by: Mae Hong, Director, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Chicago Office
Population-Focused Funds (PFFs) are a vital part of the philanthropic sector. Since the 1970s, PFFs have been a powerful and growing force for social change. They are giving vehicles established by and for members of racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sexual-orientation, and other identity-based groups to address critical issues within those communities. As they’ve grown in number and impact, it’s helpful for them—and others in the philanthropic community who seek to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion—to be able to connect with and learn more about this important network.
As director of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Chicago Office and a member of D5’s Leadership Team, I’ve learned how important it is to ensure that diverse communities have a voice among philanthropic leadership. PFFs give those communities a voice and address their own needs directly. We have the potential to increase our impact even further by sharing information and building relationships with PFFs to advance our work.
In order to facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing, I’m excited to announce that D5 recently launched a new and improved PFF Directory to help leaders in the field identify useful data about more than 400 PFFs throughout the United States. This first-of-its kind interactive directory, built with data from the Foundation Center and supplemented by D5’s own research, offers an engaging, visual way to find PFFs around the country, through a map that is searchable by region, population, or field of interest.
The directory is, effectively, a social network for PFFs and others committed to creating meaningful change in diverse communities. It offers contact information and relevant details to encourage people to connect, share knowledge, and create more opportunities for impact in diverse communities.
For the first time, this new tool captures the diversity, scope, and scale of the population-focused funds that are really helping to move the needle on meaningful causes across the country. Moving forward, D5 is working to conduct research that we believe will shed more light on this field of philanthropy. With this analysis—and the new and improved directory—we hope that the field of philanthropy can better understand, leverage, and build upon the contributions of population-focused funds to philanthropy, so that all of our work becomes stronger.