MacArthur Adds $80M For Equitable Recovery

The MacArthur Foundation announced another $80 million in Equitable Recovery grants, part of $125 million in social bonds issued in response to the pandemic.

MacArthur joined four other foundations last year in committing to $1.7 billion over three years by issuing debt — instead of drawing on billion-dollar endowments — to help stabilize nonprofits impacted by the pandemic and social injustice.

As we emerge from this moment of crisis, we have an opportunity to improve the critical systems that people and places need to thrive,” MacArthur President John Palfrey said via a statement. “Our systems and structures must be rebuilt. We are committed to ensuring that our response to the pandemic is focused on supporting the reimagining of systems that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world.”

MacArthur has supported supports work in four areas through 87 grants totaling $79 million so far:

  • Racial justice field support, 37 grants totaling $36 million;
  • Self-determination of Indigenous Peoples, 15 grants, $16 million;
  • Public Health Equity and COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery, 35 grants, $22 million; and,
  • Equitable Housing Demonstration Project, $5 million, with the Urban Institute serving as coordinator for a national project to support locally-developed housing models.

In fall 2020, MacArthur established a $125-million Equitable Recovery Initiative, deploying $40 million of bond proceeds through 24 grants. Initial grants focused on strengthening voter mobilization and election protection, addressing anti-Black racism, and supporting Native Americans impacted by COVID-19.MacArthur identified a dozen external advisors to help inform its strategic approach, including individuals who represent communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, are new voices outside of its established networks, and have the ability to apply an “anti-racism lens to Equitable Recovery work.”

Overall, nearly two-thirds of recipients represent new grantees and most organizations are led by or serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Some 45% of new funding supports work outside of the United States, including 12% in India and 14% in Nigeria, where MacArthur has offices.

A complete searchable database of grants can be found here.