Donors of Color Project

Donors of color in philanthropy are a potentially transformative force at a historic moment in which their voices and impact are desperately needed. The Donors of Color Project is a new project to network and engage specifically High Net Worth (HNW) donors of color to build community and create change together.

Over the last two years, the Donors of Color Project team has engaged in a landscape analysis and 112 interviews with high net worth (HNW) donors of color in ten cities across the United States. We have learned that these donors care deeply about equity and disparity issues, are mostly not networked with other HNW donors, and are mostly not networked with each other. These donors have personally experienced discrimination or bias based on the color of their skin, their immigration, or their accent. Most directly talk about racial disparity and the racial wealth gap. Eighty percent of the folks we interviewed are wealth earners and wealth creators. Most are keenly interested in doing impactful, strategic philanthropy, and a great majority are hungry to be in community with others like them.

The Donors of Color project has identified amazing donor leaders among our interviewees and we are now working together to create a new national network of HNW Donors of Color. We will launch the Network at an inaugural gathering in early 2019. There, we will convene fifty or so HNW donors of color in order to build joyful community, engage with content experts and together with the donors, begin to co-create this community together.

It is our hope that 2019 will see the launch of a joyful, powerful Donors of Color Network, which will be in community with other donor networks, change the face of philanthropy, and ultimately, move many more thoughtful dollars towards equity and justice movements.


Donor Organizers of the Year: Hali Lee, Ashindi Maxton, Tuhina De O’Connor, Urvashi Vaid (Philanthropy Awards 2018)

These veterans of the philanthropy scene are among the leaders of a growing effort to galvanize greater and more strategic giving by donors of color—in an era when the wealth of non-white Americans has been growing fast. (

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