Case Study

Understanding & Organizing HNW People of Color Donors

The Vaid Group LLC is working with the Advancement Project to conduct a research project focused on Understanding and Organizing High Net Worth People of Color.

Three factors motivate this project to explore how to strengthen networks between people of color donors with high net worth (POC HNW). The first is the fact that existing progressive donor networks do not include many (if any) HNW people of color in them. In addition, to date, none of these donor networks has made a systematic effort to identify, consult with and or otherwise engage people of color philanthropically.

Second, HNW POC donors exist, but there is little information about who they are, how they organize their philanthropy, what priorities and concerns they have, whether they are interested in being connected to each other, or whether they are interested in being more powerful as an organized sphere in either the philanthropic or political universe.

Third, existing networks of HNW individuals have not prioritized racial disparities and opportunity, nor approached their work from an intersectional lens. This appears to be true of POC philanthropy as well. Yet, there is an urgent need for action on racism, economic disparity, nationalism and xenophobia, violence, over-policing and state abandonment based on race, nationality, economic status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. This research and organizing project addresses these three gaps.

Advancement Project


Advancement Project


To produce a landscape analysis, bibliography and strategy to understand and organize high net worth people of color donors.


This Project tests two hypotheses: first, that increased progressive HNW POC donor engagement could bring new resources to racial, economic and social justice projects; and second, that engaging increased numbers of POC HNW donors could help broaden the agenda and focus of existing progressive donor networks to encompass racism and racial disparities.

The Project to research and organize a network of High Net Worth People of Color Donors proceeds in three inter-connected phases: Phase I: Landscape Analysis and HNW POC Donor Identification; Phase II: Interviews with Individuals; Phase III: Potential Convening.

Outputs from Phase 1 include: 1) a written landscape analysis of what is know about POC philanthropy and HNW POC donors; 2) a bibliography; 3) an initial data base of HNW POC donor prospects for potential interviews with individual HNW donors.


Outcomes from this project include: 1) New knowledge and understanding of the identities, interests and philanthropic and political concerns of HNW POC donors; 2) greater information on the priorities and interests of HNW POC donors; and 3) insight into the possible creation of a network among HNW POC donors.

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