Fund For Louisville 2021-2023

Fund For Louisville

The Fund for Louisville was created, and is still supported by those who seek to strengthen our community today and for future generations. The Community Foundation of Louisville stewards this Fund, staying informed about our community’s evolving needs by regularly convening and having conversations with residents and civic leaders, and monitoring trends in community and neighborhood data. The Fund responds strategically, issuing grants to nonprofit organizations and working with others to advance solutions that seek lasting and transformational impact.

Funding Systems Change for Racial Justice

Most Americans aspire to live healthy lives, build wealth, fully participate in the democratic process, and excel to their fullest potential. Established policies, procedures, laws, and systems - intentionally and unintentionally - make it difficult for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color to achieve these aspirations.

Recent data highlighted by the Greater Louisville Project shows longstanding and growing gaps in outcomes for Black Louisvillians. The challenges of 2020 further exposed and amplified these racial inequities. CFL is grateful for the contributions received for this initiative from CFL fundholders, the James Graham Brown Foundation, the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation, BrightSpring Health Services, and Glick Philanthropies to intentionally invest in Black-led social change organizations advancing and informing systems-level change for racial justice.

Addressing Racial Inequity

In recent years, the Fund for Louisville has supported capacity building for nonprofit organizations serving Louisville’s most under-resourced and under-invested ZIP codes. This work taught us that more intentional action was needed to address the challenge of entrenched, growing racial inequity.

CFL’s Board of Directors approved that from 2021-2023, the Fund for Louisville: Racial Justice Cohort will support a group of nonprofit organizations in Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky that are working to change systems that result in unequal outcomes. CFL is guided by these beliefs:

            1. We believe systems need to change and are directing our available funds to support systems change.
            2. Our foundation can do more to support Black-led social change.
            3. We believe that social change is most effective when led by communities most impacted by racial inequity.

We intend to work in cooperation with other local calls to action such as, the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership and A Path Forward, to support Black-led social change organizations and movements.

What is a Black-led Social Change Organization?

We are drawing on the research of The Black Social Change Funders Network’s The Case for Funding Black-Led Social Change to define Black-led social change organizations, as those with predominantly Black board and executive leadership, staff leadership and constituents - if relevant - and whose primary organizational purpose is to work to build the political, economic, and/or social power of the Black community (including continental Africans, African Americans, Descendants of American Slaves, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Latinos, and people of mixed ancestry). So, “Black-led” is about the demographic makeup and racial identity of the leadership as well as a political purpose of building power to ensure that the Black community thrives.

How can Black-led Social Change Organizations be considered for this Nonprofit Funding Opportunity?

Working with 15 Black community members, CFL has designed an accessible and transparent process where community members are key decision makers. The first phase for consideration is currently closed, it was open from February 8 – March 29, 2021.

Nonprofit Funding Opportunity

Read the complete details for this process.

Report: Design Work Group Process & Progress

For three months, CFL worked with Black community members to identify barriers to funding and develop an accessible and transparent grantmaking process. The following documents highlight key points in our work.

Call for nominations & results

Work group member names

3 Day Agenda

Design Work Group Updates

Selection Process Participants

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 racial inequity?

The Fund for Louisville will offer renewable grant funding over three years to Black-led social change organizations 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 Dallum Lindsey
Ramona Dallum Lindsey »
Senior Program Officer
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