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Our work to engage and support high net worth (HNW) donors of color comprises a multi-faceted, multi-year initiative we lead in partnership with Faces of Giving, an innovative firm focused on changing the face of philanthropy.  Our partnership includes an experienced team of advisors who call ourselves the People of Color (POC) Donor Collaborative.

The POC Donor Collaborative is: Tuhina De O’Connor, Co-founder, Faces of Giving; Hali Lee, co-founder, Faces of Giving; Mario Lugay, The Giving Side; Ashindi Maxton, independent strategist and donor advisor; Nitika Raj, independent consultant, coach, facilitator, organizer and writer; George Suttles, Program Officer, John A. Hartford Foundation; Brent Swinton, Managing Director of Development, Advancement Project; Urvashi Vaid, CEO, The Vaid Group.

Our larger project includes our ground-breaking landscape analysis (The Apparitional Donor), additional research, publications and educational activities; individual donor interviews with at least 100 HNW donors of color, with findings from that research to be issued by Faces of Giving LLC;  donor convening; donor conference; and exploration of the formation of a philanthropists of color donor network.

The Apparitional Donor: Understanding and Engaging High Net Worth Donors of Color.  This original landscape analysis looks at the giving patterns and priorities of high net worth (HNW) people of color.  It summarizes information from interviews, shares insights gathered from a meta analysis of research, and outlines a set of recommendations.

The report was made possible with support from Marguerite Casey Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, Arcus Foundation, the New York Women's Foundation and the Advancement Project.

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Report Summary

The report found that although the priorities, interests and experiences of HNW donors of color are largely invisible in discussions of mainstream philanthropy, HNW people of color (POC) number over 1 million people.  HNW donors of color are largely engaged in building their wealth, are philanthropically engaged, and very generous.

Yet, the report finds these donors remain isolated from each other, are not present within existing donor networks of HNW individuals, and that the funding these donors provide remains less widely known even to organizations in the fields of work in which they are giving.

The report argues that absence of HNW donors of color as an organized force in philanthropy has material consequences. It renders critical experiences, resources and talent missing at a moment in which our society requires new ideas, investment and innovation.  We ask the question: “How can we better network high net worth donors of color to fund social change strategies- including resistance, protection, and empowerment- at a time when the need is so great?”

The Authors

Urvashi Vaid

Urvashi Vaid is founder and CEO of The Vaid Group LLC, a social innovation firm working for equity and justice.  Vaid has held leadership roles in philanthropic, advocacy, community, and academic organizations, including:  Executive Director, Arcus Foundation; Deputy Director, Governance and Civil Society Unit, Ford Foundation; Senior Fellow, Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School; Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force; Staff Attorney, National Prison Project, ACLU, and Board member, Gill Foundation.   Vaid is author of Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and The Assumptions of LGBT Politics (2012); Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation (1996); co-author of A Roadmap for Change:  Public Policy Recommendations Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV (2013); and co-editor of an anthology titled Creating Change: Public Policy, Sexuality and Civil Rights (2000).  She is Chair of the National Board of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and serves on the Boards of the Roadwork Center for Culture in Disputed Territories, and LPAC.  Vaid is a graduate of Vassar College and Northeastern University School of Law.

Ashindi Maxton

Ashindi Maxton is an independent strategist and donor advisor in democracy reform and racial justice. She has developed funding strategy informing more than $100 million in investments from some of the largest foundations and individual donors in the United States including the Democracy Alliance, the Ford Foundation, The Women Donors Network, PowerPAC, and the Sandler Foundation. Maxton has served as the National Policy Director of the NAACP and the National Director of Political Partnerships for SEIU, the largest labor union in the United States. She was a Fulbright Scholar to the Dominican Republic where she published the first national study on race consciousness in Dominican children. Maxton has been listed three times to Washington Magazine’s “Young and the Guest List” of “forty and under geniuses, visionaries, crusaders and innovators shaping Washington’s future” in addition to the “NAACP Power 40” list of most influential African-Americans under forty. She serves on the c3 board of the Texas Organizing Project and recently completed three years as Board Chair of Free Speech TV.  Ashindi has an International Baccalaureate degree from the United World College of the American West in New Mexico. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College with a degree in Africana Studies and later received a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

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