Quantifying Hope: Post-2012 Investments

The analysis presented in the research brief Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys focuses on foundation funding in 2012, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available. Since then, a number of major initiatives and investments have been announced. A sampling of these investments are described here.


My Brother’s Keeper

At the launch of the federal My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative, 11 foundations announced investments totaling at least $200 million over five years:

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Atlantic Philanthropies
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • California Endowment
  • Ford Foundation
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Kapor Center for Social Impact
  • Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Skillman Foundation also committed $2 million in support of these efforts, including $500,000 for coordinating efforts in Detroit.

In addition, corporations and corporate foundations made substantial commitments:

  • AT&T Foundation pledged $18 million for mentoring initiatives;
  • Citi Foundation put $10 million into creating a youth volunteering program;
  • UBS America launched a five-year, $10 million initiative for college success;
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co is expanding a successful academic and social enrichment program to three cities with a $10 million commitment;
  • Prudential Foundation committed $13 million—$3 million for technical assistance to MBK communities and $10 million in impact investments to support innovative for-profit and nonprofit social purpose enterprises; and
  • Discovery Communications committed more than $1 million to produce and air a one-hour TV special and to host town hall meetings.

Campaign for Black Male Achievement

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) supports organizations and leaders to build capacity, forge connections, and advance policy change. In its first round of capacity-building grants, CBMA awarded 20 organizations with $10,000 each to use toward a capacity-building project. In addition, through the BMA Social Innovator Accelerator, CBMA supports high-potential leaders to grow their work and demonstrate their impact. The 2015 cohort will receive $25,000 for general operating support and $150,000 in one-on-one communications and sustainability consulting, plus opportunities to showcase their work to funders.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In 2014, JPMorgan Chase & Co. committed $10 million to expand The Fellowship Initiative (TFI), a mentor and training program for young men of color, to Chicago and Los Angeles, along with a new, expanded class of Fellows in New York City. JPMorgan Chase is also collaborating with CBMA on ways to leverage corporate volunteers and work together to strengthen the capacity of CBMA members and improve outcomes and opportunities for Black men and boys in targeted cities across the country.

Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellowship

Founded in 2012 in partnership with the Open Society Foundations, the Echoing Green BMA Fellowship makes up to 10 awards a year to budding social entrepreneurs in the field of Black male achievement. The fellowship provides a two-year stipend ($80,000 for individuals or $90,000 for two-person partnerships) and access to leadership development, networking gatherings, technical support, and pro bono partnerships for fellows to start up innovative solutions in education, family, work, and more.


In 2013, BMe, an initiative of the Knight Foundation, spun off into a standalone organization. Currently boasting a network of more than 9,000 community builders and over a 100 Black male BMe leaders, the program has raised more than $5.5 million to date, including a $3.6 million, three and a half year grant from the Knight Foundation and an additional $1.8 million from the Open Society Foundations and Heinz Endowments. Corporate sponsorships have netted another $300,000 and private individuals have contributed $65,000.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Launched in 2012, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Forward Promise initiative awarded $11.5 million focused on promoting the health and success of boys and young men of color. Investments include a set of Community Partnership grants, funding community-wide, collaborative efforts in six cities nationwide. The grants, averaging $250,000, were awarded to diverse coalitions focusing on mentorship, job training, and other proven approaches.

The California Endowment

In 2013, the California Endowment committed an unprecedented $50 million to its Sons & Brothers campaign. The seven-year campaign focuses on “pivotal moments that signal a young person is veering off track”—third-grade reading and chronic absence, suspensions and early truancy, and justice system involvement. Grants awarded in 2013 and 2014 supported youth leadership, strategic communications, and changing education and health systems.