Black Community Building Collective

Shifting Power to King County’s Black Community.

We believe that Black leaders know their communities—the issues they face and the solutions they could use—the best. That’s why in 2020, we brought together 14 Black-led organizations to form the Black Community Building Collective and shifted decision-making power to them. With United Way funding, this coalition builds relationships, forms strategies, and implements them to bring power to King County’s Black community.

Black-led organizations serve anywhere between 15 to 29,000 people in a year. But insufficient funding is a common challenge to maintain staff capacity.

United Way has committed $3 million to local, Black-led organizations to invest as they see fit, shifting power to them. In 2022, we invested an additional $1.5 million. We anticipate more funding in the coming years.

“I don’t have a historical background in running a nonprofit… getting the support from other Black leaders who’ve had nonprofits and been leading them longer has been very valuable and monumental for me. The support through [Black Community Building Collective] funding has allowed me to increase my staff, and it’s led to the launch of multiple programs.”

—Marshaun Barber, Reclaiming Our Greatness founder

The Beginning

After committing to making the investment, we turned to United Way’s Black staff for ideas on honoring and uplifting the Black community. Under their leadership, the Black Community Building Collective was born.

Collective members started by building relationships, recognizing the great work of organizations, and addressing their challenges. This led to our guiding principle—Prioritizing the Collective over individual organizations. Our funding hierarchy:

1. Supporting program, operating costs, and capacity building for Black women-led organizations within the Collective.

2. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of Black-led organizations across the community, not limited to Collective members.

3. Investing in program support, operating costs, and capacity building for Black men-led organizations within the Collective.

The Members

Representing a range of organizational sizes, geographical locations, community issues, existing grantees, and new partners, these 14 Black-led organizations are deeply committed to collectively working for the greater good of the Black community.

Support the Black Community Building Collective

The Collective is focused on building power to ensure the Black community thrives. We invite you to join our vision for an equitable and just community where everyone thrives. 

For more information about this program and its impact, please contact Liahann Bannerman at