Quantifying Hope, 2017 Edition

“Foundations can no longer espouse mission statements that commit them to pursue a better world as it relates to some particular endeavor and turn deaf, blind, and mute on issues of social injustice that threaten our democracy.” –Emmett D. Carson, Ph. D., Silicon Valley Community Foundation


The 2017 edition of Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys updates analysis on U.S. foundation funding trends 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.

Download the report pdf.

The report is a collaboration between the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) and Foundation Center.

The report’s quantitative analysis focuses on foundation giving in 2013 and 2014, the most recent years for which comprehensive data are available. Highlights include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Education continued to be the top priority of grants explicitly designated to support Black males, followed by human services and public safety.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

This report builds from previous collaborations between CBMA and Foundation Center:

Looking for more recent foundation funding for Black men and boys, as well as boys and men of color? Check out our funding map!