by the federal government
TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2023 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada has awarded the stewardship of the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund to the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC). This historic and ground-breaking investment of $200 million will positively impact Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving non-profit organizations and registered charities across the country by investing in them to build, sustain and expand on transformational ideas and initiatives generated by Black communities.
“On behalf of the FFBC Board of Directors, employees, and Black Canadian communities across our nation, we are pleased to accept stewardship of the endowment from the federal government,” said Gladys Ahovi, FFBC President and CEO. “The FFBC was honoured to receive overwhelming community support and over 830 letters of endorsement in response to our proposal for the stewardship of the federal Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. We look forward to working collaboratively with other Black-serving organizations to realize projects that directly benefit Black Canadian communities and improve social and economic outcomes.”
“In Canada, diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. Our government recognizes the systemic barriers that Black Canadian communities have faced and continue to face,” shares Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion. “The Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund will provide direct support to Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving non-profit organizations and registered charities across the country to help in the fight against systemic anti-Black racism. This selection is a significant step toward building a more inclusive and more equitable Canada where no one is left behind.”
Black-led non-profit organizations and registered charities are critical to ending anti-Black racism and inequities across the country. However, as concluded in the FFBC’s Unfunded research report, Black-led and Black-serving community organizations are systemically underfunded in Canada’s philanthropic sector. Of the 40 public and private foundations reviewed in this study, only six had funded Black-serving organizations over the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years. Further, grants to Black-serving organizations represented a meagre 0.7 percent of total grants during the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.
“We celebrate the historic nature of this endowment and recognize the deep commitment to community it requires,” said Djaka Blais, Chair of the FFBC Board of Directors. “Our work begins now.”
Black Canadians are calling for a new approach to philanthropy that is reflective of the community being served. The FFBC has experience answering this call, having partnered with organizations like the MLSE foundation, Jumpstart and Laidlaw to distribute over $800,000 in grants to-date and we continue to do so through our own grant-making initiatives. FFBC will use this experience to implement innovative solutions and partnerships to maximize the potential of the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. For example, FFBC has already signed an MOU with leading Black organizations to support our administration of the endowment, including lenders and investors such as FACE, Groupe 3737 and BKR. Further, as a part of our proposal, the philanthropic community has pledged to raise an additional $201 million—a transformational commitment.
We thank the Government of Canada for their commitment to establishing the Black-Led Philanthropic Endowment Fund, dedicated to supporting Black-led charities and organizations serving youth and social initiatives.
They went on to say “The Black-Led Endowment Fund is a remarkable opportunity to enhance infrastructure, and the economic well-being of Black Canadians. We applaud the leadership of the Foundation for Black Communities for their self-determination and tenacity to steward these resources and advance the work of our Ancestors. This is a phenomenal victory for Black communities across Canada. We are resolute in our decision to support this work and rally around FFBC in any way we can.”
— Victor Beausoleil, Executive Director, Social Economy Through Social Inclusion (SETSI) said “Following the release of the Unfunded report by the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) and its revelations on the socio-economic issues experienced by Black Canadians, Group 3737 proudly supports their appointment to manage the Philanthropic Endowment Fund. We are pleased to be able to work alongside them in synergy for a more inclusive and equitable Canada.”
— Louis-Edgar Jean-François, CPA, Chief Executive Officer, Groupe 3737
“Vancouver Foundation is proud to support the Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) and their successful bid for the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. FFBC are leaders in community-informed, participatory grant making and are uniquely positioned to support Black communities across Canada to invest in their own solution-making.”
— Kevin McCort, President & CEO, Vancouver Foundation
About the Foundation for Black Communities
The Foundation for Black Communities invests in change-making, working alongside the Canadian community, philanthropic, political, and business organizations to ensure that Black-led, Black-serving, and Black-focused non-profit, charitable, and grassroots organizations have the sustained resources and infrastructures they need to make a meaningful impact.