Making a Way Out of No WayFunder Insights
Build Black Houston Landscape Study:
What We’re Learning
We recently surveyed 80 Houston area organizations and funders, in addition to conducting focus groups and interviews.
Little innovation/start-up money.
We don’t have a lot of big-budget legacy organization.
Frequency of ‘potential’ challenges – Client Needs: Fulfilling Chaning or Complex needs.
More than 90% of the organizations said they are fulfilling complex or challenging needs for their clients. This is consistent with what we hear from folks: Black-led organization.
Fewer than 4% of our survey respondents were startup organizations (operating for >1 year). This didn’t surprise us because we are learning that there is a lack of funding for innovation and start-up funding for Black-led organizations.
“I started my organization because I was responding directly to my people’s struggles and needs. Unfortunately, funding is set up according to the priorities of the people who hold the purse strings. They have their categories and processes. I’d rather focus on fitting what my folks need, rather than trying to squeeze us to fit into their boxes.”
“We’re addressing complex needs. It would be helpful to have more room to innovate and experiment. Unfortunately, for Black organizations, there is not a lot of support for trying new things, and no room at all to take risks.”
Outreach and Identification
Furthermore, it can be hard to break through to funders, if you don’t already have connections to them. Black-led organizations may not have access to these “word-of-mouth” networks.
Other responses: included subject matter experts, community news, conferences, resource guides (e.g., GHCF Giving Guide of Houston Black-led Organizations)