Sierra House: Building Quality Affordable Housing in Greater Newark, NJ

Foundation for Greatness

We believe in the power of community-centered organizations. And we know that too often community-centered organizations, particularly those led by people of color, are on the frontlines pushing for change – with or without sufficient funding and resources. Community-centered organizations hold themselves accountable to communities by incorporating their feedback into services and involving them in the organization’s governance. Community-centered nonprofit leaders understand the community’s aspirations and challenges and have the clearest insights about how to respond. 

Getting behind the priorities of communities of color and following the lead of those closest to the work is where we see NFF’s greatest value and potential for creating positive change. A nonprofit ourselves, we are a lender, consultant, and advocate for the nonprofit sector. Through all of our work, our goal is to advance racial equity in how funding flows in the nonprofit sector. 

To do this, we work with community-centered organizations, networks, organizers, funders, and financing partners that support community-led solutions. With NFF's full suite of financing, consulting, and advocacy capabilities, we are able to pair our resources with those of our partners to collectively advance more equitable outcomes. 

Illustration of a person in a purple dress holding a ribbon as another person in a suit cuts it with oversized scissors

Pushing for an end to racist funding practices

  • Nonprofits, especially those led by people of color, are hampered by a dysfunctional and inequitable funding system.
  • Nonprofits can be lead advocates to help inform the critical role funders will play in addressing the legacy of disinvestment in and systemic racism and hostility to communities of color.
  • All communities must have access to and be able to control their own resources and determine their own path forward.
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Building relationships based on trust and responsiveness

  • We are listening and responding to nonprofits’ needs and looking to meet those needs in a way and timeline that the community-centered nonprofit decides.
  • Our priority is advancing grassroots, community-led solutions – wherever and however we can best support leaders’ visions with lending, consulting, or advocacy.
  • We’re working with local and national partners and as an equitable intermediary to offer our services to organizations that have been systemically barred from accessing funding opportunities.
Illustration of a person observing a blueprint of a lightbulb. A person to the right points to a 6-foot actual lightbulb.

Committing to racial equity in who we are and how we work

  • We have created a Social Innovation and Equity Council to help the organization fully embed equity into our own internal and external practices and have engaged our entire staff in an ongoing social justice curriculum and employee resource groups.
  • We are diverse professionals with backgrounds in nonprofits, philanthropy, finance, community organizing, social work and beyond, who center empathy and bring passion, creativity, and strong national and local perspectives to our work.
  • We are holding ourselves accountable to our commitment to racial equity with measurable goals, including that half or more of our lending and deep consulting services will directly support organizations led by and serving people of color.


See more
Nonprofit Sector Story
Council of Peoples Organization | Supporting South Asian Families and Individuals in Brooklyn
Housing / Nonprofit Sector Blog
| Announcing BEACoN: Building Equitable Assets for Communities and Nonprofits
Arts and Culture Story
Supporting Boston Creatives of Color in Their Artistic Careers | Dunamis

Looking for a partner to help realize your vision?

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