Collective365 is diversifying the money awarded to nonprofits

With a divisive start to 2021, working together to support underrepresented communities is a step towards healing in the new year. Last year, 12 individuals brainstormed ways to use their talent, time, resources and passion in support of their community. The result? Collective365.

Collective365 invests in Black and Brown communities by offering grants to individuals and organizations who serve those communities in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.

Collective365’s co-founder, Fatima Smith

Collective365’s co-founder, Fatima M. Smith, started the organization after working for a Richmond nonprofit, the YWCA. Recognizing historic inequity in the distribution of grants, Smith set out to “change the model for providing funds to Black and Brown communities.”

What Smith noticed was that only 2% of nonprofit giving was awarded historically to Black-led organizations. Collective365’s goal is to change that statistic through a new grant-giving and capacity-building model.

“Everyone has a place in Collective365,” said Smith. “Obviously, through our grant, you can ask for money, but the second part is capacity building. So, let’s say you apply for a $5,000 grant, but the Collective decides to give you $2,500. Even though we didn’t give you the full asking amount, we work with you on other aspects of your company.”

“We might notice that you’re a new startup, and you are struggling with promoting your company on social media,” continued Smith. “We have two members of the Collective that have a social media marketing background. They’ll help you create evergreen social media materials. This is because Collective365 is about connecting community members to resources they need to work with and for Black and Brown communities.”

Membership into the Collective is offered at two levels: general member and voting member. General members are individuals who invest less than $50 and contribute their time and talents. Voting members make an investment of $50 or more, contribute their time and talents and vote on grant applications.

Interested in applying for the grant? Application for the grant will be available from February 1 through March 1. Visit Collective365.org to learn more about the organization, membership, and grant funding

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