Fund For Louisville 2021-2023

Fund for Louisville

The Fund for Louisville was created by and is still supported by those who seek to support their community today and beyond their own lifetimes, and who believe they can do more together than alone. The Fund allows the Community Foundation to pool many contributions to strategically respond to emerging needs and opportunities in the Louisville area with timely, impactful grants today and into the future. Because the Fund for Louisville is endowed, the earnings from the fund will support our community forever.

Creating New Process for Distributing Grant Dollars

CFL invited members of the Black community with diverse perspectives and lived experiences to help guide the design of a new process for distributing dollars from the Fund for Louisville, including eligibility requirements, selection criteria, selection process, desired outcomes and measures of impact. Our goal is to create a strategy that is responsive to the needs of those most impacted by racialized inequality. The work group met three times to share input and perspective, and CFL intends to continue engaging this work group until the grants are awarded in 2021.

Addressing Racialized Inequality

Since January 2018, a major percentage of Fund for Louisville dollars have supported building the capacity of organizations serving Louisville’s most under resourced and under invested ZIP codes. This work marked CFL’s first step to address funding inequities between nonprofits and direct more investment to these areas. This work taught us that more intentional action was needed to address the major local challenge of entrenched, growing, and racialized inequality.

Two local calls to actions, the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership and A Path Forward, amplified and reinforced this lesson. Both of these calls involve the creation of funds to support Black-led social change organizations and movements with the funds being led and controlled by Black people.  One of the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership objectives is to, “use the lived experience and leadership of Black people to deploy restorative philanthropic capital to the Black community in Louisville.”

Prior to the release of these calls for actions, CFL’s Board of Directors approved that from 2021-2023, the Fund for Louisville will support a cohort of nonprofit organizations in Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky that are working to change systems that result in unequal outcomes.  These organizations will receive renewable grant funding over three years, have peer-support opportunities and participate in capacity building workshops. In alignment with the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership and A Path Forward, CFL is being more intentional with our Fund for Louisville strategy by focusing on supporting Black-led and Black-serving nonprofit organizations.

How do nonprofits led by and serving Black people apply for grant funding?

Members of the Black community with diverse perspectives and lived experiences will help guide the design of a new process for distributing dollars from the Fund for Louisville. Our intention is to announce the process here and promote it broadly once it is ready.

Updates on Our Progress:

CFL will provide regular updates regarding the design process. Click on the links below to get information.

Report: Design Work Group Call for Nominations

From Sep 10 – Oct 5, CFL promoted a call for Black voices to participate in the Design Work Group. Complete applications required an application and at least one recommendation letter.

Design Work Group - 3 Day Agenda

In late October, the Design Work Group met virtually to guide the design of a new process for distributing dollars. (Download: 3-day agenda)

Design Work Group Notes

Nine hours were spent answering multiple questions to design a new process for distributing dollars. Additional Info: Document summarizes the work group activities and decisions.

Draft of Proposed FFL Selection Process

CFL Staff used the information from the Design Work Group to prepare a formal grantmaking process. Additional Info: The following document was shared with Design Work Group members for final revisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

A new strategy always leads to questions. CFL has tracked these and provided responses since the beginning of our process.

Why is CFL focusing on racialized inequality?

Over the coming three years, the Fund for Louisville will offer renewable grant funding over three years to nonprofit institutions led by and serving Black people as an initial step toward dismantling systems preventing racial and economic equity while constructing new systems promoting justice. We invite you to explore these resources and share our learning journey.

      1. Trust Based Philanthropy Project
      2. Black Funding Denied: Community Foundation Support for Black Communities
      3. Black Social Change Funders Network: The Case for Funding Black Social Change
      4. Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding
      5. A Focus on Poverty: 2015 Competitive City Update
      6. 15 Years Beyond Merger: 2018 Competitive City Update
      7. The Flow of Community Investment: 2019 Competitive City Report
      8. ABFE: We Must be in it for the Long Haul

For more information please send an email or call

Liz Alkire
Liz Alkire »
Director of Grants & Evaluation
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Ramona Lindsey
Ramona Lindsey »
Senior Program Officer
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