Funders for Birth Justice & Equity (FBJE) has released a new landscape report providing an overview of the state of philanthropic funding for birth equity. The report focuses on who makes up the current landscape of funders, what they are funding, and how they are integrating an equity lens in their practices and approaches.
CHAP Co-Director and FBJE Steering Committee Member Raquel Mazon Jeffers said, “CHAP is proud to be part of the Funders for Birth Justice & Equity team and share this newly released landscape study. While the number of funders entering the birth equity space is increasing, philanthropic support for the individuals and organizations doing the work to advance birth equity is still far less than what is needed to ensure large-scale and lasting impact. We hope this report will serve as a useful guide for funders interested in, or new to, the field and ultimately help to ensure that the resources available for this critical work continue to grow.”
- The US is experiencing a crisis in its pregnancy-related outcomes unlike any other high-income country. Black birthing people are three times as likely and Indigenous birthing people more than twice as likely as white women to die from a pregnancy-related cause, even when holding economic and education levels constant. Most deaths occur postpartum rather than during the birth itself.
- Beyond mortality rates, severe morbidity and poor birth experiences need equal attention.
- Systemic challenges include inequitable funding flows that direct public and private dollars to health systems and large institutions; overmedicalization of birth and under-investment in community birthing systems; a limited perinatal workforce; under-resourcing of community-based perinatal supports; and insufficient systems infrastructure and coordination.
- Philanthropic capital has traditionally supported hospitals and clinical interventions, yet community-based supports and interventions targeting the pre-natal and post-partum periods are historically underfunded. Almost two-thirds of maternal deaths are happening not in hospitals during childbirth, but before birth and up to a year after the birth, and in the communities where people live and work. If we are to reverse these dire statistics, funding needs to reach community-based organizations to meet women where they are.
- In addition to mobilizing more funders and dollars for birth equity, it is equally important for funders to shift their practices and build in more equitable approaches to giving that are grounded in trust and transparency. Removing barriers to funding through new grant requirements and reporting will accelerate funding to the organizations with most proximity to women at risk.
About Funders for Birth Justice & Equity
Funders for Birth Justice & Equity’s mission is to end inequities in birth outcomes and improve experiences and outcomes for all birthing people by advancing respectful, physiologic care and equitable access to birth workers. We do this by serving as an organizing, learning, collaborating, and collective action group of funders working together and with the field to transform the system.
To learn more about CHAP’s participation in Funders for Birth Justice & Equity or how you can get involved, contact us here.