Announcing Elevate 3: A Learning Community Advancing Economic Mobility for Communities of Color

January 5, 2024

What does it look like to invest in Black and brown communities? The Elevate Initiative supports organizations doing on-the-ground work to remove structural barriers and accelerate economic mobility for communities of color.

What has made the Elevate Initiative a standout among our work is the intention with which the initiative was designed and the brilliance of the people and organizations who make up the collective. In our initial request for proposals three years ago, Frontline received over 500 applications from across the country. As our staff and a community advisory team poured over each application, it was clear that the breadth of work and the need for support of efforts to address economic mobility in communities of color required multiple strategies. In the first wave of Elevate Initiative funding, we selected 13 grantees, all doing phenomenal work. We then went back and identified an additional 15 smaller organizations who, because of their emerging work and organizational size and budget, may not make it on the radar of large funders.  

In addition to the funding, technical support, and community of practice grantees take part in, both Elevate Initiative cohorts convened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during Juneteenth in 2022 to connect and learn from each other. They also explored the history of Black Wall Street in the Greenwood community and participated in local celebrations surrounding the holiday. The convening created an opportunity for grantees to share their work with one another, build relationships, and strategize for future work together. Since then, Elevate grantees have seized opportunities to  grow their networks and share their stories in a NonProfit Quarterly Series on Black Food Sovereignty and at conferences such as Change Philanthropy’s Unity Summit and ABFE’s Annual Conference in 2023. Grantees have also gathered on their own to exchange best practices in the spirit that together we can build a collective wisdom that helps organizations simplify and amplify processes and systems to better support their communities.

Investing in Black and brown communities means looking for longer-term funding partnerships that allow organizations to lead and do the work in the ways that they deem necessary. The Elevate Initiative has grown from a one-time grant to continued support and technical assistance to connecting grantees with the tools, resources, and funding opportunities necessary to sustain their work. In the next few months, we’re excited to share some of the lessons we have learned since our initial launch of Elevate Initiative in 2021.

In the fall of 2023, with the consideration of all we’ve learned with our first two cohorts in 2021 and 2022, we set out to find Established and Emerging Organizations for Cohort 3 of the Elevate Initiative. We are proud to announce and uplift the following 17 organizations as new grantees:

Frontline Solutions is committed to learning in public, and the Elevate Initiative is no exception. We are excited to share lessons, in an ongoing way, about what it takes to dismantle structural barriers to economic security and the challenges that community organizations and leaders face toward these efforts. Stay tuned for more updates from us about what the journey of this learning community brings. You can subscribe to the Elevate Newsletter for big announcements and developments and the Frontline Solutions newsletter for all things related to shifting consulting and philanthropy toward liberation.