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December 17, 2020


LGF Supports Justice-Impacted Communities & Shares Responses in 2020

LGF distributed a record $4.35 million in grants in 2020, increasing our payout to respond to the multiple crises of this year.  LGF’s efforts focused on building on our support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities, who were most impacted by the pandemic, and who led the movement for racial justice.  As we committed to earlier in the year, LGF actively listened to communities across the South and country about how to be stronger partners in philanthropy at this particular time, and shaped our responses based on that input. 


LGF’s responses in 2020 included:

  • sending additional unrestricted funds to current grantees led by and focused on BIPOC communities,

  • creating a response docket to move funds quickly to organizations supporting incarcerated and returning citizens through the pandemic, including reentry and decarceration efforts,

  • supporting the Southern Power Fund, an effort focused on increasing funding to grassroots BIPOC-led groups in the South,

    lessening application and reporting requirements,

  • continuing to spend out at least 10% of assets and joining a public call for an increase in foundation payout,

  • sustaining our practice of offering multi-year general operating grants, and

  • continuing with our journey as a foundation to integrate racial justice throughout our work. 


We end the year acknowledging the massive hardships faced by so many in 2020, and full of gratitude and deep respect for the leadership of people and organizations across the country caring for each other and fighting for racial justice.  Details about our support for justice-impacted communities and the Southern Power Fund are below. We invite our peers to join us in any of these efforts!


2020 COVID Response Support for Justice-Impacted Communities

LGF created a response docket within our Higher Education in Prison Program to make one-time general operating grants to 18 organizations focused on reentry and decarceration efforts, almost all of which are led by BIPOC communities and/or justice-impacted individuals. LGF also partnered with the Circle for Justice Innovations by supporting their SOS Emergency Response Fund – a fund addressing opportunities or dangers affecting the health, safety, or human rights of incarcerated and directly-impacted people based on COVID-19 policies or practices. Finally, LGF welcomed Jamii Sisterhood, a project led by Black women in higher education to address racial injustice within the field and engage HBCU’s in higher education in prison, to our Higher Education in Prison portfolio.


“During this time, we felt the urgency to support organizations working on the ground to address the needs of and support the rights of directly-impacted people across the South. We are honored to support these organizations who have not only continued their work in these challenging times, but stepped up their work in powerful ways to meet critical needs, fight for basic rights, and address unjust systems,” stated Terrell Blount, LGF’s Higher Education in Prison Program Officer.


Grantee Organizations

Black & Pink, Omaha, NE

Center for Employment Opportunities, New York, NY

Concerned Citizens for Justice, Chattanooga, TN

Emancipate NC, Durham NC

Florida Justice Center, Oakland Park, FL

Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund, Orlando, FL

Free Hearts, Nashville, TN

Just Leadership, New York, NY

Nashville Community Bail Fund, Nashville, TN

Operation Restoration, New Orleans, LA

RestoreHER, Red Oak, GA

The Fairness Campaign Education Fund, Louisville, KY

The First 72+, New Orleans, LA

The Ordinary People's Society, Dothan, AL

TRANScending Barriers, Atlanta, GA

Turning Leaf Project, N. Charleston, SC

Unheard Voices Outreach, Nashville, TN

Women on the Rise, Atlanta, GA


Southern Power Fund

LGF granted additional funds to the Southern Power Fund, a collaborative effort of four Southern cornerstone organizations that are redistributing funds to BIPOC-led organizations doing transformative work across the South. We encourage our peers to join LGF in supporting the Southern Power Fund. We are excited that our friends at the Vervane Foundation matched our first grant of $100,000 earlier this year!

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