Black Equity & Excellence  

Our Equity & Excellence funding priority was launched in June 2020 in response to the tragedies and ensuing national conversation on race that has brought to light a common truth – that anti-Black racism is still woven into the fabric of our country. We cannot put slavery behind us because its legacy surrounds us in 400 years’ worth of oppression – it structures our schools and workplaces, economic situations and the health and living conditions that disproportionately expose so many Black Americans to COVID-19. 
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The Black Equity & Excellence Fund supports community-based projects for the Black community of Central New York that promote and encourage self-sufficiency and improve the physical and economic conditions that affect quality of life. It also encourages dialogue that will strengthen race-related matters and support social and educational growth in the community. View a list of past grants awarded.


To be eligible, prospective applicants must meet all of these requirements:

  • Have Black leadership in the senior executive position
  • Have at least 51% Black membership on their Board or steering committee
  • Seek to explicitly serve the Black community by targeting any of the focus areas listed below
  • Serve residents of Onondaga or Madison counties

Types of Projects

Projects must benefit the Black community or build upon the capabilities of your organization. Projects that focus on one of the following interest areas would qualify for a Black Equity & Excellence grant:

  • Black Creatives
  • Black Leadership + Advancement
  • Black LGBTQ+
  • Black Mental Wellness
  • Black Legacy + Generational Wealth
  • Black Business
  • Black Maternal Health
  • Black Civic Engagement
  • Black Youth + Students
  • Black Tech

Project Funding Levels

  • Grassroots Organizations/Businesses with a Fiscal Sponsors: $10k and under
  • Pilot programs or small projects: $11k-$25k
  • Expansion of existing projects: $26k-$55k
  • Large capital projects or renovations: $56k-$75k

How to Apply

  • All grant applications must be submitted online here. Questions about your application may be directed to Dashiell Elliott at
  • Applicants will be asked to complete an online form and submit some background information about the project. Acceptable formats are written narrative, video, PowerPoint or audio submission. Creativity is encouraged.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis year-round, with decisions being made on a quarterly basis.
  • The use of a fiscal sponsor from a non-Black organization is allowed.


If your nonprofit has received a Black Equity & Excellence grant, we request that you submit a final report. These reports assist us in assessing our grantmaking efforts. Access report form.


The Black Equity & Excellence Advisory Council is charged with reviewing grant proposals and making funding recommendations as well as identifying gaps and opportunities to create a more equitable and economically inclusive Central New York for the Black community. View the council.

Frequently Asked Questions

View a list of frequently asked questions about Black Equity & Excellence.