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Most Grantmakers Staying the Course Following Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Rulings, New Study Finds

Date: February 21, 2024

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Media Contact: Chloe Heskett, Editor & Writer, Programming and External Relations, CEP | | (617) 395-4092

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s rulings in June 2023 against university admissions policies that take race directly into account, many feared that grantmakers would back away from funding efforts focused on racial equity. A new study from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) reveals that most foundations responding to a survey in the fall of 2023 reported that, so far, they had not made changes to their grantmaking in response to the Court’s rulings. 

While most organizations surveyed reported having, or planning to have, internal discussions about the implications of the Supreme Court’s rulings on their work, the majority were not making changes to their ongoing work.  

Notably, discussions about the rulings’ implications for grantmaking work focused on racial equity were less likely to be taking place at foundations that were not led by a person of color, even when accounting for whether the foundation is or is not funding social justice work.  

The new CEP study represents data from 280 survey respondents and 17 interviews with foundation leaders.  

Even as the CEP Research Snapshot reveals that grantmakers had not made changes in the fall of 2023 following the Court’s decisions, the philanthropic community has been keeping a close eye on other pending legal challenges since that time, including a suit against the Fearless Fund’s grant program supporting Black women entrepreneurs. It is not yet clear what, if any, legal implications these cases targeting race-specific programs will have for grantmakers in the long-term. 

About the Center for Effective Philanthropy 

The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide data, feedback, programs, and insights to help individual and institutional donors improve their effectiveness. We do this work because we believe effective donors, working collaboratively and thoughtfully, can profoundly contribute to creating a better and more just world. For more information on CEP’s work, including its research, assessments, advisory services, and programming, visit 

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