent) of foundation funding explicitly in support of black males.
  • Observation: From 2008 to 2010, education received the largest share (40 percent) of foundation funding explicitly in support of black males.
  • Ten foundations made up 68 percent of grant dollars explicitly designated for black males from 2008 to 2010. The top three were the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and California Endowment.
  • Observation: The College Bound Brotherhood works to increase college attendance of black males by making grants, operating a database of college readiness programs, holding a conference educating black students and their families about college, and hosting a ceremony for matriculating black male high school graduates.
  • Observation: The College Bound Brotherhood works to increase college attendance of black males by making grants, operating a database of college readiness programs, holding a conference educating black students and their families about college, and hosting a ceremony for matriculating black male high school graduates.
  • The top three states receiving foundation funding for black males were California, New York, and Georgia.
  • Successful strategies focus on the strengths of black men and boys and supporting them to play an integral role in improving their own communities.