Donors of Color Network (DOCN)




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $2,230,900
Expenses: $1,244,690
Assets: $1,145,906



Executive Director:

Isabelle Leighton


Hali Lee, Ashindi Maxton, Urvashi Vaid

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $11,444,245
Expenses: $2,948,773
Assets: $9,312,843



  1. “Donors of Color Network 990 Form” GuideStar. Accessed August 17, 2023.*x5a70p*_ga*NTc5Nzc4MDU3LjE2OTEyNjM2NjA.*_ga_5W8PXYYGBX*MTY5MjI5NDk0NC44LjEuMTY5MjI5NjM0OC42MC4wLjA.

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Donors of Color Network (DOCN) is a left-of-center nonprofit co-founded by Hali Lee, Ashindi Maxton, and Urvashi Vaid in 2016. The group promotes left-of-center social equity initiatives and climate action policies. DOCN is related and works with Donors of Color Action (DOCA). 1

The group has five so-called Inclusion Principles: fund communities of color, hire and promote inclusivity, contract inclusively, elevate organizations which are led by people of color (POC), measure and elevate using inclusion principles. 2 3

DOCN started the Climate Funders Justice Pledge (CFJP), a donor pledge funding left-of-center climate and socio-economic projects. In two years, it managed to raise more than $120 million with the help of major donors such as the Kresge Foundation. 4 5


Donors of Color Network had total revenues of $11.44 million and total expenses of $2.95 million with $9.31 million in total assets in 2021. 6


Donors of Color Network forms a network of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color donors who are active in many cities and communities across America. Its A Portrait of High-Net-Worth Donors of Color: DOCN Study, a report by DOCN co-founder Hali Lee 7 shows its members’ philanthropic impact from a sample of 113 donors. 8

Interviews with 113 DOCN member donors show a total annual giving of $56 million with a median of $87,500. Out of 113 total donors, 97 donated to political caucuses with overwhelming support for Democrats. 9

The donors also ranked their top five philanthropic priorities with a majority ranking education, social policy, and racial justice among their highest philanthropic priorities. 10

Background and Activity

Donors of Color Network was started by Hali Lee, Ashindi Maxton, and Urvashi Vaid in 2016. It is based out of Brooklyn, New York, and is run by executive director Isabelle Leighton. The group’s executive staff and co-founders are experienced in left-of-center political activism. 11

DOCN aims to unite high-net-worth individuals who hold left-leaning positions on issues such as inclusion, corporate diversity, and climate initiatives. In an interview with NPR, Isabelle Leighton described her group’s efforts to change the socio-economic landscape and “Address the historic white supremacy that exists […] It’s not just a checkmark for diversity, equity and inclusion.” 12 13

It has received support from major left-of-center foundations, including the Marguerite Casey Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, Arcus Foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation, and the Advancement Project. 14


Urvashi Vaid was a civil and LGBT rights activist and lawyer, and the author of The Mainstreaming of Lesbian and Gay Liberation (1996) and “Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics (2012). 15

Ashindi Maxton has worked as the National Policy Director of the NAACP and the National Director of Political Partnerships for SEIU. She has developed a funding strategy for more than $100 million from foundations including the Democracy Alliance, the Ford Foundation, and the Women’s Donors Network. 16 She created or co-created the following left-of-center projects: the Reflective Democracy Campaign, the Youth Engagement Fund, and New Media Ventures. 17

Hali Lee is the founder of Asian Women Giving Circle, a social group aiming to bring resources and social change in New York City. She participates in several philanthropy-sector groups, including the Impact Driven Philanthropy Collaborative at the Raikes Foundation, the Momentum Fund, and Monitor Institute Philanthropy 2020. 18


  1. “About.” Donors of Color Network.
  2. “Climate Funders Justice Pledge.” Climate Funders Justice Pledge.
  3. “Donors of Color Network Inc.” Donors of Color Network Inc – GuideStar Profile.
  4. Climate pledge mobilizes $120m to focus on environmental justice – axios.
  5. Welch, Kaniqua. “Climate Justice Pledge Wins New Commitments, but More Funders Are Needed .” Kresge Foundation, January 11, 2023.
  6. “Donors of Color Network 990 Form” GuideStar. Accessed August 17, 2023.*x5a70p*_ga*NTc5Nzc4MDU3LjE2OTEyNjM2NjA.*_ga_5W8PXYYGBX*MTY5MjI5NDk0NC44LjEuMTY5MjI5NjM0OC42MC4wLjA.p
  7. Hali Lee, Guest Contributor. “Here’s What Conversations with 113 Donors of Color Taught Me about Philanthropy, Race and More.” Inside Philanthropy, December 28, 2022.
  8. Gasman, Marybeth. “How High Net Worth Donors of Color Are Changing Lives.” Forbes, August 9, 2022.
  9. “Portrait Report-Executive Summary.” Donors of Color Network.
  10. “Portrait Report-Executive Summary.” Donors of Color Network.
  11. “Our Team.” Donors of Color Network.
  12. “Fund Secures $100 Million to Benefit Climate Change Initiatives for People of Color.” NPR, May 7, 2022.
  13. “About.” Donors of Color Network.
  14. “Research + Reports.” Donors of Color Network.
  15. “Our Team.” Donors of Color Network.
  16. “Our Team.” Donors of Color Network.
  17. “Ashindi Maxton.” Institute for New Economic Thinking.
  18. “Our Team.” Donors of Color Network.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2016

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990 $2,230,900 $1,244,690 $1,145,906 $19,103 N $2,285,637 $0 $0 $321,690 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $401,000 $115,918 $304,395 $19,313 N $401,000 $0 $0 $42,271 PDF

    Donors of Color Network (DOCN)

    315 Flatbush Ave, STE 512
    BROOKLYN, NY 11217-2813