Seattle Foundation Blog

Seattle Foundation Awarded $1 Million from Facebook as part of Commitment to Support Black Business, Creators, and Nonprofits

Facebook Grant to Seattle Foundation to help build the capacity and resilience of Black communities in the Greater Seattle Region.


December 11, 2020

Today, Facebook announced Seattle Foundation is the recipient of a $1 million grant as part of their commitment to support Black businesses, creators, and nonprofits. Seattle Foundation is honored to receive this support and grateful to Facebook for their generous commitment to supporting the Black community.

"We're excited to work with Seattle Foundation to help bring much needed funding to nonprofits that are serving and supporting the Black community in the Greater Seattle Region," said Marcy Scott Lynn, Director of Global Impact Partnerships at Facebook. "We're providing funding directly to Seattle Foundation to build on their track record of supporting Black-led nonprofits and ensure that people locally are making the decisions about where these dollars are most needed and can have the most impact."

Seattle Foundation has been on a journey to cement a greater focus on addressing the growing racialized disparities in our region by targeting investments in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) capacity- and power-building. This effort and support from Facebook builds on years of exploration, research, and pilot investments. For example, earlier this year Seattle Foundation collaborated with Byrd Barr Place and Cardea Services on a research project designed to gain insight into the work and experience of Black-led organizations and their leaders. A report titled “The Case for Investing in King County’s Black-Led Organizations,” completed in August 2020, is the culmination of this project. Funding from Facebook will allow Seattle Foundation to advance this strategy to center racial equity in all that do as a community foundation.

"This investment from Facebook speaks to the heart of our mission at Seattle Foundation," said Jonathan Cunningham, Senior Program Officer. "We're constantly evaluating the ways we can uplift historically and currently under-resourced communities and listening intently to our community partners. This grant is an important step towards advancing justice for Black lives by supporting Black civic leadership in our community."

Seattle Foundation’s work has taken an even more refined focus on Black and Indigenous communities given the historical and continued under investments by philanthropy – and the disproportionate burden that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed.

"This year underscored the brokenness of our systems and society as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BIPOC communities are impossible to ignore," said Kris Hermanns, Seattle Foundation's Chief Impact Officer. "We are excited to continue to prioritize our grantmaking and partnerships with community leaders who are furthest from justice with the help of Facebook and ensure Black-led and –rooted groups and movements have the necessary resources to address structural racism and economic disparities and to bring about lasting change."

Seattle Foundation will put the grant to immediate use both in end of year giving while also incorporating the funds into our 2021 strategic grantmaking plan. Facebook’s critical funding will be deployed to further build the near-term and long-term capacity and resilience of Black-led and serving organizations.

In addition to other strategic programmatic efforts, Seattle Foundation will also continue to invest in collective efforts focused on the Black community, including the Seattle Public Schools African American Male Achievement program and the Black Business Equity Fund of Tabor 100.

To learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on BIPOC Communities in King County, we invite you to read the research we recently released in partnership with The Bridgespan Group linked here.

For questions regarding this grant from Facebook or Seattle Foundation’s work to drive investments in BIPOC communities, please reach out to Kris Hermanns or Jonathan Cunningham.

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