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The Community Foundation Blog

Changing the practice of philanthropy with Giving Black
By The Community Foundation / June 26, 2019
Changing the practice of philanthropy with Giving Black

Black philanthropy is a powerful force for good. African Americans give a larger portion of their income to charities than anyone else, and Black households making $75,000 or more are growing faster than their white peers — and yet, there is not much information available about the trends or capacity of Black philanthropy in Greater Richmond.

To change that, SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund have come together with the Community Foundation to bring the Giving Black study to our region.

“Black folks have and continue to make a substantial impact in philanthropic contributions to the greater Richmond community; this project will help us to understand the breadth and depth of this special giving,” said L. Robert Bolling, chair of Ujima Legacy Fund.

A study model engineered by New England Blacks in Philanthropy, Giving Black: Greater Richmond will capture the first set of baseline data about the history and existing landscape of Black philanthropy in our region.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to come together and look at trends that actually affect not only women and girls, but also men and boys too,” said Evette Roots, chair of Sisterfund.

“If we’re going to understand and solve problems at the highest level — if we’re going to have the greatest impact — we cannot do this without everyone’s perspectives and without leveraging everyone’s resources,” said Dr. Pam Royal, board chair for the Community Foundation. “That is our expertise, our passion, and our commitment to this community.”

Through the analysis of surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews, Giving Black: Greater Richmond will provide a crucial perspective in understanding the important role of Black philanthropy in our region. The study will also illuminate the necessary conditions, contexts and capital investments for transforming philanthropy in Black communities. 

“Our mission is to inform, reform and transform the practice of philanthropy to see our assets,” said Bithiah Carter, President & CEO of New England Blacks in Philanthropy. “We are often told about our issues, but let’s say that 30% of us are impoverished — that means 70% of us are not. Why are we not asking the question, ‘How do we move from 70% to 75%, from 75% to 80%?’”

The Giving Black: Greater Richmond study is currently assembling an Advisory Council made up of individuals who represent the diversity of our community who will serve as ambassadors for the project. If you are interested in learning more about the Advisory Council or how you can participate in Giving Black: Greater Richmond, contact Stephanie Glenn at

In addition to the equal investment contributions of SisterFund, Ujima Legacy Fund and the Community Foundation, this work is made possible through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Black Philanthropy Month

On August 28, 2019, join the Community Foundation, SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund for a special celebration of Black Philanthropy Month. Enjoy light food and beverage as you learn more about the history of black giving locally and around the world. A panel of Black philanthropists will share stories about unique paths to leadership in developing and implementing their respective family’s philanthropy. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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