The foundation, led by a military veteran of the army and best-selling author Wes Moore, is launching a new fund designed to finance non-profit organizations run exclusively by people of color.
The new Robin Hood initiative, called the Power Foundation, aims to support these groups in response to the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests after George Floyd was killed by police last month.
Moore, the fund’s general manager, told CNBC in an interview that Robin Hood is already investing $ 10 million in seed money and is receiving support from at least two financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Moore said the data, which he says show that only 10% of charitable contributions go to groups led by people of color, pushed him and the fund he heads to create a new fund.
The movement to create this fund comes with the hope that business and charitable leaders will begin to shift their attention not only to supporting more traditional organizations that are already in their portfolios, but also to small groups that are struggling with poverty and racial injustice.
“We are going to pay real attention and identifying organizations that may be in our portfolio, they simply were not on our radar screen,” Moore explained on Tuesday. “How do we broaden our horizons? How do we expand our thinking when it comes to what makes an organization ready to become part of our portfolio? ”
The Robin Hood Foundation funds over 200 poverty reduction programs in New York.
“When they work, we find ways to bring their success to scale. When they stumble, we try to identify the problem and help fix it, ”the site says.
Since its founding in the 1980s, Robin Hood has always taken a business-like approach to deciding whom he helps.
This seems to be true of the “Power Fund” when their corporate partners, investors and board members are already making great efforts.
“We have private members of the board of directors, as well as private investors who have already contributed to the fund,” Moore explained. “Right now we are talking with at least a dozen other corporate partners who are hoping to get a lock in a few days,” he said.
Their advice is made up of top business leaders, including many on Wall Street. Their chairman is longtime investor John Griffin, and Dina Powell McCormick of Goldman Sachs serves as vice chairman. Goldman’s CEO, David Solomon, is also on the board of directors.
Goldman recently set up its own foundation called the Racial Equality Fund, which, according to its website, was created to “support the vital work of leading organizations dealing with issues of racial injustice, structural inequality and economic inequality.” The bank says it initially started with $ 10 million.
According to Moore, all of these new beginnings by corporate executives and foundations, such as Robin Hood, are a response to the inequalities that developed during the coronavirus pandemic and after Floyd’s death.
Robin Hood created the Covid-19 relief fund as New York fought to fight the virus, and the group’s founder believes that both the pandemic and the reaction to Floyd’s death constitute widespread racial inequality.
“The truth is that when you really shoot them, they expose the same thing,” said Moore, discussing both the coronavirus and the protests caused by Floyd’s death.
“While Covid-19 affected everyone, it did not have the same effect on everyone. If you look at colored people, colored people picked up Covid twice as often and died twice as often, ”Moore explained, discussing the pandemic. “Police reform is needed in all communities,” but added, “when they saw George Floyd being killed on camera, you just got another illustration of the fact that although every community needs police reform, the way you look on black and brown communities and how they are protected, it is not protected equally. ”
“This is one of those things that we hope that the Power Fund can really solve this problem,” Moore concluded.