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The Robin Hood Foundation launches 'The Power Fund,' aimed at financing nonprofits run by people of color

·Writer
·3 min read

Philanthropic giving is on the rise in the U.S., however, nonprofits run by people of color only receive 10% of charitable donations. To combat this inequity, The Robin Hood Foundation is launching “The Power Fund.” CEO Wes Moore joined Yahoo Finance to discuss the new program.

“We believe that one must address systemic racism if we are to eradicate poverty,” says Moore, who tells Yahoo Finance that The Power Fund’s aim is to elevate nonprofit leaders of color who share Robinhood’s mission of increased mobility from poverty.

“This initiative allows us to address poverty through the lens of the interplay between racial injustice and economic injustice. And so by being able to work with and support organizations and not just financially, but also to be able to provide services and support management assistance, technical assistance, and be able to build a pipeline,” he said.

The Robinhood CEO tells Yahoo Finance that the Power Fund has a $10 million commitment and seed money from the Robinhood Foundation. Moore says he also loves the fact that the organization has people from different perspectives and different ideas working in support of people living in poverty.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 13: Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore speaks onstage during the Robin Hood Benefit 2019 at Jacob Javitz Center on May 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood Foundation)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 13: Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore speaks onstage during the Robin Hood Benefit 2019 at Jacob Javitz Center on May 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood Foundation)

“About 80% of the population that's living in poverty in New York City, are people of color. So when you consider the fact that only about 10% of all dollars are going to organizations that are led by people of color. We know there's a distinct challenge of being able to address those issues without their perspective, as a core part of that solution set.”

Sobering statistics like that are one of the reasons why Moore believes that funding leaders of color is crucial.

“It’s really important for our society to recognize that race is one of the most predictable indicators of life outcomes that we have. Everything from educational attainment to income and wealth, to mental and physical health, to maternal mortality — it’s impossible to separate these dynamics of race and poverty.

Moore believes that a philosophical shift of going from sympathy to empathy is needed to address economic inequality issues.

“Sympathy is ‘I’m doing this. And I feel bad for that person.’ Empathy is ‘Their pain is our pain.’ And we really want to move, not just organizationally, but this space into a measure of empathetic love, because we think that’s what’s going to get us to our solution fastest.”

Female entrepreneur looking away while standing by table at workplace
Female entrepreneur looking away while standing by table at workplace

When asked about donations that have come of late from corporations to large nonprofit organizations, Moore says that an emphasis must also be placed on up and coming organizations as well.

“It’s been incredibly empowering watching the way that may corporations have stepped up in this moment to identify how they can help philanthropic gain,” he said.

“So the way we oftentimes think about it is how are we funding both the leaders of today, but also the leaders of tomorrow. Being able to have that philosophy we think is also a really important component for our corporate partners to be able to bring into their philanthropic giving.”

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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