Small Orgs, Big Impact Fund
Albuquerque Community Foundation (“ACF”) and United Way of Central New Mexico (“UWCNM”) have been awarded a $2 million grant over the next two years from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)-led organizations as part of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) United partnership.
The Small Orgs, Big Impact Fund will fund grassroots, BIPOC-led, small nonprofit organizations that intimately understand their communities, and have the trust and inherent knowledge to address the racial/ethnic gaps in health and education. The goal is to develop a grant making program that is based on trust and solidarity principles that effectively support these nonprofit organizations.
“We are excited about this partnership with two anchor funders that centers racial equity in strengthening the nonprofit sector in Bernalillo County. Our founder, Will Keith Kellogg, was committed to children and community-driven solutions,” said Chamiza Pacheco de Alas, director of New Mexico programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “This partnership with ACF and UWCNM honors that legacy and will work to strengthen the capacity and power in the many Black, Indigenous, immigrant and other communities of color that are committed to improving the lives of all children in New Mexico.”
The strategic grant making areas will include educational attainment, family stability, and access to economic development in the five counties of central New Mexico (Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, Valencia and Santa Fe). ACF and UWCNM will identify and support organizations through high-impact grants so nonprofits can effectively address issues related to these areas and through their intimate knowledge of their communities and trusted relationships among the communities they serve.
“The support provided by W.K. Kellogg Foundation will mean that our organizations can take a new and innovative approach by employing strategies aimed at addressing the traditional barriers and inequities inherent in grant making practices,” said Rodney Prunty, President and CEO of United Way of Central New Mexico. “In addition to the important foundation of building trust and relationships with BIPOC leaders and communities, significant funding will flow directly into these areas to people who are in greatest need.”
The experience and lessons learned from this work can be applied to all grant making practices of ACF and UWCNM, increasing equity in grant making on a larger scale within the organizations. Ultimately, this grant program could be shared with funders across the region and country looking to change their funding process.
“We are thrilled to create a grant program that focuses on building long-term, high-trust networks within grassroots, BIPOC-led nonprofits while maintaining a low-cost, low-barrier application and reporting process. This is an opportunity to bring resources to historically under-invested organizations and address the disadvantages organizations face when seeking funding from a philanthropic sector that is predominantly white,” said Marisa Magallanez, Vice President of Strategy & Equity at ACF.
The DEI United partnership was created to support, promote and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion practices within both organizations and the nonprofit sector. DEI United has been focused on three other initiatives over the past year, including a series of staff training sessions focused on recognizing, interrupting, and disrupting inequities in New Mexico.
The second initiative was funding the Building Better Boards with People of Color project, which was created to help corporate, governmental and nonprofit entities assemble boards of directors that are diverse in culture, thinking and decision-making. “Through this experience I feel I’ve been given the opportunity to truly understand the value I can bring to a board,” says Gabriel Castro, a participant in the program.
ACF and UWCNM have also hosted a number of Community Conversations with nonprofit partners and community members whose voices and aspirations are not always heard. The findings will be shared at an event being planned for early October.