Canaccord Genuity LLC support of Youth INC tops $5M

July 7, 2021

Youth INC announced today that Canaccord Genuity LLC (“Canaccord Genuity”), the US division of Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., has committed $750,000 to fund the launch of Rise Academy for Leaders of Color, bringing its support to $5 million over the past 10 years. This contribution by Canaccord Genuity will help YouthINC in its mission to dismantle systemic barriers to advancement for leaders of color in the youth development segment of the nonprofit sector.

“Over a decade of supporting Youth INC, we have witnessed the incredible work they do to provide youth development organizations with the resources needed to help young people develop the skills and confidence to achieve their full potential,” said Jeff Barlow, president of Canaccord Genuity LLC. “Our contribution to fund the launch of the Rise Academy for Leaders of Color underscores our commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in our business and communities as Youth INC expands its efforts to provide dedicated support for BIPOC nonprofit leaders.”

Rise Academy for Leaders of Color aims to shift the landscape for ascendant Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) nonprofit leaders in youth development organizations. Developed in partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi University in New York, participants will earn a comprehensive certificate in Organizational and Community Leadership.

The 15-month immersive experience integrates personal leadership development, nonprofit management, community leadership, executive coaching led by AIIR Consulting, and a mentor program for emergent leaders. Given Youth INC’s holistic approach to change management, the program will also seek to address the environments in which these leaders operate, including management teams and governing Boards.

“Structural barriers created by racial inequities in the nonprofit sector have long perpetuated disparities amongst its leadership. The lack of opportunity for the up-and-coming leader negatively impacts the diversity in thought leadership and adversely impacts the youth served when they don’t see themselves represented,” said Tracie Gilstrap, director, partner network engagement, Youth INC. “As a capacity builder, we are uniquely positioned to assess and address these barriers and support our rising nonprofit leaders of color and partner organizations by creating an environment where everyone can have access and opportunities for leadership that will influence how organizations lead youth constituents of color.”  

According to a report by Building Movement Project, BIPOC nonprofit leaders have only received 10% of philanthropic dollars over the past 20 years, despite accounting for 20% of philanthropic leadership. Similarly, BIPOC leaders lack sponsorship relationships at almost twice the rate of white peers and cite a dearth of board support.

“Youth INC has focused on self-reflection for the past year to determine how we can improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at every level of our organization,” said Rehana Farrell, executive director at Youth INC.  “This program is the culmination of 12 months of study of the inequities faced by BIPOC nonprofit leaders and centers their voices in the solution, making all of us at Youth INC incredibly proud and inspired for the change that we can achieve together.  We are grateful for Canaccord Genuity's longstanding commitment to our organization and bold investment to advance racial equity.”

“My goal is to become an executive director of a small or medium-sized nonprofit,” said Melissa Benjamin, director of development at Fiver, and one of the participants in the inaugural cohort.  “I’ve been seeking out a professional development opportunity like this program for almost two years, and the biggest hurdle has been 'the fit.' I am excited about the possibilities of what Rise Academy for Leaders of Color could offer me.”

 Rise Academy for Leaders of Color opens its virtual doors on July 21, 2021, with an inaugural cohort of ten BIPOC nonprofit leaders:

About Canaccord Genuity Capital Markets:

Canaccord Genuity Capital Markets is the international capital markets division of Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. (TSX: CF), which offers mid-market institutional and corporate clients idea-driven investment banking, merger and acquisition, research, sales and trading services with capabilities in North America, the UK & Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. We are committed to providing valued services to our clients throughout the entire lifecycle of their business and operating as a gold standard independent investment bank — expansive in resources and reach, but targeted in industry expertise, market focus and individual client attention. To learn more, visit


About The Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi University:

Based in the School of Social Work at Adelphi University,The Center for Nonprofit Leadership promotes excellence in leadership by providing multifaceted resources that are responsive to the needs of the nonprofit sector. For over 14 years, The Center has offered programs and services for executive directors, boards of directors and new and emerging leaders and their organizations. The Center is also committed to supporting and building leadership in underserved communities. At the core of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s mission and work is a belief that organizational effectiveness is achieved through excellence in leadership. An extensive collection of up-to-date resources for nonprofit leaders, a partial list of clients, and testimonials can be found on the Center’s website at


Visit our Rise Academy for Leaders of Color page to learn more.


Youth INC

Youth INC is a network of 80+ of the best youth development nonprofits in New York City. We provide our nonprofit partners with the coaching, capital, and connections required to achieve sustainable growth and maximum impact. Our nonprofit partners collectively champion over 250,000 young people each year. The Aspen Institute estimates that investing in the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) of young people generates an 11x return. This measure means Youth INC's $110 million raised since inception has yielded over $1B in impact.