How Michael Farber Is Democratizing the Grant-Making Process For Communities in Need

·1 min read
Photo credit: Breakout Foundation
Photo credit: Breakout Foundation

In countless meetings with community leaders in cities like Detroit and Baltimore, Michael Farber found that they often struggle to raise the small amounts they need for programs that would pay huge dividends. “Philanthropic grants go toward more established 501(c)(3)s,” he says. “Even $1,000 can give these people the breathing room they need to do their work and still pay their rent.”

So, in an effort to help democratize the grant-making process and make funding more accessible, Farber created the Breakout Foundation as a solution. The organization gives unrestricted grants to those who would not otherwise have access to traditional capital. Recipients in need of support include groups such as artists running collectives and health educators conducting free seminars for locals, and many more—plus, 89 percent of Farber's grantees are BIPOC.

Furthermore, the Breakout Foundation has awarded 77 grants and raised $175,000 to help local change-makers who are working to uplift their respective communities. Recently, Farber has advanced Breakout’s outreach by making documentary films to amplify the work of his formerly unsung heroes.

A version of this story appears in the Summer 2021 issue of Town & Country.

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