top of page

Our Story

Launched in August 2019, the Black Funders Network of the Bay Area was established to organize soulful, inclusive, and rewarding environments for funders and philanthropy professionals to learn, strategize, and re-energize to best support Black communities and organizations across disciplines.

We aim to create opportunities that ensure Black funders (and their allies) have an abundance of financial resources, information, confidence, and positional power to support Black-led organizations and initiatives. As a LinkedIn-based community, we use the platform to stay engaged with our members, send reminders for programs, updates, and share other relevant information.

Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Courtesy of NCG

Inspired by the 25-year legacy of our predecessor organization, Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy,  our partnerships with the ABFE and NCG also help inform our efforts to support Black-led foundations and philanthropic professionals.

Our Members

Our members are affiliated with the following organizations: 

Akonadi Foundation
All Stars Helping Kids
Blue Shield of California
California Black Freedom Fund

California Wellness Foundation
Care Star Foundation
Central Valley Community Foundation
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
East Bay Community Foundation
East Bay Community Law Center
Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Grove Foundation
James Irvine Foundation
Kenneth Rainin Foundation
Marin Community Foundation
Metta Foundation
Pacific Foundation Services
Peralta Colleges Foundation

San Francisco Foundation 
Sierra Health Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Stupski Foundation
Sunlight Giving Foundation
Tipping Point Community
Walter & Elise Haas (Sr) Fund

Our Team

Our team works collaboratively, across generations, and with a love for different and unique perspectives on how to best fulfill our mission and stay true to our values.

Screenshot 2024-01-26 122442_edited.jpg

Paula Ambrose

“I believe in the truth of our connectedness as a community.” 

Board Co-Chair


Byron Johnson

Board Co-Chair

"In order to invoke change in our community, we must first actively participate in educating ourselves on our collective needs."

James W. Head - Board Memeber - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Board Member

(Founding Member)

James W. Head

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.” 

Anitra Smith headshot.jpg

Board Member

Anitra Smith

“My joy and liberation is deeply connected to being of service to my community.”

Raquba LaBrie - Board Memeber - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Raquiba LaBrie

"I do the work because racial justice and social justice feed me intellectually, politically and spiritually.”

Board Member


Sande Smith

Board Member

"The power of Black philanthropy must be multiplied for us to secure the fuel to keep fighting."


Dakarai I. Aarons

Board Member

"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up"

Steve Barton - Board Memeber - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Steve Barton

 “Being in the field is critically important to inform resources, knowledge, access, and expertise getting to Black communities.”

Board Member

(Founding Member)

cedric brown.jpg

Cedric Brown

Founding Member

“Servicing Black communities is not only my responsibility, it is also self-renewing.”

Zoe Broussard

Program Manager

ZB Headshot (1).png


“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” 

The Black Funders Network - Our Community

Our Commitment

We are intentional, progressive, and unapologetically dedicated to serving and advocating for multifaceted Black communities in the Bay Area. We are committed to our core values, which guide our work and decision-making as an organization.

Love of Black People

We love and value Black people, Black culture, and Black history. 

BFN Icon

Read more

Safety and Inclusion

We create inclusive environments in our Network activities so that all participants feel welcomed, validated, comfortable, and able to enjoy their authentic selfhood. 

BFN Icon

Read more

Thinking Big

We are bold in our approach by holding space for radical imagination and possibility both within and outside the limits of our current systems and institutions.

BFN Icon

Read more

To serve as strong advocates for Black communities, we must be active, accountable, and collaborative partners who work to understand the needs articulated by our communities.

BFN Icon

Read more

Connection to Community


We act with foresight, strategy, and boldness, even amid headwinds.

BFN Icons

Read more

Human Dignity

We believe that all people deserve to be valued and have access to the resources needed to reach self-actualization.

BFN Icons

Read more


We are committed to learning and evolving to best fulfill our mission.

BFN Icons

Read more


"I serve because I believe in the truth of our connectedness as a community, when one of us is harmed, all of us are harmed. I also know I cannot confront the challenges we face alone; I need to walk, run, push, and pull along with others for the victory we seek. To quote an *African Proverb:  If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. And, I would add celebrate together when you arrive!"

Paula Ambrose


bottom of page