A report released by the Black Feminist Fund in March highlighted how the lack of financial support given to Black women-centered movements had upended positive global change.
Research in Where is The Money for Black Feminist Movements? included hundreds of contributions from groups and activists worldwide. It was collected and sorted over a year-long process in collaboration with the Human Rights Funders Network.
The stark reality of the research is that the vast majority of efforts to continue organizations centered around Black women globally do not have the financial capacity to sustain themselves for the long haul.
- 53 percent don’t have funds available to carry them through the next fiscal year.
- Just under 60 percent have never received core funding.
- 61 percent have an annual budget less than $50,000.
- A bleak 81 percent don’t have the financial resources to meet their goals.
- 75 percent receive the majority of their funding specifically for “project-specific” grants that do not support the organization as a whole.
The extensive five-chapter, 146-page report was spearheaded by its authors, Awa Fall Diop, Cynthia Eyakuze, Maie Panaga Babker, Yannia Soffia Garzón Valencia and Timiebi Souza-Okpofabri.
The report highlighted how the extreme underfunding of Black women-centered movements halts them at every level.
Some of the roadblocks that the financial constraints cause include the inability to legally or formally register an organization, secure memberships, fight for causes or land funding itself.
“The data simply confirms what Black feminists have known: there is a deep-seated, gendered, and racialized trust gap and bias in philanthropy,” said Hakima Abbas, who co-founded the organization with Tynesha McHarris in 2017. “The impact on Black feminists movements is dire under-resourcing, despite the system-changing work that they do. This research is a provocation and a call to action to philanthropy.”
Black feminist movements is an encompassing term for organizations across the globe committed to the advancement of feminist agendas that support Black women, girls, femmes and trans identities.
They are committed to empowering Black women through solidarity and doing the work. The top three sectors of human rights issues tackled by the movements — according to the research’s data — are combating gender-based violence and fostering both women’s leadership and economic empowerment.
The Black Feminist Fund has raised over $35 million of its $100 million goal, according to the Associated Press.
The Clara Lionel Foundation, Pivotal Ventures, the Ford Foundation, and many other heavyweight names in the philanthropy world all co-signed an open letter released in January 2023 that supported the organization’s mission to increase capital going towards the betterment of Black women everywhere.
“Black feminist organizers are addressing the systemic challenges facing democracy, yet Black feminist organizations receive less than half of one percent of foundation giving worldwide,” stated the MacArthur Foundation in a March 2023 statement.
“Funding for Black feminists and prioritizing Black women, trans, and gender nonconforming people is a key factor in lasting, positive change in society. MacArthur-supported Black Feminist Fund is working toward a safer, more just society that creates sustained resources and investment to advance Black feminist work, with ripple effects for all people who hold intersecting identities.”
Read the Black Feminist Fund’s full report via the organization’s website.
RELATED CONTENT:” ‘what bell said’: A Writer’s Introduction To Black Feminist Theory”
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