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The disproportionate public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain communities, along with nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice, have intensified the calls for foundations to focus on equity and reckon with anti-Black racism in a deeper way than they had before. To what extent have staffed foundations changed their practices in 2020 in response to this push for substantial shifts in how philanthropy approaches its work?CEP surveyed and interviewed foundation leaders to find out. Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Equity? reveals that almost all foundations participating in CEP's study report placing new, or more, focus on supporting Black, Latino, and lower-income communities; and most foundation leaders say they are reckoning with racism and paying greater attention to racial equity in their work. However, there remains still significant room for further progress, and it remains to be seen how deep and sustained this new focus will be.
Amid the compounded crises of COVID-19 and the long-standing structural inequities and racism the pandemic is exacerbating, the myriad calls for funders to make fundamental changes in how they approach their work have grown in number and intensity. How are foundations responding to 2020's unprecedented challenges? What high-level changes in practice are they making — and will these changes be for the long term?CEP turned to foundation leaders for answers to these pressing questions. As Foundations Respond to Crisis: A Moment of Transformation? shows, foundation leaders are reevaluating and making significant changes to their practices in 2020 — including loosening or eliminating grant restrictions, increasing their spending levels, and placing a newfound emphasis on listening to grantees and the communities they serve.
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