An update on funding racial justice trainings

By Erin Barnes

This blog is an update from the piece I wrote in October about ioby’s rationale behind, plan to develop and approach to funding an antiracism framework. You can read the original piece here.

After I published the blog, a lot of nonprofit executive directors have asked me that I “let them know how it works.” I’ve been keeping them updated informally, but I wanted to share things publicly with executive directors who I may not know.

racial justice1

The short version is it’s working. Since we published this piece, we changed all of our budgets to be formatted this way, and have submitted them to the following foundations, all of whom accepted this line item without question.


The Kresge Foundation

The Ford Foundation

The Summit Foundation

The Overbrook Foundation

The JPB Foundation

Saint Luke’s Foundation

The George Gund Foundation

Hyde Family Foundation


The one exception was the Ford Foundation, which recently changed its policy on indirect costs to provide a minimum of 20% on project grants. Our combined Indirect Rate… and 2% for Racial Justice was still below 20% so the Ford Foundation asked us to simply submit a flat 20%. THANK YOU, FORD FOUNDATION!!!!

So, in just three months, we have raised $10,000 for racial justice trainings. We’re only 13% of our way to our goal of $81,000, but, hey, that’s 13% further than we were in October.

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I also want to acknowledge Gehl Institute, Resource Media and EcoDistricts for joining ioby in using this structure. Although we have a long way to go before nonprofits can finally cast off this burden of using ‘overhead’ to evaluate organizational effectiveness, we believe there is real urgency in funding antiracism work inside the social sector today. So, rather than wait for the social sector to reinvent itself, we’re going to make incremental change today, with the tools we have, just like ioby Leaders do in their communities every day.



Erin Barnes, co-founder and Executive Director of ioby