“Community-Powered Philanthropy”: Local Committees of Black Canadians Select Over 100 Projects for Funding through the Foundation for Black Communities’ Inaugural Black Ideas Grant

Gratitude and Recognition

We wish to express our deepest gratitude to all the dedicated and passionate Black community members from across Canada who helped shape and design the Foundation for Black Communities’ (FFBC) inaugural Black Ideas Grant (B.I.G.): Bridge and Build 2023. We witnessed hundreds of community members across every province step up to join local Community Selection Circles. We commend their commitment, meticulous diligence, and exemplary leadership in adjudicating and selecting projects that are sure to have a significant impact not only across Canada but also within their very own communities.

We also want to acknowledge and extend our appreciation to every applicant for your effort and engagement. We received over 2,000 applications, showcasing a diverse range of innovative ideas and the vibrant dedication present within Black-led nonprofits and charities across Canada. Each application was a testament to the passion and commitment that drive your missions. We are profoundly moved and inspired by the diversity and quality of your proposals, showcasing the incredible breadth of impactful work being undertaken by you – alongside and for our communities.  

Facing Our Challenges

For our inaugural Black Ideas Grant, the request for funding drastically exceeded the resources available, with proposals exceeding $203 million in funding requests against the $9 million available for distribution. This overwhelming demand has highlighted a stark reality: just under 2,000 critical programs will remain unfunded for this call for proposals. This stark reality underscores the findings of our 2020 research report, “Unfunded,”  which revealed substantial underinvestment and under resourcing of Black-led, Black-focused, and Black-serving non-profits and charitable groups in Canada.

Our Ongoing Efforts to Further Support Community

FFBC remains firmly committed to supporting you and all the incredible organizations that are stepping up and delivering unwavering support and programming to meet our most pressing challenges.  Our learnings from this round of funding have shaped our ongoing commitments. Actions stemming from the 2023 Black Ideas Grant include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Actively connecting grant applicants with other funders to help uncover new funding opportunities;
  • Collaborating with funders to create new funding partnerships; and
  • Recommending non-funded projects to be assessed by foundations and funders for upcoming call for proposals.  

A Call to Action

There is still much to be done and collective action is needed. FFBC extends a broadened call to action to our fellow philanthropic organizations, the private sector, and federal, provincial, and municipal governments. We urge increased support for Black-led initiatives through:

  • Creating specific and targeted funding opportunities for Black communities;
  • Focusing on hiring more Black employees across all levels of organizations;
  • Shifting the power of funding decisions directly to the communities affected, ensuring those who are most impacted have a voice in shaping solutions; and 
  • Recruiting Black community members onto Boards to provide governance that is truly representative and informed by those we aim to support.

Together, We Make a Difference

By joining forces across multiple sectors, we can address these funding disparities and ensure Black-led nonprofits and charities have the necessary resources to thrive and meet the diverse needs of our communities. FFBC remains ready to collaborate with all stakeholders committed to this mission and stands ready to work with you to forge a more inclusive future.

Looking Ahead

We look forward to announcing the over 100 projects selected by the local Community Selection Circles. These incredible projects span from coast to coast and offer brilliant and critical solutions to a variety of issue areas, including housing, food security, health and wellbeing, economic empowerment, arts, culture, and so much more. We are thrilled and proud to partner with these organizations and look forward to the impact they will have on our communities.


Finally, we want to thank the hundreds of Black community members from across the country who have provided their expertise and voices to help design the Black Ideas Grant and serve as local Community Selection Circle members.  Community Selection Circle members dedicated significant time and effort in reviewing, adjudicating, and selecting the final recipients for funding within their own respective communities. Their participation is a testament to our shared belief in the ability of Black communities to understand the needs and solutions required in their own communities, to know what is best for them, and to hold the power to invest in themselves. This is the heart of trust-based philanthropy and will remain the driving force of FFBC today and into the future.

Thank You

Once again, thank you to every applicant and community member for your understanding and continued trust in our mission. We are committed to your success and to the broader vision of a future where Black communities have the resources to self-determine their own solutions-making and thrive.