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The influence of societal and economic forces shape how Black-led impact organisations deliver their services within their communities; often adversely impacting their capacity to truly help those they are trying to serve. If we want to support Black-led charities and social enterprises, we need to understand how they work. We need to learn how different societal factors affect their work. In anticipation of our upcoming factsheet on Black-led organisations, we discuss how employment and personal earnings impact Black organisations.
Through Common Call, we surveyed 500 organisations and found that Black-led organisations are primarily funded with personal savings and income from employment. 60% of the organisations we surveyed said these were their sources of organisational income.
The racial wage gap also contributes to the inability of Black-led organisations to fund their services. The average hourly pay for Black people is lower than the national average in the UK. Black people in the UK typically earn less compared to White British workers, and Black households are more likely to be on persistently lower incomes excluding household costs. According to the government’s annual English Housing Survey, Black households are the most likely out of all ethnic groups to have a weekly income less than £400 per week.
Only 4 in 10 Black-led organisations receive any grant income to fund their work, and the average annual income for an organisation totals £32,700. When you consider this information with the economic and employment-related figures, it highlights the additional strain Black impact organisations face.
These issues are further exacerbated when Black organisations want to scale to meet growing demand. Over half of Black-led organisations self-identify as needing more training to strengthen financial modelling (53%) and improve social impact measurement (51%). One-third need support with increasing income that’s not grant-based (35%). These organisations understand precisely how they can better serve their community – they just need the funds to make those visions a reality.
Our aim is to help Black-led organisations redress the inequality and lack of resources, tools and skills they face in the UK, and to do that, we need to understand the range of challenges they face on a deeper level. These impact organisations do not live in a vacuum. They’re addressing societal issues while facing inequities too. To help Black-led organisations thrive, we need to support their growth and build a civil society that caters to the specific needs of underrepresented communities in the UK.
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