Inspired by the uprising for racial and social justice in 2020, four nonprofit leaders in Washington, all Black women, had an idea: create a philanthropic fund to advance Black community aspirations across the state. The Black Future Co-op Fund represents a new model of philanthropy, one grounded in sharing power with — and following the lead of — Black communities and investing in Black well-being.
By working cooperatively and investing in Black communities and Black-led organizations, this new fund is designed to improve health, education, housing and economic opportunity among Black people for generations to come.
To ensure that Black-owned businesses and nonprofits in Washington can prosper, the Black Future Co-op Fund is partnering with the Consulting and Business Development Center (CBDC) at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. This partnership is made possible through the support of Bank of America, part of its $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.
The CBDC’s mission is to grow businesses that create jobs and build wealth, especially Black-owned businesses and Black-led nonprofits across the state of Washington. The partnership will help Black-led organizations throughout Washington receive the kind of financial support and guidance that can bolster their chance of success. In 2020, through this partnership and despite the pandemic’s impact on small businesses, the CBDC has already provided education and consulting services to 175 businesses across Washington, helping affiliated businesses grow revenues by 9%, create 48 new jobs and retain more than 1,500 other positions.