Building an Inclusive Economy Grants 

In BPI’s 2018 Rethinking Philanthropy report, data reveals how Black residents in Forsyth County are disproportionately affected by systematic inequities—Black workers are more likely to be in low-wage positions, not have access to livable wages, and live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and neglect. According to our research, there are no scenarios where a minimum wage job is sufficient to support even a single individual, yet for many Black residents and families, it’s all that is available to them.

We know that this data is the result of centuries of policies, rules and practices intentionally and unintentionally designed to deny Black families the access to resources they need to achieve their dreams and take care of their loved ones. And while no one grant program can possibly lead to a truly inclusive economy, we know that there are organizations in our community doing incredibly impactful work with Black families that need additional resources.

The Building an Inclusive Economy grant program is designed to support organizations that focus on economic empowerment for Black households and work to rewrite the rules to make Forsyth County a place where we all have the resources we need to support our families. This grantmaking program aligns with The Winston-Salem Foundation’s focus area of the same name though our decision-making is distinct.

We support grant proposals that: 

  • address one or more of the following areas we see as critical to building economic security and prosperity for Black households in Forsyth County: creating accessible pathways to family-sustaining and high-paying careers, offering tools for wealth-building and financial stability, and supporting a thriving community of Black-owned businesses.  
  • are being implemented by a 501(c)(3) organization, public school or higher education institution, or a faith-based organization. (Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) may ask an organization with this exemption to serve as a fiscal agent.) While BPI’s grants are not for businesses, BPI will fund nonprofits, schools or faith-based organizations providing resources or programming for Black entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Priority will be given to:

  • Black-led groups/organizations (Organizations with more than 50% of Black staff in leadership positions and/or more than 50% of board members are Black.) 
  • Organizations and programs that invest directly in predominately Black neighborhoods (including 27101, 27105, and 27107).
  • Organizations that are actively engaging people and communities who are directly impacted by the program, setting goals with them, and listening and responding to their guidance about how the work is implemented.

Examples of potential grant requests include programs that support Black entrepreneurs, programs that support Black families wanting to learn about investing or how to purchase a home, or programs that provide inclusive pathways to family-sustaining careers.

  • Dress for Success Winston-Salem: $5,000 for a pilot financial and entrepreneurial education program for Black women ages 18 to 30
  • HUSTLE Winston-Salem: $15,000 for mentoring, coaching, and resource support for entrepreneurs and business owners of color  
  • LEAD Girls of North Carolina: $15,000 to provide leadership development, career and vocational exploration, and industry-matched mentors for up to 20 Carver High School freshman
  • Memorial Industrial CDC: $15,000 to engage community in planning a comprehensive and sustainable local food and farm program that will provide access to land and training for prospective farmers
  • Neighborhood's Hands: $15,000 to support a workforce development program    
  • The Do School: $15,000 to support a 20-week construction skills training program          
  • S. G. Atkins CDC, The Enterprise Center: $15,000 to offer an evidence-based program to help women of color gain confidence and develop an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Sherman Academy Inc: $15,000 to offer a financial management and wealth-building program for young children            
  • Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce: $15,000 to support a 15-week business boot camp
  • The Dream Team Foundation, Inc: $15,000 to offer financial education workshops for youth, adults, families, and business owners


Building an Inclusive Economy Grant applications are considered once a year; applicants will receive a decision after a two to three-month review period.

Guidelines and application materials will be available again in Fall 2022.

Do you have a proposal idea you’d like to discuss before you apply? We’d like to hear from you! Please contact us to schedule a conversation.
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