Friday, April 17, 2015

New Research “Quantifies Hope” for Black Men and Boys

New York, NY — A new report jointly released by Foundation Center and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement shows a distinct trend toward increased U.S. foundation funding for organizations and programs that are working to improve the life outcomes of Black males. Education historically receives the largest share of this support, but giving in other areas, including human services and public affairs, has grown. In addition to analyzing U.S. funding trends, Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys describes recent initiatives in the field of Black male achievement.

This timely new research is released against a backdrop of national attention to the highly-publicized killings by law enforcement of Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, among others; the birth of the #BlackLivesMatter movement; and the launch last year of My Brother's Keeper, a White House initiative to improve the outcomes of boys and young men of color.

“Momentum has been building on many fronts to address social and racial disparities in our nation, and the time is right to keep pushing forward to improve opportunities for Black men and boys,” said Shawn Dove, CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. “The role of philanthropy in those efforts is critical, and this report highlights the organizations and programs that have made meaningful investments in the growing field of Black male achievement. I am encouraged by the progress we’ve made so far, and yet it’s really only the beginning. We still have a long way to go towards achieving our mission of helping organizations committed to this work build their capacity and strengthen their efforts to maximize the assets and potential of America's Black men and boys.”

The study finds that in 2012, the latest year for which data are available, 98 foundations made grants worth $64.6 million explicitly designed to benefit Black men and boys. This figure was up from $40.4 million in the previous year and continues an upward trend. More than half of all foundation funding for Black males from 2003 to 2012 was distributed in the last three years.

“It is critical for philanthropists working to improve the lives of Black males in this country to have as much data and information as possible about the funding landscape,” said Seema Shah, director of research for special projects at Foundation Center and lead author of the report. “We are committed to providing research that sheds light on this important national issue.”

The research also identified some quantifiable shifts in giving patterns for Black men and boys. For example, even though the field of education, which has historically garnered the largest share of grants, continued to be a top funding priority, grantmaking for public affairs has significantly increased. Moreover, the top 10 grant recipient organizations consisted of a mix of national civic, policy, and advocacy organizations, in addition to the educational institutions that dominated the list in the past. Half of the top 10 list are Black-led organizations.

In addition to 2012 giving data, the brief describes a selection of more recent philanthropic investments, including foundation and corporate support fueled by President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative, as well as efforts by municipal governments. The report includes essays by Tonya Allen, president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, and Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, who contribute their insights and reflections about their work to improve outcomes for Black men and boys. It also identifies future opportunities for philanthropy and recommends an increase in funding in the area of health and wellness, in southern states, and for general operating support.

Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys was commissioned from Foundation Center, the leading authority on knowledge about philanthropy, by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a national membership network of 3,000 individuals and organizations that was established by Open Society Foundations in 2008 and became a stand-alone organization in January 2015.

The report follows up on baseline data presented in the 2012 report Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys. These reports, along with Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement, are among the growing suite of resources at, a website that facilitates engagement, collaboration, and strategic decision making among those working to promote positive outcomes for Black men and boys in America.

At, visitors can also explore an interactive funding map; sign up for e-mail updates; and submit grants data, case studies, and philanthropic milestones. You can also join the discussion online on Twitter at @BMAfunders and @BMAchievement with the hashtag #QuantifyHope.

Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys can be downloaded for free at and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement website.

These resources are part of Foundation Center's Knowledge Services — data-driven tools and content-rich platforms developed by Foundation Center for funders and their networks, consultants, advisors, and grantees.

Source: Press release/Foundation Center

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Selected for $710,000 Audience-Building Initiative Grant

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Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle and Executive Director Bennett Rink
Photo by Paul Kolnik

Grant to support Engaging Young Audiences and Building Participation for the Future awarded by The Wallace Foundation

New York – Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation has been selected for the New York-based Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability effort – a new, six-year, $52-million initiative aimed at developing practical insights into how exemplary performing arts organizations can successfully expand their audiences. The $710,000 grant is earmarked for preliminary audience research and the first cycle of work will explore how to eliminate barriers of engagement for millennials and implement new strategies to involve and retain their participation for years to come.

“I applaud The Wallace Foundation for launching this visionary initiative and I’m honored that the Ailey organization is one of the select participants,” stated Ailey Executive Director Bennett Rink. “At a moment when audience participation in the arts is rapidly changing, all of us at Ailey are primed to align and coordinate efforts for what promises to be a powerful learning experience. This support will allow us to really focus on expanding our reach, particularly with the twenty-something demographic that is crucial to developing our future audiences.”

The Ailey organization was one of 26 arts organizations from around the country that were selected to be a part of the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative and noted by the foundation for their artistic excellence. Each organization will design and implement programs to attract new audiences while retaining current ones, measuring whether and how this contributes to their overall financial sustainability. In addition to dance, the organizations represent a spectrum of artistic disciplines, from opera companies to orchestras, theaters, and multidisciplinary arts institutions. The selected partners will receive financial and technical support from the foundation to develop, implement, analyze, and learn from their audience-building work. The evidence gathered from their work will be documented and analyzed by a Wallace-commissioned independent team of researchers, providing valuable insights, ideas, and information for the entire field.

Learn more at and

From the Archives:  Young Professionals Launch Ailey Young Patrons Circle

Source: Press release

Monday, April 13, 2015

‘The Soul of Philanthropy’ Exhibit Opens to Standing Room Only Crowd

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New exhibit based on award-winning book seeks shift ‘from a moving tribute toward a triumphant movement of conscious giving for social change’

CHARLOTTE, NC—Over 400 viewers turned out for the launch of Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited, a new touring exhibit that opened at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) on February 20. JCSU, a historically black college in Charlotte collaborated with writer Valaida Fullwood, photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. and giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists to develop the exhibit, which is based on the book “Giving Back: A Tribute To Generations of African American Philanthropists.” A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) supports a 10-city national tour.

A daylong string of campus and community events marked the exhibit’s opening. An intimate, VIP breakfast allowed donors and special guests to preview the exhibition with a tour led by artists Fullwood and Thomas. On campus during the day, JCSU students participated in various programs and panel discussions. “Careers in Philanthropy,” sponsored by D5 Coalition, featured foundation program officers, development directors and other professionals of color who discussed their jobs, career path, education and training. The program “Hip-Hop, Philanthropy and Conscious Giving” featured deejays, educators and hip-hop artists who shared how music, culture and experiences of young people can inform and shape social movements.

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Nelson Bowman III (center), Executive Director of  Development at Prairie View A&M University, TX,
which will host the exhibition in fall 2015.

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Author A’Lelia Bundles, descendant of illustrious arts patron A’Lelia Walker and iconic philanthropist Madam CJ Walker, was the evening’s featured speaker. For the culminating event, guests followed a path of glowing luminaries to the campus library where the exhibit is on display. As guests toured the gallery and enjoyed dessert, Tyrone Jefferson and A Sign of the Times band performed classic soul music and jazz.

Bolstering the exhibition are a series public programs where groups explore multiple facets of philanthropy, including HBCU giving, the influence of faith on generosity, the influence of identity and culture on philanthropy, and collective giving. “The Soul of Philanthropy” is on display at JCSU’s James B. Duke Memorial Library through mid-May and afterward embarks on the IMLS-funded tour to pre-selected cultural institutions and colleges in 10 communities.

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Watch this new promo video to hear why “The Soul of Philanthropy” matters. Email, to schedule a group experience, book a guided tour and/or learn more about upcoming programs and educational forums in Charlotte.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Culture Shift Labs Convenes Largest Gathering of African American Tech Leaders and Innovators to Inspire Change

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David Drummond, Fred Humphries, Andrea Hoffman, Erik Moore and Ben Jealous

Inaugural Silicon Valley Diversity Brunch Celebrates Four Pioneers and Brings Together Leaders, Influencers and Innovators to Discuss Diversity in Tech

PALO ALTO, CA – Culture Shift Labs, the leading consultancy firm formerly known as Diversity Affluence, gathered 250 leaders in tech, healthcare and finance on April 1 at the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto, CA to celebrate diversity and innovation at the Inaugural Silicon Valley Diversity Brunch. Hosted by Andrea Hoffman, CEO and Founder of Culture Shift Labs, the brunch celebrated four individuals who are examples of what’s possible for current and future generations in tech and beyond.

This year’s honorees reflected the changing face from board seats to the C-Suite. They included: Van Jones - Co-Founder of #YesWeCode and CNN Commentator, Shellye Archambeau – CEO of MetricStream, Ken Coleman - Chairman of Saama Technologies and Special Advisor to Andreessen Horowitz, and Hugh Molotosi - VP of the Intuit Labs division of Intuit. Also in the room were venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, health care executives, and leaders from some of the biggest names in tech, healthcare and finance including: Apple, Ernst & Young, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Intel, Riot Games, Pandora and Microsoft.

The invitation-only brunch, emceed by Ben Jealous, noted civic leader and Partner of Kapor Capital, began with opening remarks from Andrea Hoffman followed by a private Veuve Cliquot Champagne toast that featured the four honorees and sponsors: Cisco, Kaiser Permanente, NewsOne, Microsoft, Mo√ęt Hennessy USA, and Tourneau. Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente and Fred Humphries, VP of U.S. Government Affairs for Microsoft (and top sponsors) addressed the room and gave recognition to Andrea Hoffman who was responsible for hand selecting each guest and inspiring the largest gathering to date of senior leaders of color in tech.

The brunch was attended by an exhaustive list of notable leaders including Denise Young Smith - VP of Human Resources at Apple, Brandon Jones – Head of Product Operations at Google, Scott Cook – Co-founder of Intuit, Michael Seibel, Partner at Y Combinator, and Lo Toney – Partner at Comcast Ventures.  A live discussion between David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, and #YesWeCode Co-Founder Van Jones addressed the diversity opportunity in Silicon Valley and solutions on how the 250 guests in the room could be a part of it, starting by concentrating on tomorrow’s leaders – today’s youth.

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Michael Robinson, Ben Jealous, Hugh Molotsi, Shellye Archambeau,
Ken Coleman, Van Jones and David Drummond

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Ime Archibong of Facebook and Michael Seibel of Y Combinator

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Diversity Brunch Planning Committee: Denmark West, Laura Weidman Powers, Todd Brown,
Andrea Hoffman, Michael Lythcott, Nicole Felix, Lisa Lee and Erik Moore. Not pictured: Arthur Johnson

Many of the attendees remarked that the brunch had achieved something for the first time by gathering Black men and women in powerful positions from some of the most influential corporations in one room to inspire hope, ignite change and take the necessary steps to encourage inclusion in the industry. The 1st Annual Silicon Valley Diversity Brunch recognized, celebrated and brought awareness to important leaders – the first of many “business of diversity” initiatives to come from Culture Shift Labs (CSL).


Culture Shift Labs (CSL) helps companies grow by accessing and engaging the Diverse Elite – innovators, inventors and business influencers of color. The consultancy tailors strategies for their clients that tap into untapped consumers and overlooked business opportunities. Services include Management Consulting, Business Development, Innovation Labs, Private Events/Curated Convenings, and Proprietary Technology.  Visit the website at

Celebrity Philanthropy: Isiah Thomas, Founder of Mary's Court Foundation

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Isiah Thomas participates in the Peace Games Tournament during the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend in Harlem, NY

Mary Thomas, a single mother from Chicago’s West Side, raised nine children on a limited income. She sacrificed a great deal to ensure that not just her children, but all children in the community would have a better life. Her story of service and dedication was profiled in the 1989 movie “A Mother’s Courage: The Mary Thomas Story” starring Alfre Woodard. Today her memory lives on through Mary’s Court, a family foundation created in 2010 by her son, NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.

The mission of the foundation is to create a model for schools and communities that inspires academic success, promotes good health, encourages housing and economic development, and builds safe communities.

During NBA All-Star Weekend 2015, Thomas in conjunction with his friends Cure Violence, HELP USA, Joakim Noah-Noah’s Arc Foundation, Pro Hoops and Connor Sports hosted the Peace Games Tournament in Harlem, NY for local youth. The event’s goal was to create a safe space in New York City where young people could interact with community leaders and law enforcement with the hopes of building mutual respect and reducing the political and cultural tension within the community. Teens and young adults from all five boroughs came together for a conversation on crime and improving community relations. The standing room only event attracted the Commanding Officer of Manhattan North, Chief Kathleen O'Reilly; Commanding Officer of Patrol Services Bureau, Chief Carlos M. Gomez; the legendary Harry Belafonte; and a host of current NBA and WNBA players and local community leaders.

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The Peace Games Tournament first started in Chicago as part of the Peace League that brings together young men from various communities and provides them a safe space to meet each other, learn leadership values through teamwork, and work through their differences through sport. Established in 2011 by Isiah Thomas and Father Michael Pfleger of The Faith Community of Saint Sabina, the tournament represents more than a game—it is an opportunity to break down barriers and help young men make positive changes in their lives and communities. The basketball tournament has grown into a program that now offers GED classes, employment training and internship opportunities.

To learn more about Mary’s Court, visit

Photo credit: Brittni Moten

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy Honor Region’s Black Leaders, Kick-Off $100,000 Fundraising Campaign

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BABIP Board Members Carl Hackney, Co-Chair Kathleen Harris, Co-Chair Jason Trimiew,
Co-Chair Ruth Williams, Billy Manning and Deborah Holmes

OAKLAND, CA – Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy honored distinguished leaders Fred Blackwell, James Head, and Justin Steele at an intimate gathering of community, civic, and philanthropic leaders on the evening of March 14, 2015.

The event was the first in a series launched to leverage community support for the organization’s $100,000 fundraising goal, which will be utilized to advance the interests of African Americans in philanthropy, address the impact of racial disparity within philanthropic institutions and hire a staff person. “We’ve depended on volunteers for 20+ years, yet the needs of our communities are greater than ever. If we’re going to provide the kind of leadership, advocacy and counsel required, we need a full-time staff person to lead the organization,” said the organization’s Co-Chair Kathleen Harris.

The event drew more than 200 people in support of the organization’s strategic aims. “You are BABIP,” said BABIP Co-Chair Jason Trimiew. “Bringing people like you together, to work with us is integral to ensuring and supporting a cadre of leaders whose experiences reflect and connect with those of the communities being served,” he continued. “We cannot do this work alone.” The event’s honorees each embody the innovative spirit necessary to usher in the next generation of Black philanthropy and keep investment, hope and action alive in Black communities.

Fred Blackwell is an Oakland native and currently serves as the CEO of The San Francisco Foundation. Mr. Blackwell previously served as interim City Administrator for the City of Oakland and has also held several leadership posts in the City of San Francisco.

James Head resides in Oakland and is the President and CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation. Prior to this role, Mr. Head served for 10 years as Vice President for Programs at The San Francisco Foundation. He has more than 30 years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit management and technical assistance; community and economic development; and public interest law.

Justin Steele serves as’s Bay Area Giving Lead. He has worked in various capacities across the non-profit and for-profit sector. Most recently, he served as the deputy director of the National Capital Region’s Year Up program. He also has worked in management consulting roles at the esteemed Bridgespan and Bain and Company.

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Honorees Justin Steele, James Head and Fred Blackwell

The event’s leading sponsor was Union Bank, along with Blaylock Beal, Youth Uprising, Comcast, and Dignity Housing West. View more photos from the event here.

About Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy
The mission of BABIP is to advance the interests of African Americans in philanthropy and address the impact of racial disparity within philanthropic institutions and African American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at

Source: Press release/Photos: BABIP

Monday, March 23, 2015

African American Women’s Giving Circle to Host Black Philanthropy Forum

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AAWGC members and grantees celebrate the giving circle’s 10th anniversary in 2014.

WASHINGTON, DC – The African American Women’s Giving Circle (AAWGC) in partnership with Pepco Edison Place Gallery, presents “Encouraging a Culture of Philanthropy,” a forum featuring a reception and panel discussion on Black philanthropy. Panelists will share how we can celebrate a culture of philanthropy and engage more Blacks in giving, and how to build the next generation of Black philanthropists.

When: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm
Where: Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th Street Northwest, Washington, DC

Nicole Cozier, Chief Operating Officer, Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Celeste James, Director of Community Health Initiatives, Kaiser Foundation
Tracey Webb, Founder, and Black Benefactors
Edward Jones, Director of Programs, ABFE (Association of Black Foundation Executives)

Established in 2004, the mission of AAWGC is to cultivate philanthropy among African American women and invest their resources in a way that will encourage and sustain African American women-led organizations and support promising or effective projects that address unmet needs of African American women and girls. AAWGC pools the monetary contributions of its members and to date has invested more than $225,000 in 20 Washington, DC area nonprofits. The Circle is hosted by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

RSVP for the event by visiting here and learn more about AAWGC here.