BEM Committee awarded $2,390,000 to Black-serving and/or Black-led (Black) organizations in 2023
December 21, 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.
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
A Year End Update
December 15, 2023
Thank you for your continued commitment to a just and equitable Oregon for all of us. This year at The Collins Foundation (TCF) we’ve deepened our learning from communities across the state to be a more responsive grantmaker and partner.
TCF has been on a journey of reflection and learning over the last few years. The Foundation was founded with integrity and intention to serve the people of Oregon 76 years ago. We continue that legacy today with responsive grantmaking focused on increasing access to opportunity rooted in racial equity and justice. We believe confronting the challenging history of racial hierarchy in the United States is essential for eliminating inequality.
Words matter and action is where values are made real. In our grantmaking and programs, we strive to design our processes to be welcoming and accessible by centering communities who have experienced the brunt of systemic injustice. TCF’s Black Equity Movement program (BEM) has led the way. In response to community input about the challenges experienced applying for funding across philanthropy, BEM created an easy-to-navigate application and system of support for the first Black Equity Movement General Operations Grant. This model will be expanded across the Foundation’s grantmaking to benefit all grantees.
TCF is also currently working on our strategic plan to make sure our grantmaking and programs are effective and sustainable for the long term. We’re focusing our organizational priorities to address the root causes of inequity and deepening our support for organizations doing transformational equity and racial justice centered work statewide. Aligning our internal practices with our external actions holds us accountable to ourselves and our partners. TCF is shifting our funding cycle to do this work with intention and integrity.
The next responsive grant funding opportunity will be available in the summer of 2024.
Chief Executive Officer, The Collins Foundation