Friday, August 29, 2014

Community Investment Network Set To Mark A Decade of Impact Through Giving Circles

“It was 10 years ago when the Ford Foundation invested in the idea that African American young adults were untapped community philanthropy resources in the US, especially in the American South. The return on that investment has been amazing—new community leaders, new pools of philanthropic funds, new relationships with other donors and non-profits to address local and state policies…I can’t wait to get to the CIN Conference in October to hear the stories of impact!”
— Linetta J. Gilbert

COMMUNITY INVESTMENT NETWORK (CIN) is set to come full circle in Durham, North Carolina, October 2-5 by celebrating its 10th anniversary conference. The CIN 2014 National Conference will commemorate its first convening a decade ago. Stories of impact—from CIN Giving Circle members, national thought leaders and community-based changemakers—are a focus of the three-day conference, designed to inform, engage, and inspire attendees from across the country. Register via this link.

Keynote speakers include:

JACQUELINE COPELAND-CARSON, PH.D., Scholar and Global Consultant on Black Diaspora Giving and Founder of Black Philanthropy Month 
(Saturday Breakfast Plenary)

DAVID JOHNS, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans 
(Saturday Lunch Plenary)

REV. TREVOR BEAUFORD, DeiVision Minister for Children, Youth and Singles, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina 
(Sunday Breakfast Plenary)

For new members and people interested in collective giving, the CIN workshop “Giving Circles 101” is scheduled for Friday afternoon. Conference registrants will also experience sightseeing bus tours of communities in and nearby Durham that reveal stories of impact from Next Generation of African American Philanthropists, which is based in the Triangle and one of the initial CIN Giving Circles. Concurrent conference workshops will examine a range of issues, explore multiple facets of philanthropy and spotlight more stories of impact from CIN Giving Circles.

2014 Honorary Conference Co-Chairs:


LINETTA J. GILBERT, Longtime Champion of CIN

Sponsors of the conference include: Triangle Community Foundation, Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, and IBM Corporation. Methodist Home for Children is the sponsor of the 2014 CIN Youth Summit on Philanthropy and Leadership, which is offered on Saturday morning for young people ages 12 to 18. More about sponsorships can be found here.

About Community Investment Network: CIN is a nonprofit membership organization that inspires, connects and strengthens African Americans and communities of color to leverage their collective resources and create the change THEY wish to see. There so much to learn about giving circles, and CIN’s annual conference is a go-to source for solid information and for building relationships with knowledgeable and approachable people from across the U.S.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Celebrating #BPM2014: Black Philanthropy Month

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Image created by Center for Urban Families...thank you!

During the last week of Black Philanthropy Month, we’d like to highlight some of the organizations observing the annual month-long campaign that aims to strengthen African American and African descent giving in all its forms.

The Arizona Community Foundation is highlighting its people and projects that advance philanthropy for African Americans in Arizona. The foundation profiles two giving circles, African American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle and Real Engagement through Active Philanthropy (REAP), which provides Black men in Arizona with a mechanism for community investment, strategic giving and grantmaking. Read more here.

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture profiles its members and their stories of giving. The Floyd Family shares, “As our family thinks about Black Philanthropy Month, we pay tribute to how we can continue to serve and impact our community while also representing our ideals and values. Locally, we continue to work closely with and actively support several organizations which embody our beliefs, including the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture. The Gantt Center is a major focus of our family's continued giving and support. It symbolizes the center of African-American culture here in Charlotte and uniquely represents those African-Americans who have sacrificed for the well-being of our family.” Read more profiles here and here.

Center for Urban Families has created a wonderful graphic (pictured above) and video in observance of #BPM2014. The Baltimore-based organization aims to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success.  Visit the website to learn more about their local and national programs.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

POISE Foundation Strengthens Pittsburgh’s Black Families Through Grants, Advocacy

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Representatives from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and POISE Foundation

African-American foundation receives $250,000 in support of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Black community

PITTSBURGH, PA – In 1980 the POISE Foundation was created, the first public foundation in the state of Pennsylvania exclusively organized and managed by African Americans. Its mission is to assist the Pittsburgh region’s Black community in achieving self-sustaining practices through strategic leadership, collective giving, grantmaking and advocacy. To date the Foundation has impacted the community with more than $9 million in financial support to organizations that add value to the quality of life in Black Pittsburgh and the region as a whole.

In 2012 POISE established a new grantmaking strategy with the goal of creating strong families and community sustainability – Strengthening Black Families. POISE believes that by strengthening the Black family, it will ultimately elevate and sustain a higher quality of life in the communities where they live.

Support for the new initiative was provided by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield with a $250,000 grant. Highmark’s initial $100,000 investment in 2012 positioned POISE to launch the grantmaking strategy and recently, the company granted the remaining installment of $150,000 to enable POISE to provide program management and technical support to four local organizations whose programming and activities lift the region’s Black families.

“The generous investment from Highmark, coupled with their commitment as a community partner, supports the Foundation in our goal to be a more proactive grantmaker and to build policy knowledge and capacity within the Pittsburgh community,” said Mark Lewis, president and CEO at POISE Foundation. “We realize the importance of new and transformative approaches to impact community change.”

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Mark Lewis, President & CEO of POISE Foundation

The four programs receiving funding are: Amachi Pittsburgh - Family Strengthening Project Plan, Melting Pot Ministry - Family Konnections Program, The Center That C.A.R.E.S. - Family Time Program and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Teen Mother, Young Father Program.

“The ‘Family’ is the first and most important institution we have. Health, education, morals, values and work ethics are influenced first and foremost by our families,” said Karris Jackson, vice president of programs at POISE Foundation. “It is to this end that we believe strong families are essential for building a strong community.”

To learn more about POISE Foundation, visit

Monday, August 18, 2014

“Philanthropy on the Vineyard 2014” Convenes Philanthropists, Executives and Thought Leaders

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Tonya Griffith, Wells Fargo (summit sponsor), Comcast Foundation’s Charisse Lillie, Head and Heart Philanthropy Founder Christal M. Jackson, 
MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid and Skillman Foundation President Tonya Allen at “Philanthropy on the Vineyard 2014” opening conversation, Sunday, August 10, 2014.

Annual summit returned to Martha’s Vineyard for three days of panel discussions and conversations on black philanthropy

NEW YORK, NY – The 3rd annual “Philanthropy on the Vineyard” summit gathered an influential cohort of foundation, nonprofit and corporate executives, faith-based leaders and philanthropists for enlightening and empowering discussions on philanthropy.  The convening was hosted by Head and Heart Philanthropy at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, MA that featured speakers MSNBC hosts Joy-Ann Reid and TourĂ©; Credit Suisse’s Michelle Gadsden-Williams; White House Director of Social Innovation Fund, Michael Smith; New York Times bestselling author, dream hampton; the Kapor Center for Social Impact’s Mitch Kapor and Freada Klein Kapor; NBA Retired Players Association President and CEO Arnie Fielkow; Comcast’s Vice President of Community Investment and President of the Comcast Foundation, Charisse Lillie; Color of Change’s Rashad Robinson; and more.

The summit kicked off on Sunday, August 10 at Lola’s Restaurant with a discussion on the economic state of African Americans from 50 years ago to today, moderated by Joy-Ann Reid with panelists Tonya Allen, president of the Skillman Foundation and Charisse Lillie.  The opening discussion was active on social media with attendees using the hashtag #hhp2014.

Highlights during the summit included the second annual Charisse Lillie Luncheon themed “The Intersection of Corporate America and Philanthropy” keynoted by Michelle Gadsden-Williams, Managing Director and Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Credit Suisse; and a special reception honoring Color of Change attended by writer and creator of BET’s “Being Mary Jane” Mara Brock Akil and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

Session topics included: “The Influence of Faith and Philanthropy, Social Justice and the ‘New’ Black Church,” “Inside the World of Foundations-Communications and Grant making,” “The Impact of Sports, Media, Arts and Entertainment on Philanthropy,” and “Global Philanthropy & Investment Opportunities, Creating a Sustainable Economy in Haiti.”

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Philanthropy on the Vineyard 2014 cohort

After three years of hosting Philanthropy on the Vineyard, Head and Heart Philanthropy Founder Christal M. Jackson reflects on its importance: “I’ve learned that there is a need to convene and connect people of color around key topics of health, education, poverty alleviation and social enterprise, in a space where they feel safe to speak about their work and personal experiences. Often times the mainstream community has defined in their own terms of how we see our community, and the work that needs to be done.  I’ve learned that it’s possible to bring others along, especially once we are clearer on our true perspective.  The summit gives us the courage to share and provides hope to return back to our respective communities to continue our work not alone, but in collaboration with like-minded individuals around the country.”

For additional information and to view a list of all summit attendees, visit and

Photo credit: Rick Matteis

Photos of the Day

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Acclaimed author and director Nelson George and a Lincoln Motor Company representative attend the 12th Annual Run&Shoot Filmworks Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival on August 7. George debuted his work in progress documentary profiling Misty Copeland titled “A Ballerina's Tale.” In related news, Lincoln has teamed up with historic African-American greek letter organizations to aid communities.  Learn more about “The Divine Nine Driven To Give” program by visiting

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Jennifer and Julia Hudson, founders of Julian D. King Gift Foundation, hosted over 8,100 students at their 4th Annual Hatch Day Celebration on August 14 in Chicago. The annual celebration was held in honor of Julia’s son and Jennifer’s nephew, Julian D. King, on what would have been his 13th birthday. “Our goal each year is very simple,” said Jennifer Hudson. “We want these kids to know we are here for them and paying attention to their needs. If one child walks away with that feeling, then we’ve been successful. Chicago needs positive support more than ever and we hope that by doing this, we can encourage the next generation to keep on in that direction.”

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“Going to school has never been more expensive,” added her sister Julia Hudson. “We want our community’s children to have everything they need in order to start the school year out right and that’s what we aim to do every year we host Hatch Day in Julian’s honor,” she added. The Foundation acts as a catalyst for change in children’s health, education and welfare and exists to provide stability, support and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds so that they will become productive, confident and happy adults.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Black Philanthropy Month 2014 Events: Denver & Boston

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The Denver Foundation will observe Black Philanthropy Month on August 21 with “Urban Professionals: Giving Back!,” an evening of networking and conversation featuring giving circle leaders of color in their communities. The discussion will focus on being strategic with gifts of time, talent, treasure and testimony. Event hosts include Denver African American Philanthropists and Community Investment Network. RSVP by August 19 to

In related news, the foundation recently announced a $300,000 grant award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to amplify giving in communities of color. David Miller, President and CEO of the Denver Foundation stated in a press release, “The values of generosity and giving are deeply embedded in communities of color. We simply aim to connect existing and emerging donors to philanthropic vehicles such as giving circles, scholarship funds, donor-advised funds, and business funds to support issues they care about most.”

In Boston, New England Blacks in Philanthropy (NEBIP) invites you to celebrate Black Philanthropy Month with them as they delve into the beauty of our own image.  “IN OUR OWN IMAGE” will be held on August 21 at The Film Posse, Studio 210, located at 15 Channel Center Street from 5:45pm - 7:45pm. To RSVP, contact

NEBIP is currently embarking on a new study of Black donors in Boston. For more information on Giving Black: Boston and how you can join in the work, visit the website.

Monday, August 11, 2014

‘What’s Community Got To Do With It?’ A Civic Engagement Forum in Observance of Black Philanthropy Month

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NGAAP-Charlotte members Valaida Fullwood (l) and Charles Thomas (r) with Dr. Emmett Carson

CHARLOTTE, NC – Over 300 guests gathered at the Bank of America Center in Charlotte on Tuesday, August 5 for ‘What’s Community Got To Do With It?,’ a civic engagement forum that featured an engaging and bold keynote from Dr. Emmett Carson, renowned thought leader in philanthropy and president and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Hosted by New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP-Charlotte) giving circle in observance of Black Philanthropy Month 2014 (BPM2014), the event’s aim was to provide guests with new insight and inspiration to make positive and lasting impact on their communities.

Prior to the event, a pre-reception was held at Urban Sip at The Ritz-Carlton with guests Dr. Ron Carter, President of Johnson C. Smith University; David Taylor, President of Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture; Michael Marsicano, PhD, CEO of Foundation For The Carolinas; and Patrick Graham, President of National Urban League of Central Carolinas, among other nonprofit and community leaders.

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Eric Montgomery, Athan Lindsay, member of Next Generation of African American Philanthropists giving circle
 and Darryl Lester, member of Next Generation of African American Philanthropists and
 founder, Community Investment Network

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Patrick Graham, President of National Urban League of Central Carolinas, David Taylor, 
President of Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and 
Patton McDowell, President of PMA Consulting, LLC

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Michael Marsicano, PhD, CEO of Foundation For The Carolinas; Sharon Harrington, JD, AVP for Institutional Advancement at Johnson C. Smith University; 
and Ronald Carter, PhD, President of Johnson C. Smith University

The forum began with a reading of the proclamation to kick off Black Philanthropy Month in Charlotte, followed by Dr. Carson’s BPM2014 talk that included a history of black philanthropy and its role in building the African American community; and his thoughts on the current state of black organizations, black males and black giving. His words resonated with many who shared on social media:

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Dr. Emmett Carson

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Clarence Lyons, NGAAP member and member of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) with 
fellow NSBE Charlotte Chapter members, an event sponsor.

Event sponsors included Bank of America Black Professional Network, Bank of America Diversity and Inclusion, Foundation For The Carolinas and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture.  For more takeaways from the event and happenings during Black Philanthropy Month, follow #BPM2014.

About New Generation of African American Philanthropists

Founded in June 2006, NGAAP-Charlotte is a giving circle with members who share values around philanthropy and pool charitable dollars to give back to the community. Its mission is to promote philanthropy – the giving of time, talent and treasure – among African Americans in the Charlotte region with the goal of enhancing the quality of life within their communities. NGAAP is a member of Community Investment Network and is hosted at the Foundation for the Carolinas. For more information, contact Ed Franklin at