Fundraising,Talent Published Date, 2022

Advancing Racial Equity In Giving | Orr Group TALKS

As philanthropy grapples with historic and systemic inequities it has often helped advance, interconnected issues are coming to a head and being addressed, particularly in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. As highlighted in the “Racial Equity and Philanthropy: Disparities in Funding for Leaders of Color Leave Impact on the Table” report by Echoing Green and Bridgespan, organizations led and founded by leaders of color are consistently underfunded as compared to their peers, as are organizations specifically focused on addressing systemic inequity. While the number of nonprofits being led by BIPOC executives is increasing, this lack of funding and a myriad of other expectations is creating daunting challenges, as seen in “New Nonprofit Leaders of Color Bring Change but Also Face Hurdles”, an article recently released by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Standing behind all this is a need to dramatically diversify the donors engaging in philanthropy that ultimately drive these trends.

Aisha Alexander-Young, Chief Executive Officer at Giving Gap, a lifelong community organizer and disruptor, is among the leaders committed to changing our philanthropic system. Aisha joins Orr Group TALKS to discuss how Giving Gap is advancing racial equity in giving and mobilizing positive action for Black lives, the opportunity within philanthropy to increase support of Black-founded and led organizations, the systemic reasons that’s not happened, and more.


  • Understanding the funding gap for Black-founded and led organizations
  • The critical role philanthropic support plays in tackling systemic racism
  • How equitable funding can be achieved


  • Nonprofit executives and senior staff
  • Current nonprofit board members
  • Donors considering expanding their philanthropy strategies


Aisha Alexander-Young, Chief Executive Officer, Giving Gap

Aisha Alexander-Young is a context creator, systems disruptor, and community organizer whose career is focused on the intersection of race, place, and opportunity. She has held leadership positions in philanthropy, local government, grassroots organizations, and small and large nonprofits. Before joining Giving Gap, Aisha served as Vice President for Strategy & Equity at the Meyer Foundation, where she led efforts to integrate racial equity and justice into all areas of the Foundation’s work. Prior to her tenure at Meyer, Aisha was Director of Thought Leadership for KABOOM and held leadership positions with the City of Charlotte and Dream Defenders. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE). She lives in Washington, D.C., with her partner and daughter.

Craig Shelley, CFRE, Partner and Chief Growth Officer, Orr Group

Craig advances the missions of nonprofits by bringing a change-management and entrepreneurial approach to strategy, fundraising, board recruitment and development. Craig is a trusted partner and advisor to the nonprofit sector’s most ambitious leaders and specializes in helping organizations forge new paths to unprecedented impact. He has worked deeply with organizations committed to reversing systemic racism within philanthropy and beyond, including Back Girls CODE, FUSE Corps, Co-Impact, KABOOM, New Profit, the Obama Foundation, Public Allies and many more.

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