The Foundation for Black Communities Applauds the Significant Investment of $200 Million to Establish a new Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund
April 19, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) - In her first budget as Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, laid out the Liberal Government’s plan for a continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vision for rebuilding Canada’s battered economy. On page 229 of the Budget document, a significant investment of $200 Million was a key component of the Government’s committed response to the dramatic rise of anti-Black racism in Canada and its ongoing effects.
“The Foundation for Black Communities has been advocating for the Federal Government to address the systematic underfunding of vital community-based programs and services that Black Canadians rely on,” said Liban Abokor, a working group member of the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC). He continued “ we are thrilled to see this future-making commitment that puts Black Communities squarely in the driver seat of creating our own solutions when we need them, where we need them.’
In the Budget document tabled in the House of Commons, the Government said that this budget proposes to provide $200 million in 2021-22 to Employment and Social Development Canada to establish a new Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. This fund would be led by Black Canadians and would create a sustainable source of funding, including for Black youth and social purpose organizations, and help combat anti-Black racism and improve social and economic outcomes in Black communities.
“While the pandemic has disrupted the lives of all Canadians, it has disproportionately impacted Black communities, where the virus worsened and entrenched existing socioeconomic inequality,” said FFBC working group member Djaka Blais-Amare. She added “community-based programs have been the lifeline for many Black Canadians, today’s announcement in the budget will ensure that these programs and organizations can continue their important work and not worry about survival due to a lack of proper and sustainable funding.”
The news of this investment comes at a crucial moment for Canada's Black communities, as they battle with systemic anti-Black racism while also trying to recover from the pandemic's devastation.
Dr. Joseph Smith, FFBC working group member said, “because of the combined impacts of the pandemic and long-standing inequality on Black Canadians, each exacerbated by systemic anti-Black racism, this investment to support Black communities was essential.”
Looking forward, the Foundation for Black Communities, is optimistic that today’s announcement in Budget 2021, will ensure that there is a clear and stable path to building a reliable and durable source of funding for Black-led and Black serving non-profit and charitable community organizations.
“This investment will allow for the financial infrastructure to ensure Black communities have long-term, self-directed and self-sustaining resources that can be utilized despite predictable changes in public sentiment or changes in government priorities or philanthropic attitudes,” adds Rebecca Darwent, a FFBC working group member.
- Black Canadians currently make up 3.5% of the population and are projected to grow up to 5.6% by 2036 according to StatsCan.
- Black-led, Black-serving organizations receive as little as $0.07 cents for every $100 granted by Canada’s leading philanthropic foundations.
- The Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) is first and only philanthropic foundation dedicated to investing in Black communities and their priorities
- The FFBC is seeking to establish A $300 million endowment which would provide steady, long-term annual support, enable future planning and strategizing and allow for long-term change
- The proposed endowment model would provide the financial infrastructure to create benefits for Black communities through sustained, uninterrupted support at scale.
- FFBC has received generous contributions from Inspirit Foundation, Laidlaw Foundation, MLSE Foundation, Lawson Foundation, Calgary Foundation, Lucie and Andrè Chagnon Foundation, Montreal Foundation and many others.
About the Foundation for Black Communities
The Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) is Canada’s first-ever philanthropic foundation dedicated to investing directly in Black-led, Black-serving non-profit and charitable community organizations.
The FFBC is stewarded by a Working Group of Black Canadian professionals within the non-profit, charitable and philanthropic sectors with expertise in community development, grant-making, governance, program development, community engagement and research.
The Working Group made a recommendation to the Federal Government to invest $200 million dollars to seed an asset base for the creation of the Foundation for Black Communities. This funding would leverage an additional $100 million in philanthropic and private sector funding support.