Blog Post


Funding a BIPOC Future

Dear JustFund Community,

When the Stanford Social Innovation Review released their article on Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding in 2020, it reported what many of us have been experiencing our entire careers as leaders of color: “racial bias — both personal and institutional, conscious and unconscious — creeps into all parts of the philanthropic and grantmaking process. The result is that nonprofit organizations led by people of color receive less money than those led by whites, and philanthropy ends up reinforcing the very social ills it says it is trying to overcome.” 

As philanthropy grapples with its racial bias and the disparity in distribution, many are looking for ways to bridge the inequity and to also be a part of a permanent solution — JustFund included.

Echoing Green  and The Bridgespan Group named four barriers that BIPOC organizations and leaders experience “across the full arc of fundraising efforts” in their 2020 report Racial Equity and Philanthropy: Disparities in Funding for Leaders of Color Leave Impact on the Table:

  • Getting connected to potential funders: Leaders of color have inequitable access to social networks that enable connections to the philanthropic community.
  • Building rapport with potential funders: Interpersonal bias can manifest as mistrust and microaggressions, which inhibit relationship building and emotionally burden leaders of color.
  • Securing support for the organization: Funders often lack understanding of culturally relevant approaches, leading them to over rely on specific forms of evaluation and strategies with which they are familiar.
  • Sustaining relationships with current funders: Grant renewal processes can be arduous if mistrust remains, and funding may stop if the funder has a white-centric view of what is a strategic priority and how to measure progress. 

At JustFund, we are actively working to not only break down these barriers, but to reset philanthropy for good. We are the only nonprofit grantmaking solution created by funders and organizers of color to remove the barriers that prevent grantmakers from moving resources efficiently to organizations on the forefront of social change. We’re building a growing repository of over 8,000+ frontline organizations through trusted relationships with funders who use JustFund’s grant cycle management services, which leverage our signature common app. Our community of JustFunders has already moved $198 million with $114M, or 58% in secondary grantmaking – meaning organizations apply to one fund and receive funding from another JustFunder. 

One of JustFund’s most unique features allows funders to search for organizations at the intersection of their priorities and interests using dozens of filters. Over 150 new organizations come into JustFund monthly to apply to funding opportunities, providing funders with immediate access to critical work happening right now to address our nation’s most pressing issues. The majority of organizations in JustFund are BIPOC-led, working in the South, focused on racial justice and have budgets under $500,000. 

Our commitment is simple: we are working with funders like you to make seeking and distributing resources simple, easy, and equitable. 

We invite you to join hundreds of funders in our movement to center equity in the way we give. If you’re a grantmaker and have not yet explored how JustFund can help you meet your equitable giving goals, set up a meeting with me today and let’s revolutionize philanthropy, together.


Iara Peng, Founder & CEO

Iara Duarte Peng

Iara Duarte Peng

Iara Duarte Peng is the Founder and CEO of JustFund.

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