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THE EXIT INTERVIEW: Perceptions on Why Black Professionals Leave Grantmaking Institutions

Today ABFE shares with you our new report on perceptions of why Black professionals leave the field of philanthropy. This research is the first of its kind and comes at a time when we are actually celebrating a number of recent high-level appointments of Black professionals in the field. While this is good news (for example, of the top 10 foundations in the country, four have Black CEOs), The Exit Interview suggests that we have to pay as much attention to the retention of Black professionals and other professionals of color as we do to leadership pipelines and development programs for these groups. Retention strategies are much more about changing the culture of philanthropy as well as providing diverse leaders with the “armor” and protective factors they need to survive in foundation environments – particularly if they are leaders on issues of racial and social justice.

For those who care deeply about the issues of diversity, I am sad to say that contemporary work in the field often overlooks the important role that racial/ethnic affinity groups play. And several foundations have reduced their support to the field of philanthropy and these organizations. Yet, it is the presence of these groups that is responsible for maintaining the little diversity we have in the field today! We may not have been able to increase the numbers as much as we would like but I am convinced that we are helping to ensure we have not slipped backwards. Which is why we are releasing this report now…it looks like we (i.e., Black professionals) may be losing ground (the report cites 2011-2012 data, but the 2013 totals we’ve seen are even lower).

So yes, we join the field in celebrating the promotion of a few people of color but let’s not forget the actual experiences of most people of color. I invite you to read The Exit Interview and share your reflections on the data and experience of colleagues from the field. We stand ready to have honest discussions and try new strategies moving forward.

Warmest regards,
Susan Taylor Batten - Signature
Susan Taylor Batten


2016 Patiño Moore Award Highlights
ABFE congratulates The Puerto Rico Community Foundation on receiving the 2016 Patiño Moore Legacy Award in Washington D.C on November 16, 2016. The award of $150,000 was presented to Dr. Nelson Colón, director of the foundation. The Patiño Moore Legacy Award was created jointly by ABFE, Hispanics in Philanthropy and Marguerite Casey Foundation. The award is named after Dr. Douglas Patiño and Wenda Weekes Moore for their ongoing legacy of work to improve relations between Black and Brown communities.


ABFE members are encouraged to vote and take part in the 2017 Patiño Moore Award selection process.

A Response to Injustice
Susan Taylor Batten on the Trayvon Martin Verdict.
This will be one of those moments in this country — you remember where you were when you heard the news. The Trayvon Martin verdict reminds us why our work to advocate for justice at every level remains so important.  | DOWNLOAD THE FULL LETTER HERE >>

Karen Kelley-Ariwoola’s Essay on Why Philanthropy Matters
Hear from a former James Joseph Lecturer on why she values ABFE and what she got out of our 2013 Conference!
A Soul/Spirit Connection: Remembering Why Philanthropy Matters, Part I | VIEW >>
A Soul/Spirit Connection: Remembering Why Philanthropy Matters, Part II | VIEW >>

Dr. Emmett Carson’s Essay on the Fallacy of Post-Racial America
Foundation CEO Convening on Expanding Opportunity and Wellness for Black Males and Boys and Men of Color (BMC).
Read Dr. Carson’s essay, Foundations and the Fallacy of Post-Racial America: African American Men and Civic Engagement | DOWNLOAD HERE >>

Former ABFE Board Chair Shares her Thoughts on Philanthropy
Gladys Washington, former ABFE Board Chair, and current Program Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, shares her thoughts on philanthropy.
Read on to learn how Gladys got her start in philanthropy, her advice for those pursuing a career in philanthropy and more. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE President and CEO in black gives back. | READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE >>

The Congressional Black Caucus New Launch
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) officially announces its “For the People” Jobs Initiative, which includes nationwide job fairs and town hall meetings. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

New study by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Press Release on a study that finds new guidelines help judges better serve abused and neglected children and their families. | DOWNLOAD >>

Former ABFE fellow Danista Hunte’s new role
Former ABFE Fellow Danista Hunte is promoted to Vice President, Community Investment of the Baltimore Community Foundation. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Luther Ragin, Jr., new CEO of the Global Impact Investing Network
Luther Ragin, Jr. assumes the role of the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) first Chief Executive Officer beginning in September.

Ivye L. Allen receives recognition from the White House
Ivye Allen was identified by the White House as a Champions of Change, who is solving local problems and redefining civic participation for the 21st century. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Northwest Area Foundation’s African American Leadership Forum
Read this article about the Northwest Area Foundation and the impact of their African American Leadership Forum. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Former ABFE Fellow Chad U. Jones’ new role
Former ABFE Fellow Chad U. Jones is named the new Executive Director of the Community Investment Network. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Two ABFE Fellows/members recognized by COF
Cedric Brown and Trista Harris: Two ABFE Fellows recognized in the Council on Foundations’ Profile in Philanthropy. | [READ FULL ARTICLE HERE (LINK BROKEN)] >> E-MAIL membership@cof.org FOR FULL ARTICLE

Huffington Post article
Read an article by David Sciarra encouraging Newark educators, parents, leaders and university partners to build upon Newark’s progress. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

New York Time article
New York Times: ‘Culture of Poverty’ Makes a Comeback. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

New York Times Op-Ed
Bob Herbert, NYT: A tragic crisis of enormous magnitude is facing black boys and men in America. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

New York Daily News article
Perspective by Tom Burrell, advertising executive and author: ‘Racial stereotypes are far more deeply ingrained than whites or blacks realize. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Press Release
The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education announced that it has received a $1.2 million, three-year grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to launch the Maynard Media Center on Structural Racism (MMCSR). | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

New York Times Article
This New York Times article discusses that as many as 400,000 nonprofit organizations may lose their tax exemptions due to a provision in a 2006 federal bill. | READ FULL COLUMN HERE >>

ABFE Guest Columnist
Read the latest column by Ouida Washington and Derek Koen, Producers of Beyond the Bricks, as they discuss the critical value of funding media tools. | DOWNLOAD >>

Philanthropy Staff Race/Ethnicity Statistics
The Council on Foundations has released the 2008 report on Race/Ethnicity for Professional and Administrative Positions in Philanthropy.

Washington Post article
This interesting article discusses the impact of neighborhoods and how it is greater than other factors in children’s backgrounds. This article is based on the Neighborhoods and the Black-White Mobility Gap report from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Open Society Institute audio
Listen to the Open Society Institute Campaign for Black Male Achievement luncheon with Steven C. Pitts, labor policy specialist at the Center for Labor Research and Education, University of California–Berkeley. Steven Pitts focuses on the job crisis facing the Black community, with an emphasis on Black men and the immigration reform movement. Mr. Pitts presents data on Black employment leading into the recession, the changing ethnic composition of occupations, and some pathways forward. | CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO. >>

New York Times article
In Prisoners’ Wake, a Tide of Troubled Kids is a compelling article by the New York Times that discusses the affect parental imprisonment has on children. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Benjamin Jealous Commentary
Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and an ABFE board member has a interesting, must-read commentary that was posted on CNN. | READ FULL COLUMN HERE >>

ABFE Congratulates Nicole Campbell
Nicole Campbell, Vice President, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and a member of the 2008-2009 Class of ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellows has been selected as a White House Fellow for 2009-2010.
Congratulations. Ms. Campbell!
Click HERE >> to see the complete list of White House Fellows.

Ford Foundation Buyouts to Staff
The Ford Foundation is offering buyouts to one-third of its 550 employees to reduce expenses and avoid cutting its grant making. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>

Dr. john a. powell – Kirwan Institute Report
This preliminary report presents data on the racially disparate effects of the current recession. It lays out the need for race conscious policy design, and illustrates the shortcomings of a “universal” policy approach. It offers a preliminary assessment of the new Administration’s first steps, largely though an analysis of selected aspects of the proposed stimulus bill. It identifies broader opportunities and challenges for the new Administration, and concludes with big picture thinking regarding how we can respond to the crisis – the danger and the opportunity – that faces us today. | DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT HERE >>

More than a half-century after Brown v. Board of Education, the nation’s urban public school systems continue to be a pipeline to failure for most Black male students. | DOWNLOAD FULL COLUMN HERE >>

An article in the October 18th issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy Image vs. Reality, The nonprofit world’s ideal of inclusion is still a dream for many organizations (Special Report on Achieving Diversity) highlights these 2006 figures for foundations:

  •  Nearly 77% of foundation workers are white
  • 94.2% of CEOs are white
  • 85% of full time program officers are white
  • 88% of board members are white

The Stanford Social Innovation Review published a series of comments sparked by the blog entry, Philanthropy Doesn’t Care About Black People, by Rosetta Thurman, a nonprofit emerging leader of color who was featured in the Chronicle’s article. | READ FULL ARTICLE HERE >>