In my last post, I commented that I could not get out of my head something I had heard in a meeting: “Black folks don’t give.” I was speechless; that rarely happens to me.
Would you be surprised to learn that August is Black Philanthropy Month? BPM is an initiative of the African Women’s Development Fund. Launched in 2011, BPM is beginning to build momentum with, among other things, the findings from a 2012 report by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation with major contributions from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors:
· Black people in the United States give away more of their disposable income than whites and many other racial/ethnic groups.
· Nearly two-thirds of all black households make charitable donations, worth about $11 billion a year.
· Black charitable funds — at community foundations or other trusts — have grown rapidly. One example of this is the growth of Black Giving Circles around the country, primarily in the South.
The author of a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article pointed out, it’s not that blacks don’t give, it’s that they do it differently, and often they don’t see themselves as philanthropists; also, as one interviewee for the article pointed out, their giving is often undocumented.
So, if you have hesitated to include people of color in our community as potential donors, you might want to re-think that. A few tips:
· Think strategically about how to include minority donors in your cause and get them involved.
· Cultivate your donor. . .learn what is important to him or her.
· Build a case for giving that addresses the donor’s needs and desires and steward the donor following the gift.
If you would like a copy of the Kellogg report executive summary, please send me an e-mail and I will be glad to forward it, along with a cool info graphic from Blackbaud on the next generation of American giving.