Shifting Philanthropy

The mainstream philanthropy model has traditionally centered white patriarchal wealth as the source and authority of how money is distributed to the nonprofit community and other worthy causes. In that model, the grant decisions are most often made by a donor, their family, wealthy friends and staff, most who lack firsthand knowledge of the distinct communities impacted, their self-chosen leadership, and their perspectives on issue prioritization and resolution.

This is why only 10% of philanthropic dollars go to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led organizations.

The Diverse City Fund’s model of community-led social justice focused grantmaking works to disrupt this traditional system in several ways.

A Shift in Leadership.

At the DC Fund individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color/the global majority or mixed-race:

  • Lead 100% of the organizations or projects that receive DC Fund grants;

  • Makeup 100% of the Grantmaking Team, charged with reviewing applications and awarding grants;

  • Comprise 75% of the Board of Instigators, responsible for governing our organization.

influencing the field

Additionally, we:
  • Participate in local and national panels and working groups to share our knowledge and findings;

  • Partner with mainstream funders to shift their grantmaking away from traditional, white-centered models, and towards a framework that places investment decision-making directly with community activists and leaders;

  • Regrant funds provided to us by larger foundations and individual donors using our own transparent funding model;

  • Engage in the founding of new funding collectives and initiatives like Resourcing Radical Justice, a group of DC, Maryland and Virginia-based funders who center Black liberation.

If you are a foundation, large donor or other funding entity interested in partnering with us to continue to shift how grantmaking is practiced, contact us at