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Using your philanthropy to advance racial justice

This is an outstanding city.
But you don't just take.
You've got to build.

Fran Deacon

Wife of the late Fraser Deacon,
Founder of Toronto Foundation

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Using your philanthropy to advance racial justice

We are in an unignorable and overdue moment of change. Society is reflecting on how we will deepen our collective responsibility towards advancing racial justice and building equality. The work involves listening and learning in order to act. For philanthropists it also means understanding how to respond with your donations urgently and in the long-run. You can get started with the Black and Indigenous led and serving organizations listed below. They are doing the heavy lifting to dismantle racism in a variety of ways. They are also past and present recipients of Toronto Foundation grants.

Additionally, use these guiding principles to help you go deeper with using your philanthropy to advance racial justice:

  • Give to grassroots organizations: Though often overlooked they are where movements for change emerge from and they advocate for voices from the communities they serve to be heard in creating solutions. This is how you create effective and sustainable change. Many of the grantees listed below are grassroots organizations and small-to-medium sized nonprofits.
  • Give to Black and Indigenous serving organizations: Statistics show that Black and Indigenous people disproportionately experience systemic discrimination, even compared to other marginalized groups. Any work towards equality must address the needs of these groups. Also, representation in leadership matters a lot. It sends a powerful message of what’s possible and ensures that the work will be delivered in a culturally-relevant and appropriate way.
  • Get connected: The new philanthropy is about getting informed to take action. Learn from and build relationships with leaders and organizations doing the work to advance racial justice. Use your platform, networks, and influence to speak up and raise awareness.
  • Life-long commitment: Being an ally is about the long road. We know you’re motivated to get started but remember that the movement needs your ongoing commitment. We hope you’ll continue to learn, build your relationships and give now and into the future. We too continue to work towards deeper understanding and connections with Black and Indigenous communities to improve how we leverage philanthropy.


Black-Led & Serving Organizations Indigenous-Led & Serving Organizations

AfriCan Food Basket

Africans in Partnership Against AIDS (APAA)

Alexandra Park Community Centre

Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Blackcap)

Black Creek Community Farm

Black Creek Community Health Centre

Black Health Alliance

Black Women in Motion

Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough

Caribbean African Canadian Social Services (CAFCAN)

CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals

Cliffcrest Community Centre

Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto

Culturelink Settlement Services

dance Immersion

FEAT for Children of Incarcerated Parents

FOCUS Media Arts Centre


For Youth Initiative

Jamaican Canadian Association

Jane Finch Housing Coalition

Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre

Jean Augustine Centre in South Etobicoke

LAMP Community Health Centre

Massey Centre

National African Integration and Families Association – Toronto

Nia – Centre For the Arts

Obsidian Theatre

Ontario Black History Society

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre

Regent Park Community Health Centre

Regent Park Film Festival

ResQ Youth International

Rexdale Community Health Centre

RISE (Trustee: VIBE Arts)

TAIBU Community Health Centre

Tropicana Community Services Organization

Urban Arts

Vibrant Healthcare Alliance

Visions of Science Network for Learning

Warden Woods Community Centre

Weston Frontlines

Women’s Health In Women’s Hands Community Health Centre


2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations

Aboriginal Legal Services (Trustee: NCCT)

ADNPVA/Arts Indigena

Anishnawbe Health Toronto

Canadian Roots Exchange

Gabriel Dumont Non-Profit Homes Inc.



Metis Nation of Ontario Cultural Commission

Miziwe Biik Employment and Training

Na Me Res (Native Men’s Residence)

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT)

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto

Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto

Nishnawbe Homes Inc.

Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy

Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (Trustee: NCCT)

Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Toronto Inuit Association

Wigwamen Incorporated

Native Earth Performing Arts

Thunder Women Healing Lodge