BEM Committee awarded $2,390,000 to Black-serving and/or Black-led (Black) organizations in 2023

Dear Community Partners, 

Thank you for being in community with us this year. 

The Collins Foundation’s (TCF) Black Equity Movement Committee (BEM) was created in 2020 with a vision for confronting and addressing the inequities experienced by Black Oregonians wherever they live in the state. Almost three years into our work, we continue to listen, learn, and act for an equitable and just Oregon. 

As 2023 comes to an end, we are excited to share that the BEM Committee awarded $2,390,000 to Black-serving and/or Black-led (Black) organizations this year. In September 2023, we launched the BEM General Operations Grant to fund emerging Black organizations. Over 90 applications were received, reflecting the amazing diversity of Black lived experiences across Oregon. You can view a list of all of our BEM grantees here. 

Thanks to community input about barriers to applying for funding across philanthropy, the BEM Committee took a new approach to the grant application process. First, a focused and easy-to-navigate application was developed. Second, a set of opportunities were created to help complete the application: 

  • both a live and recorded webinar with step-by-step instructions, 
  • a Frequently Asked Questions and supporting documents reference guide, and 
  • one-on-one meetings with program team staff.

The feedback we’ve received from grantees about this new approach tells us we’re headed in the right direction. 

In 2024, the BEM Committee will continue listening to Black communities and acting for sustainable change. We are joining with an identified nonprofit partner to launch a pilot sabbatical program for non-profit executives working in Black-serving and/or Black-led organizations. This learning community will help us design a sabbatical program that meets the needs of leaders and the organizations they serve. 

We look forward to our continued work together for a just and equitable Oregon. 

With Gratitude, 

The Collins Foundation Black Equity Movement Committee

Kimberlee Pierce Sheng, Committee Chair, Trustee
Ryan Luria, Trustee
Jackie Murphy, Director of Programs
Tonisha Toler, Program Officer