Empower Black Philanthropy Network (EBPN)

What is the Empower Black Philanthropy Network? The Empower Black Philanthropy Network (EBPN) aims to address the underrepresentation and systemic barriers that black philanthropists and funders often face in the philanthropy sector. We envision this network to be less of an affinity group and more of an established community of practice for Black Philanthropy and future generations. EBPN strives to create a space where black professionals can come together, share knowledge, explore innovative forms of philanthropic practice and advocate for equity and inclusion within the field. Within this network, we believe we can alleviate some of the implications that foundations may face when also leading or advocating for demographic specific funds. We know that diversity in foundations is increasing, however, with that increase we cannot deny the importance of sharing lived experiences with those that reflect us. In order to have a better understanding of all, we need to first be able to understand the lived experience of those that reflect us.

This network is for Black-identifying philanthropists and funders that are:

  • Leading funds for the Black community
  • Advocating for equitable grantmaking in Black communities
  • Black funders that are in predominantly white institutions
  • Black philanthropists and funders that are new to philanthropy
  • Black philanthropists and funders that are seasoned, but can educate and learn from new funders

Why Empower Black Philanthropy Network? What problem will it address?

We believe there is value in being open about who we are and what we have experienced, so we can learn with one another. We do not see this as an increase in the racial divide within institutions, because what is learned and shared amongst like minded individuals will benefit all of philanthropy in the pacific northwest. We also see the external management of these practices allow for this model to be utilized with other groups and additional focus areas. We see this as an opportunity for the advancement of innovative, bold, and sustainable philanthropic practices. The network will provide a  range of resources and opportunities for its members that may have a combined philanthropic career of approximately 50+ years. These opportunities and learnings may include group-style mentorship, professional development workshops from members and external trainers, networking events, collaborative funding, board dynamic navigation, sunsetting funds, and overall guidance on navigating the philanthropic sector in the pacific northwest as a black foundation professional. By offering these resources, the network seeks to empower its members to advance their careers, build connections, and make a meaningful impact in their communities.

What is unique about the Empower Black Philanthropy Network and about this opportunity?

According to the Association for Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) 2022 report, “A Spirit of Unity: How Black Foundation CEOs are Advancing the Call to Action on Anti-Black Racism in Philanthropy”, There are 10 common practices of successful advancement of anti-black racism in philanthropy, however, the practice of ‘Encourage Shared Responsibility’ and ‘Using Endowments’ and ‘Centering Black Excellence’ are practices that enhance the current investments for the Black community in our region. In order to reflect the other practices, we believe it is best to start with sharing the responsibility of fund administration, leadership development and mutual learning. After this we can focus and implement the practice of the sustainability of Black-centered philanthropy and elevating all aspects of philanthropy including time, talent, treasure and ties for not only the Black community to benefit from, but again, for additional marginalized communities to in return benefit from similar models that are reflective on how their own forms of philanthropy. In the Black community philanthropy can look and feel different. Black people and families tend to curve their giving to benefit their churches, local students of color, local fundraiser, restoration of properties in blighted communities and scholarships.  According to the Tides Foundations, “Black households give 25% more of their income annually than white households, and nearly two-thirds of African-American households donate to organizations and causes, totaling $11 billion each year.” EBPN recognizes the gap in fostering those relationships with Black Philanthropists and how our entire community can benefit from the reduction of barriers.


Third Wednesday of every month at 12pm – 1pm