ASSOCIATION OF BLACK FOUNDATION EXECUTIVES INC

A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities

aka ABFE   |   New York, NY   |  www.abfe.org

Mission

ABFE's mission is to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.

Ruling year info

1973

President and CEO

Ms. Susan Taylor Batten

Main address

55 Exchange Place Suite 401

New York, NY 10005 USA

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EIN

23-7156531

NTEE code info

Professional Societies, Associations (T03)

Minority Rights (R22)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

This country has long struggled with addressing its history of anti-Black racism and the impact it has had on Black communities. Today, discussions and debates about race and racial inequity are more visible in the public arena; stoked, in part, by the highest office in government. The nation has an important opportunity to address this history and philanthropy can play a pivotal role by reversing patterns of under-investment in Black-led social change. Black-led movements in this country are rife with victories for our community and society at large. Black social change leaders and Black-led institutions have played a vital role in almost every major movement in this country from the abolition of slavery to today. However, our research on the financial health and viability of these organizations suggests that they suffer from small budgets, lean staff, and little-to-no reserves; all factors that undermine their impact and jeopardize their survival.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities (RPBC)

ABFE’s overarching philosophy on how to drive the promotion of racial equity and inclusive economic growth is embodied in our Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities (RPBC) Framework and programming, which was developed with the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This information structure demonstrates how funders can utilize a “racial equity lens” as they engage specific constituencies and target populations within communities of color. In keeping with this ideal, we have widened the focus of this lens to include people of the African Diaspora (Afro-Latino and Caribbean-Americans) to better reflect the populations we serve throughout the country.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Multiracial people

Our Connecting Leadership Fellowship Program possesses the deepest roots to the original mission of the organization. We recruit and train ten non-profit mid-level and senior level professionals from a variety foundations and organizations annual. Leveraging the institutional knowledge that we have acquired through the training of our first 100 Fellows made this the strongest and most effective year of instruction yet. At its conclusion, the Fellows possess:

1) A deeper understanding of the value of inclusion of racial ethnic groups in their everyday work;

2) The data required for targeted philanthropic investment using a racial equity lens;

3) A sound structural analysis for the work;

4) A systematic approach to improving policies, practices, and protocols for a racial equity informed decision making process for their philanthropic investments in communities of color; and

5) A carefully crafted, research-informed overall message to communicate how they are seeking to advance racial equity through their work and the underlying reason supporting this position.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Multiracial people

ABFE has identified key barriers that prevent minority managers from gaining a foothold as managers of choice in the field of philanthropy. Additionally, we have outlined recommendations to the field and ABFE’s strategy to increase engagement of minority managers in search activity and selection in a report entitled, Smart Investing.

To address barriers and raise the visibility of this issue among foundations and other industry stakeholders, ABFE proposes to work toward the following goals and objectives over the next 3 to 5 years.

Goals and Objectives for Smart Investing

1) Build ABFE’s organizational capacity, field-wide networks, and industry knowledge and expertise to undertake long-term work in advocating for increases in minority manager engagement in foundation endowment management.

2) Increase the number of foundations that are intentionally focused on engaging minority owned firms to manage endowments.

3) Increase number of people of color with investment experience appointed to foundation boards.

4) Build knowledge and understanding of investment management principles and practices among ABFE’s leaders and the field; and demonstrate how this aspect of philanthropy directly affects grantmaking capacity to support Black communities.

5) Raise visibility of ABFE as a resource for financial services in the field of philanthropy and increase presence of ABFE in financial services industry.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Multiracial people

Leverage the Trust is designed to engage the highest levels of leadership in foundations – Trustees – to facilitate grant making strategies that improve the health and well-being of Black communities. We seek to increase the number and capacity of Black trustees at philanthropic institutions, and engage Black trustees in moving a racial equity agenda that promotes inclusive policies and practices in foundation operations, staff and board representation, and grant making strategies

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Multiracial people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Over the next five years, our goal is to use the power of our philanthropic network to help vitalize and strengthen the ecosystem of Black-led social change organizations in the U.S. to build political and economic power in Black communities. We aim to facilitate increases in investment by the largest foundations in this country as well as to engage individual donors and impact investors in this work. Our goal is to help invigorate Black-led organizations with the power to respond to the challenges facing our communities and this country.

ABFE will use the power of our philanthropic network to help vitalize and strengthen the ecosystem of Black-led social change organizations in the U.S. to build political and economic power in Black communities. We aim to facilitate increases in investment by the largest foundations in this country as well as to engage individual donors and impact investors in this work. Our goal is to help invigorate Black-led organizations with the power to respond to the challenges facing our communities and this country. There are four key objectives and associated activities: 1) Organizing collective investments in Black-led social change: There are a few promising models across the country where foundations and donors have pooled resources to invest in Black-led organizations around the country; these models need to be studied for the promise of replication. To do so, ABFE will invest in continued research on existing models as well as their outcomes and facilitate discussions among funders regarding expansion and co-investment opportunities. 2) Expanding philanthropic services: To influence investment in Black-led social change, we must build on our training and advising offerings to the field. This includes carrying out market research to identify opportunities for philanthropic advisement in what we believe to be under-served regions around the country; investing in marketing materials to reach priority markets, and developing new curricula and tools on investing in Black-led social change for a growing and diversifying pool of foundations and organizations who use our advising services. 3) Increasing and diversifying ABFE’s membership: ABFE is prepared to increase and diversify its membership to increase funds invested in Black communities. We will bring our strategies, gatherings, policy papers, and research to an expanded audience which include corporate foundations, Black family foundations; Black civic organizations that carryout grantmaking (such as fraternities, sororities, LINKs, etc.); Black funds based at Community Foundations; and social impact donors and venture capitalists. 4) ABFE growth fund to support infrastructure and capacity: Grant resources will cover costs such as critical technology upgrades; recruitment, hiring and on-boarding of select C-suite staff; new offices to accommodate our larger team; business modeling to grow an earned revenue stream; and increased activity with our existing Black Social Change Funders Network (BSCFN) to leverage resources to the fullest extent possible.

As mentioned above, the associated processes and activities ABFE uses to conduct our work is outlined in four areas: 1) Organizing collective investments in Black-led social change - ABFE will invest in continued research on existing models as well as their outcomes and facilitate discussions among funders regarding expansion and co-investment opportunities., 2) Expanding philanthropic services - In order to influence investment in Black-led social change, we must build on our training and advising offerings to the field. This includes carrying out market research to identify opportunities for philanthropic advisement in what we believe to be under-served regions around the country; investing in marketing materials to reach priority markets, and developing new curricula and tools on investing in Black-led social change for a growing and diversifying pool of foundations and organizations who use our advising services., 3) Increasing and diversifying ABFE’s membership - ABFE is prepared to increase and diversify its membership in order to increase funds invested in Black communities., 4) ABFE growth fund to support infrastructure and capacity - critical technology upgrades; recruitment, hiring and on-boarding of select C-suite staff; and increased activity with our existing Black Social Change Funders Network (BSCFN) to leverage resources to the fullest extent possible.

The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) was originally formed as a working group within the Council on Foundations in 1971 to address the needs of Black professionals in the foundation sector, and to channel much needed resources into Black communities more effectively. We have evolved into a national membership organization with more than 900 members and a mission to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. Over time, ABFE’s approach has transformed to meet the evolving needs of our members, as well as the communities we serve. We have increased our focus on the professional development of our membership base; coordinated efforts that address various challenges and opportunities within the Black community; and engaged with national legislators, while working with other affinity groups to foster inclusion. These cooperative efforts are critically important during the dynamic ebbs and flows of public discussions and political will that impact policy making and the allocation of resources. ABFE engages decision-makers (staff, executive leadership and trustees) in foundations and corporate responsibility offices to increase investment of financial and other resources in Black communities. In addition, we seek to ensure such investment strategies are grounded in sound data and information, address root causes of problems, and are connected to structural solutions (system and policy change) to facilitate better outcomes for Black children, youth, families and communities. We have recently extended our work to include issues facing people of African descent living in the U.S. territories (namely Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands); often an invisible group within our community. ABFE has developed an overarching framework called Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities (RPBC) that advocates for investment in seven key areas to build power in our community. This framework guides all of our programming that falls into three main areas: philanthropic advising, member and partners services, and research and advocacy. Central to our work is helping funders use a racial equity lens as they consider grantmaking policies and practices in support of our community.

Financials

ASSOCIATION OF BLACK FOUNDATION EXECUTIVES INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ASSOCIATION OF BLACK FOUNDATION EXECUTIVES INC

Board of directors
as of 5/4/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Karen McNeil-Miller

Colorado Health Foundation

Term: 2020 - 2022

Stephanie Bell-Rose

TIAA Institute

Cory Anderson

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Sylvia Bartley

Medtronic

Trista Harris

Minnesota Council on Foundations

James Head

East Bay Community Foundation

Lauren Casteel

The Women's Foundation of Colorado

Antoinette Malveaux

Casey Family Foundation

Karen McNeil-Miller

Colorado Health Foundation

William Buster

St. David's Foundation

Cedric Brown

Kapor Center for Social Impact

Maria Woodruff-Wright

The Skillman Foundation

Wendy Lewis Jackson

The Kresge Foundation

Upendo Shabazz

Allegany Franciscan Ministries

Melissa DeShields

Frontline Solutions

Sharon Nash Bush

Grand Victoria Foundation

Kenneth Jones

MacArthur Foundation

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/30/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.