Supporting BIPOC-led orgs

This editorial was published during Give to the Max Day 2020, Minnesota's giving holiday which raised more than $30 million for thousands of nonprofits and schools across the state.

November 17, 2020

Expand your generosity to support organizations led by and serving Black people, Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC)

Jake Blumberg | Executive Director, GiveMN
Maria De La Cruz | Executive Director, Headwaters Foundation for Justice

Dear friend,

At GiveMN and Headwaters Foundation for Justice, we are committed to two important values: community and justice. As leaders of two organizations that care deeply about democratizing philanthropy in Minnesota, we believe it is necessary to have important and sometimes difficult conversations with one another.

As we celebrate Give to the Max Day this Thursday, we have a specific ask of you: please prioritize expanding your generosity to support organizations led by and serving Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC).

Why prioritize BIPOC-led work in Minnesota? Because a significant opportunity gap exists between BIPOC-led and white-led nonprofits. For example, a recent report covered by The Chronicle of Philanthropy paints a stark and troubling picture: BIPOC-led organizations are less likely to be awarded grant funds which leads to those organizations having budgets 24% smaller than white-led organizations.

Another reason to prioritize work by and for BIPOC communities in Minnesota is because foundations and individual donors of all kinds often see BIPOC-led work as being a “riskier” investment. There is data showing that racial bias exists when comparing funding between organizations that have similar focus areas, but leaders from different backgrounds. For instance, among groups focused on improving life outcomes of Black men, funding for organizations with Black leaders was 45 percent lower than at groups led by white people.

It would be easy to let these data points discourage us in our leadership roles. And sometimes they do. That is when we call each other for support, for a sense of community, and for the encouragement we need to keep pushing our organizations to rise above the status quo.

We know that together—as friends and colleagues—we have the power to make a difference. And we believe with thousands of generous donors like you, it is possible to shift the ways that our dollars are invested to do the work so our communities thrive more equitably.

Here are two action steps you can take this week to help us support the organizations often left behind in funding:

Find and support organizations led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. now includes a new feature, supported by the generosity of American National Bank, allowing you to search for BIPOC-led and -serving organizations.

We send our thanks to nonprofits and schools across the state for their help in co-creating this growing list!


Support The Transformation Fund at Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Created and managed through Headwaters, this fund directly supports dozens of frontline organizations working for immediate and long-term social change and liberation.

GiveMN was proud to support this fund with a grant from June’s processing fee proceeds, and we invite you to support this fund, too.


The events of 2020 are a clear signal that things must change. We invite you to join us and take action. And please, take care of yourselves and each other.

In gratitude and solidarity,

Jake Blumberg | Executive Director, GiveMN
Maria De La Cruz | Executive Director, Headwaters Foundation for Justice

How can we help?