Racial Equity Fund Recipients

The second Racial Equity Fund cohort has been awarded $1 million for 2023. For the 2023 cohort, a total of a total of 26 Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-led organizations received grants between $10,000 and $50,000 to address racial inequities. These organizations focus on issues at the intersection of mental health, developmental disabilities, community development and revitalization, education, land ownership, financial literacy, food insecurity, maternal health, housing and more. With another $1 million being allocated to the 2024 Racial Equity Fund cohort, this brings the total investment in local organizations across Southeastern Michigan to $3.2 million since its inception in 2022.

Racial Equity Fund 2024 Cohort – Washtenaw County

Racial Equity Fund 2024 Cohort

Racial Equity Fund 2023 Cohort

Racial Equity Fund 2022 Cohort


What is the Racial Equity Fund?

The Racial Equity Fund endeavors to provide financial support in the form of flexible, unrestricted and general operating grants with the intention of prioritizing funding solutions by leaders who are in close proximity to the opportunity/need the organization is trying to address. 
The Racial Equity Fund sees value in funding a variety of organizations—from smaller, community-based, grassroots organizations; to medium-sized organizations focused on institutional change; to larger organizations with resources to focus on systemic and structural change, and particularly those excluded from the traditional funding ecosystem. Funding can be used as seed funding to support organization growth and scale to design new, creative ideas and/or to promote or expand existing racial justice and equity work. 

How is United Way for Southeastern Michigan funding this program?

United Way for Southeastern Michigan is able to fund this program thanks to the generosity of the Mackenzie Scott Fund. An initial funding seed of $500,000 has been allocated.

How was the fund and RFP process designed?

The RFP process, language and rubric are being designed by the Racial Equity Fund Workgroup — a group of local community leaders representing diverse communities across Southeastern Michigan. The workgroup is responsible for incorporating lived experiences at all levels of the grantmaking process. The process is anchored in support by the Centering Community Voices Blueprint. The framework describes the need for centering community voices and highlights opportunities throughout the grant cycle for incorporating lived experiences of the communities served.

Why convene a workgroup to build out the grantmaking process?

Doing so is an important and effective way to support system changes and shift power dynamics. This will ultimately move individuals in underserved communities closer to having their basic needs met long-term and to reducing existing inequities.

What is the workgroup tasked with?

The workgroup is responsible for:
• Co-creating the Racial Equity Fund grant process.
• Setting funding priorities for the Racial Equity Fund centered on the lived experiences of community members.
• Determining RFP evaluation metrics and reporting guidelines.
• Developing a process to ensure a diverse applicant pool, including outreach to under-resourced and/or unfamiliar organizations.
• Drafting the RFP language.

How was the workgroup formed?

Members of the workgroup were chosen through outreach from United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team. They looked to local organizations and community leaders that have close ties with their communities and who prioritize the voice and lived experiences of those they serve.

What organizations are eligible to apply?

Nonprofit organizations with an executive leader that identifies as Black, Indigenous and/or a person of color. Organizations should serve residents in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties in Michigan.

What is the range of potential funding support?

$10,000 – $75,000

What type of program measurement and/or evaluation is required for this grant?

Organizations will need to report twice during the funding term; once at the mid-point and again at the end. Organizations will have the opportunity to design their own program success measurements.

How will the proposals be evaluated?

A review committee will be selected to review and score all proposals and evaluate each organization according to the requirements and terms and conditions identified throughout the RFP.

When will the awardees receive notifications of awards?

The award letters are tentatively scheduled to be sent on Jan. 14. United Way for Southeastern Michigan reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to make modifications to the selection timeline as needed and in the best interest of the process.