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Announcing our 2022 Community Foundation Cohort: Increasing Support to BIPOC Communities

To help more community foundations consider the role they can play in channeling more resources to BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving organizations, Community Wealth Partners and ideas42 are forming a peer learning cohort for community foundation staff.

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Research shows that individual donors for the most part are not providing significant support to Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC)-led, community-based organizations. Community foundations have an opportunity to help foster connections between individual donors and local organizations providing critical services. Our 2020 report shows the ways in which community foundations played this role during COVID emergency response.

To help more community foundations consider the role they can play in channeling more resources to BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving organizations, Community Wealth Partners and ideas42 are forming a peer learning cohort for community foundation staff. The objectives of the cohort are:

  • Learn from peer community foundations, ways in which they are strengthening relationships with BIPOC-led organizations in their community and connecting donors to these organizations, what’s working well and what is challenging.
  • Support participants in adopting new practices that help channel more resources to community-based, BIPOC-led organizations, through donor-advised giving and/or discretionary grantmaking

 Our pilot cohort in 2021 included 12 community foundations of various sizes and at different stages in their racial equity work from across the United States. At the end of our seven months together, these foundations reported multiple outcomes including changing the foundation’s mission to center racial equity, educating donors about where inequities exist in communities, establishing a partnership to set up and administer a fund targeted at racial justice and healing, and piloting an equity donor champions program, among others.

Apply for the cohort by July 6.


 Ideal Participants

Is your community foundation looking for ways to shift power and resources in your community?

 Does your foundation want to find ways to strengthen relationships with BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving organizations in your community?

 Do you want to convey a stronger point of view about racial equity with your donors?

 Are you looking for practices to help connect donors with BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving organizations?

 Are you ready to try new or evolve existing approaches and practices with your communities and donors?

 Are you interested in learning alongside other community foundation peers?

If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, this cohort could be helpful to you. We are looking to engage a group of community foundations ready to try new things within the next year, reflect, and iterate in pursuit of their goals. This is for organizations ready to move beyond discussion to action. If you answered no or not yet, this might not be the right time or opportunity for you.

To best support organizational learning and behavior change, we encourage participation from teams of 2-3 staff, representing donor services, programs or community impact, and/or senior leadership.

What This Is NOT

This cohort is not racial equity training or a general exploration of racial equity within organizations. This cohort is specifically focused on helping community foundations channel resources to BIPOC-led, community-based organizations (e.g., through donor-advised giving and/or discretionary grantmaking). It’s also not a space focused solely on discussion or passive learning; it’s a hands-on, action-oriented space where participants will create their own action plans and get support in implementing them. While there is value in all of these types of spaces, we want you to know what to expect in this one.

Cohort Design

The cohort will run from August 2022 – February 2023 and will include the following

  • 6 virtual sessions of the full cohort. These 2-hour sessions will include:
    • presentation of new content, frameworks, and tools;
    • guest speakers with experience on topics of interest;
    • time for peer sharing and facilitated peer support;
    • time in small groups matched with colleagues with similar roles; and
    • guidance for determining next steps and action planning.

Topics covered in virtual sessions will include moving from talk to action in advancing racial equity, steps to improve community engagement, and sharing your point of view with donors. Each virtual session will end with recommended next steps teams can take to continue to make progress toward adopting new practices. Teams will be invited to share what they’ve tried and what they’ve learned with their peers during virtual sessions. We have tentatively scheduled the virtual sessions for the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 1-3 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 1-3 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, October 25, 2022, 1-3 pm Eastern
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 1-3 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 1-3 pm Eastern
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 1-3 pm Eastern
  • 5 hours of team coaching support. Each participating foundation will also be able to schedule up to five hours of coaching calls with Community Wealth Partners and ideas42 at a time, length, and frequency that is most helpful to them. We will use this time to check in on progress made toward adopting new practices, work through challenges the team may be facing, and support the team in continuing to make progress toward its goals. We can also use this time to engage additional team members as needed to continue to make progress.
  • Connection to additional tools, resources, and perspectives. We will share tools and resources and connect participants to other colleagues as needed to help uncover new ideas and offer support in navigating challenges.

By the end of the cohort, we hope participants will have created their own plans for fostering new connections between donors and nonprofits in the community and begun to test the approaches they identified.

Costs and Expectations for Participation

Thanks to funding from Fidelity Charitable Trustees Initiative, Community Wealth Partners and ideas42 are able to offer this pilot program at a reduced rate of $7,000 per foundation. If you are interested in participating and the fee seems prohibitive, please contact Lori Bartczak to discuss possible options.

Because this is a peer cohort, success will depend largely on active participation from the group. We will expect foundation teams to be fully present in all virtual sessions and coaching calls and to be committed to making changes in practice related to the cohort’s objectives during the time we are together.

 How to Apply

To apply, please fill out this online application form by Wednesday, July 6. We will accept up to 12 foundation teams for the cohort. We will let applicants know whether they are accepted into the cohort by mid-July. If you have questions or need support with your application, contact Lori Bartczak.  

Apply for the cohort by July 6.


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