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Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE)


The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) holds the distinction of being the first of the Council on Foundations 38 Affinity Groups.

We were established in 1971, and since then the organization has grown into an independent membership organization that counts among its members the most influential staff, trustees and donors of grantmaking institutions that promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.

For nearly four decades ABFE has been a trailblazer for championing the interests of Black communities within the philanthropic sector. While we celebrate this history and influence, we also recognize that Black communities and the philanthropic leaders who serve those communities still face institutional and structural barriers that often hinder efforts to leverage philanthropy’s powerful tools for positive, enduring social change.

Today, along with our members and supporters across the country we continue the urgent work that advances our mission in the field of philanthropy.

What is ABFE’s mission?
ABFE’s mission is to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.

What is ABFE’s philosophy?
Our members and supporters, by way of the work they do and the role they play in philanthropy, are catalyst for advancing philanthropic practices that build on a tradition of self-help, empowerment and excellence to solve the challenges faced in Black communities.

How Does ABFE Meet Its Goals?
To meet our goals and objectives, ABFE focuses on the following approaches:We strengthen our collaborations with key affinity groups, regional Black philanthropic networks, and nonprofit organizations to leverage our collective institutional influence, effectiveness, and impact in Black communities.

  • We create professional training programs and initiatives, such as our Connecting Leaders Fellows program, to develop leadership and talent.
  • We support the sharing of Best Practices for Supporting Diverse and Inclusive Leadership.
  • We convene and sponsor high-engagement learning opportunities for active members.
  • We prepare and distribute a series of annual briefing papers that identify priority issues in Black communities and make recommendations for strategic philanthropic investments to address those issues.