10 Challenges faced by People of Color in Non Profit Spaces
1. Most grant resources tend to be directed through white led intermediaries before getting to the community.
2. Conversations amoung funders and other power networks tend to exclude potential grantees who are publically critical of the status quo and challenge white supremacy and systemic racism directly.
3. Potential grantees deal with multiple gatekeepers including consultants, staff and funding iniatives that are often interpreting community through lenses of white priviledge, implicit bias and classism.
4. Funders have unique application processes, limited collaborative funding, different funding cycles and shifting priorities. The public info on the opportunities are often hard to find and confusing.
5. Grant exclusions by funders with strict limits on capital expenses, advocacy and policy activity, personnel and overhead – require orgs to spend finite time and energy piecing together funding sources to make ends meet.
6. Funders tend to emphasize importing external solutions rather than community developed and driven goals. I.e. instead of building community capacity to respond to lack of food access folks try to attract a grocery store to come into a community.
7. Information about opportunities and access to decision makers is often shared during in person meetings, which require staff members or representatives from community organizations to be in the room. But community led organizations experience a disparity in funding compared to white led organizations and cannot spare thr hours and funding for travel and meetings.
8. We dont account for how racism affects people of color or for the power imbalances and priviledge dynamics between institutions and community partners.
9. Imposing top down solutions onto black and brown communities undermines community empowerment.
10. Partnerships between community and institutions are unequal if the “service” is not created out of humility but out of a sense of superiority.