NFF and Mellon Foundation Launch $1.5 Million Effort to Preserve Important Community Stories and Records

March 7, 2024

Funding from the Mellon Foundation Extends Partnership with NFF and Supports Nonprofits Taking Community-Driven Approaches to Audio-Visual Storytelling  

NEW YORK, March 7, 2024Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has been tapped by the Mellon Foundation to provide comprehensive finance and operational support to community organizations that preserve and elevate underrepresented stories, utilizing audio and audio-visual modalities. 

“When we can access diverse stories, histories, and perspectives, we can better understand the challenges and opportunities of our time,” said Aisha Benson, President and CEO of NFF.  “Creating audio-visual records and amplifying voices that too often go unheard is crucial to building just and equitable communities, and we need to support the organizations doing this work.”  

The stories and experiences of communities of color, rural communities, and communities with lower incomes are underrepresented in mainstream historical records. Nonprofits led by people from these communities play an important role in correcting the record. This initiative will strengthen these organizations by offering tailored support from NFF’s finance experts, peer learning opportunities, expert analysis of operations and opportunities, and direct financial support to help participants reach their goals. 

From 2020-2023, the Mellon Foundation funded NFF’s work providing similar types of support to a cohort of digital humanities nonprofits. That initiative helped organizations better understand their financial positions, evaluate opportunities, and invest capital to support long-term viability. Building on the success of that engagement, NFF’s work with audio-visual storytellers will help cohort members pursue their mission goals from a strong financial foundation.  

“It takes time, expertise, equipment, and support to tell community stories, and to ensure inclusive representation in history,” said Sherr Lo, Director, Client Services at NFF.  “But the payoff when someone recognizes shared struggles, learns from a different viewpoint, or sees that their community is valued is immeasurable.”  

NFF is currently assembling an advisory board and designing the cohort application process. Please sign up here for updates.  

About NFF 

Nonprofit Finance Fund®️ (NFF®️) is a nonprofit lender, consultant, and advocate. For more than 40 years, we’ve worked to strengthen nonprofit organizations and improve the way money flows to social good. We believe that alongside others we must build a more equitable and just social sector, and are committed to helping community-centered organizations led by and serving people of color access the money and resources they need to realize their communities’ aspirations. To learn more, visit

About The Mellon Foundation 

The Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at


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