Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lake Institute Hosts First African American Distinguished Visitor in Philanthropy

 photo lakeinstitute5_zpsc6dd6c40.jpg
Valaida Fullwood, 2014 Lake Institute Distinguished Visitor (2nd from right), David King, Lake Institute Director (far right) and guests

On October 16-17, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy hosted its 2014 Distinguished Visitor for a series of special engagements and events. The Distinguished Visitor is a visionary philanthropic practitioner selected to share their story with community leaders, local philanthropists, public groups and various faith communities. This year marked their first African American in the role, Valaida Fullwood, author of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.

Fullwood was a match for the Distinguished Visitor Program because of her uncanny ability to unite imagination, social innovation, culture and giving. She helps individuals write stories that should be told, while reframing philanthropy to include all givers.

Her activites included a special visit with Ice Miller Legal Counsel, speaking to partners, attorneys and their clients to reinforce the importance of a strong commitment to the communities they serve; meeting with female giving circle leaders in the greater Indianapolis community; and speaking to students enrolled in Historical Contexts and Contemporary Approaches to Philanthropy, where she shared the linkages between historical giving and the current movement in giving circles, Black Philanthropy Month, and reframing philanthropy. On October 17, a public lecture was held at the Indianapolis Urban League where Fullwood inspired rich conversation about both traditional giving and the consideration of new points of entry for donors. The event underscored the importance of each person being a change agent within their community.

 photo lakeinstitute2_zps92961f59.jpg

 photo LakeInstitute3_zpsdaf6e559.jpg
Aimee Laramore, Lake Institute Associate Director (2nd from left) with guests.

The main goals for the events were for guests to explore the importance of collaboration across race, ethnicity and culture; gain key insights for starting a giving circle and participating in collective giving; embrace their personal giving story; reflect on the intimate collection of giving stories presented by Fullwood; and discover the role that reframing philanthropy has in crafting a richer picture of generosity, social justice and community engagement.

Learn more about the Distinguished Visitor Program at the Lake Institute website.

Photo credit: Paul D'Andrea

Monday, October 20, 2014

African American Board Leadership Institute Building Pipeline of Future Leaders

 photo aabli1_zps58448c47.jpg
2013 AABLI Board Leadership program participants: Kaci Patterson, Derrick Waters and Ikiah McGowan 

Premier organization prepares African Americans for board service

Numerous studies have underscored the need for increased diversity among the nation’s nonprofit and governing boards. A diverse board can enhance an organization’s effectiveness and better reflect the communities they serve. In California, the African American Board Leadership Institute (AABLI) is directly impacting this issue by recruiting, preparing and placing African Americans on a broad range of governing boards. Since February 2013, AABLI has successfully assisted in placing 47 African American professionals on nonprofit boards and local/state commissions. Their work is accomplished by providing a two-day board leadership program for professionals who require more in-depth preparation for board placement and for those who wish to sharpen their board skills, along with on-going professional development workshops in partnership with local organizations.

Katarina V. Eleby, manager of programs and operations for AABLI, shared with BlackGivesBack more about the importance of their work and how you can apply for the program.

How do you support AABLI in your role as manager of programs and operations?

As manager of programs and operations at AABLI, my primary focus is to connect nonprofit organizations with leaders that have a passion to serve the community. Diversity on governing boards leads to a more thoughtful allocation of resources and services to the populations served by the organizations. Through my work at AABLI, I am able to build capacity in nonprofit organizations by assisting with the placement of thought leaders in positions of influence and by developing accessible programs that provide insight into various areas of board leadership in the nonprofit sector.

 photo 10475610_873367012691791_3499546202606176102_o2_zpsc95e78e9.jpg
Katarina Eleby served as a speaker at the 2014 Changing the Face of Philanthropy Summit in Washington, DC. In 2013, Eleby was appointed for a four-year term by
Governor Edmond Brown, Jr. to serve as the Public Member on the Physical Therapy Board of California through the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Why is it important that nonprofit, public and private organizations have a diverse board?

It is so critical to ensure African Americans have a seat at the table when important decisions are being made about underserved and minority populations. They are able to apply their personal experiences and a fresh perspective to the challenges many nonprofits face today. It is not uncommon to find nonprofit boards that are comprised of individuals who do not reflect the populations served by their mission. Now, more than ever, funders are examining the demographics of boards to ensure they are supporting organizations that have skills, experience and expertise necessary for long-term sustainability.

What are some of the topics presented in the workshop sessions?

AABLI partners with organizations across the state to provide outstanding professional development opportunities to individuals and nonprofit organizations in the community. The workshops are designed for lifelong learners who wish to share ideas and maintain ongoing membership in the organization. Previous topics have included: Public Policy Advocacy for Your Organization, Nonprofit Budgets & Business Plans, California State Boards & Commissions, Pathways to Corporate Boards, etc.

 photo aabli2_zps7becbe7d.jpg
AABLI Faculty: (bottom left) Brickson Diamond, COO, Executive Leadership Council; head faculty, Latonya Slack, Slack Global Consulting; Virgil Roberts, managing partner,
Bobbitt & Roberts; (top left) Zachary Green, Ph.D., associate director, University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences; Paul C. Hudson, Paul C. Hudson Consulting

Share a success story.

Out of 47 placements, one alumna in particular stands out. She was elected to serve on the board of a nonprofit organization that assists women with addiction by providing wrap around services to ensure long-term sobriety. Although she has not served for very long, her presence on the board has already made a significant impact. Her experience and network from the entertainment industry has brought invaluable resources to the organization. Her enthusiasm to serve emanates from her personality and will have an immeasurable effect on the women’s lives who are touched by the work of the organization.

How can one apply and when does the next class begin?

Our next Board Leadership Program is scheduled for Spring 2015. To apply visit:

Visit the AABLI website to learn more about its programs, services and upcoming events.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Daily Do Good: Philanthropic Focused Email Service Debuts in DC

 photo ddg2_zps97ad41f6.jpg
Saranah Holmes (center), founder of Daily Do Good with Friends of Ebonie's
Ebonie Johnson Cooper (right) and guest at the Daily Do Good launch party in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, DC – On September 24th, DC’s millennial community gathered at Lost Society for the launch of Daily Do Good, a new e-newsletter service that caters to the philanthropic community and organizations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The e-newsletters – Daily Do Good and Do Good Now – will provide opportunities for the area’s thousands of nonprofits to advertise their events and causes to service-minded professionals.

“After close to a decade of experience in the nonprofit and charitable giving fields, I’m excited to create and share this new resource for the Washington, DC area,” said Saranah Holmes, founder of Do Good LLC. She adds, “Supporting altruistic causes are important to the overall future of our society, and I look forward to the Daily Do Good and Do Good Now making it easier for others to learn about these opportunities and share their time and their good.”

Saranah was recently featured on the blog of, a young philanthropy coaching consultancy that caters to black millennials. She shared how Daily Do Good (DDG) will support young black philanthropy:

“While I know I represent the young black professional, the nonprofit worker, and the female entrepreneur, the Daily Do Good target is very broad. We are looking to attract anyone who is looking to get involved in giving. There will be something for everyone at the DDG but there will also be opportunities for niche topics. The blog will be the area where we can focus on those specialty areas. For example, August is Black Philanthropy Month. In August we can use the blog to highlight the importance of that month.
Not to mention, the DC metro area has billions of dollars in giving power. As we heard at the Black Benefactors dinner, there are lots of resources for the black community. In a city whose population is more than 50% black, DDG will reach the black community no matter what.”

Visit the website at to sign up for the e-newsletters and to learn more about featuring your nonprofit organization.

Photo credit: Gee James

Friday, October 10, 2014

Harlem School of the Arts Celebrates Fall 2014 Benefit

 photo Fall2014Benefit-RashidSilveraChristopherJWilliamsJaniceSavinWilliamsYvetteLCampbellNicoleAriParkerBorisKodjoe2_zpse7ebb0aa.jpg
Rashid Silvera, Christopher J. Williams, Gala Co-Chair Janice Savin Williams, Yvette L. Campbell,
Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe

On Monday, October 6, 2014, Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) celebrated their Fall Benefit at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room in New York City. Special guests in attendance included Terence Blanchard, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker as HSA honored GE Asset Management (Corporate Award), Christopher M. Keogh of Goldman Sachs (Leadership Award) and Hearst Foundations (Philanthropy Award). The evening was hosted by WNBC’s David Ushery.

For nearly a half-century, Harlem School of the Arts has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of young people through world-class training in the arts, and this annual benefit offered the iconic art institution an opportunity to thank its various donors and supporters. “I relish the opportunity to honor each and every person and organization that supports what we are trying to do at the Harlem School of the Arts, which is to keep our doors open all year long so that young people can explore the future artist within themselves,” explained Yvette L. Campbell, HSA President & CEO.

This year’s gala featured an array of musical, dance and theater performances, including HSA’s Advanced Jazz Combo, an excerpt from the theatre department’s Soul Nativity, and more.

 photo Fall2014Benefit-DawnDavis-LaFolletteMichelleFizerPetersonDrHenryJareckiYvetteLydiaCarlston2_zps8aaddbb7.jpg
HSA Board Members Dawn Davis-LaFollette, Michelle Fizer Peterson and Lydia Carlston (far right)
with Dr. Henry Jarecki and Yvette L. Campbell

 photo Fall2014Benefit-EricaReidampYvetteLCampbell2_zps2327cba9.jpg  photo Fall2014Benefit-CharlesHamiltonChairampPamelaCarlton2_zpsbdab612c.jpg
Gala Co-Chair Erica Reid and Yvette L. Campbell; 
HSA Board Chairman Charles Hamilton and Pamela Carlton

 photo Fall2014Benefit-LydiaCarlstonTerenceBlanchardNicoleAriParker2_zpseb068e19.jpg
Terence Blanchard (center) with Lydia Carlston and Nicole Ari Parker

About Harlem School of the Arts
HSA’s mission empowers young people mainly from under-served communities in Harlem to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves. The school’s environment teaches discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence and adds a dimension of beauty to the lives of each student. HSA annually serves nearly 4,000 children through on-site instruction and its vital partnerships with NYC schools. It stands apart among the premier arts institutions in New York City, as the sole provider of quality arts education in 4 distinct disciplines – music, dance, theatre, and visual arts. HSA boasts an impressive alumni base of Tony-award winning actors, celebrated operatic voices and jazz musicians, visual artists, dancers, and inspired citizens who cite HSA as the platform from which they launched careers in law, business and other professional fields. For more information about Harlem School of the Arts, visit

Submitted by Akira Barclay

Photo credit: Julie Skarratt

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Howard University Alumna Tracy Wilson Mourning to Host Power-Panel Discussion on Mentorship & Philanthropy

 photo 002-HoneyShine-11thHatsOff_zpsd8ee846d.jpg
Tracy Wilson Mourning and girls from the Honey Shine mentoring program

Mentoring Through Philanthropy: Rising to the challenge of giving back and paying it forward in and around “our” communities

MIAMI, FL – Tracy Wilson Mourning, founder of Honey Shine, Inc. mentoring program and Howard University, will host a panel discussion on the value of mentorship and philanthropy during the University’s 2014 Homecoming festivities. The two-hour discussion will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Howard University’s Blackburn Center from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Akil Kamau, Howard University Vice President for Administration at the Howard University Alumni Association will moderate the panel. Panelists will include: Tracy Wilson Mourning, founder of Honey Shine Inc., co-founder of the Mourning Family Foundation and Howard alumna; Tuesday Wilson, Howard University student and undergraduate representative for the Howard University Board of Trustees, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and National Council of Negro Women; Dr. Amy Yeboah, Howard University faculty member and Black Women in America instructor; Sonya Lockett, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, BET Networks; and Jeff Johnson, award-winning journalist.

Mourning’s desire to begin her mentoring program in south Florida stemmed from research findings that show children and teenagers with positive role models in their lives tend to make better choices. As she prepares to expand Honey Shine nationwide beginning in her hometown of Las Vegas, Mourning also felt it necessary to extend her mentorship to the young minds at her beloved alma mater, Howard University. Mourning and her husband, National Basketball Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning, hope that this 2014 Homecoming panel fosters a post-panel discussion call to action for all attendees. Even further, the philanthropic power couple ultimately hopes the panel creates an incredible networking opportunity for students and is the birth of a long-term alliance with the university and the Mourning Family Foundation.

“Important to the success of Honey Shine are the mentors who provide guidance to the young girls,” said Mourning. “Mentors share their personal experiences and help guide our youth to a healthy and happy future. Charity relieves the pains of social problems, whereas we strive to gear the focus on philanthropy, which attempts to solve those problems at their root causes. And for this reason, I also want to pay it forward for my fellow Bisons at HU.”

About Honey Shine
The Honey Shine Mentoring Program encourages the balance of mind, body and soul in girls and women by providing nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future. For more information on how you can become a Corporate Partner or an Individual Lady Bug sponsor, please call 305-476-0095 or visit

About Mourning Family Foundation
Since 1997, the Mourning’s have raised more than $10 million for their charity initiatives including Overtown Youth Center, a state-of-the-art facility that serves as a safe haven for children and families to participate in recreational and educational activities from 2nd grade through graduation, and Honey Shine, which provides at-risk young women with positive role models and influences through its enrichment programs, workshops, camps and sisterhood. For more information visit:

Source: Press release

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hartford Foundation Celebrates Black Philanthropy with Stories of Inspiration

 photo hf1_zpsf1e4488e.jpg
Valaida Fullwood with guests at the Hartford Foundation’s “Celebrating Black Philanthropy”
event on September 23, 2014

HARTFORD, CT – On September 23, 2014, the Hartford Foundation hosted “Celebrating Black Philanthropy: Stories of Inspiration” that featured guest speaker Valaida Fullwood, author of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, and showcased videos of local philanthropists who shared their stories of giving.

In an interview with the foundation, Fullwood shared what inspires her to do the work that she does:

“The knowledge that theres a cultural legacy of giving and generosity among people of African descent in America, and yet many people, including people from Black communities, tend to ignore or discount that fact. There are too many opportunities to address disparities and crises within our communities to exclude Black giving in any form.”

Fullwood was also featured on Fox CT to share more about Giving Back and its purpose, highlights from the event and Black Philanthropy Month.

View more event photos and the foundation’s black philanthropy video series here 

Monday, September 15, 2014

ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellowship Helps Philanthropy Retain and Advance African-Americans in the Field

ABFE Announces 9th Class of Connecting Leaders Fellows

New York, NY – A diverse group of philanthropic professionals who have vast experience across a range of issue areas including youth development, health, education and advocacy have been selected as the 9th Class of ABFE Fellows.

The Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program (CLFP) is a year-long experience designed to sharpen the skills and strengthen the leadership capacity of foundation staff, donors and trustees who are committed to assisting Black communities through philanthropy. Fellows have the opportunity to learn from seasoned grantmakers and peers on a regular basis, understand how to be more effective agents for change within their institutions and participate in a network that focuses on innovative solutions to community challenges.

The CLFP year officially kicks off with a four-day, intensive Leadership Summit that will take place on November 3-7, 2014 in Birmingham, Alabama at the request of former ABFE Fellow Lyord Watson ('12). Watson is a founding member of the Birmingham Change Fund giving circle, a board member of the Community Investment Network and was recently elected to the Birmingham Board of Education. He stated,“Bringing a talented group of experts and leaders who are passionate about change to Birmingham will be a wonderful gift for my city.”

ABFE launched CLFP in 2005 to improve retention and career advancement for Black professionals in the field of philanthropy. Its track record is impressive. Over 80% of alumni are still in the field of philanthropy and CLFP alumni respondents to a 2012 survey credited the Fellowship in the following positive ways: gaining more responsibility in current role (55%); moving to a new organization in philanthropy (37%); and obtaining a promotion in a new organization (45%). In 2013-2014, three alumni were named CEO of their foundations.

Fellows were chosen based upon a set of criteria covering their experience in philanthropy, their goals for the future, and their interest and passion for making systemic change in Black communities. The 2015 Class of Fellows are: Jehan Benton-Clark, Senior Program Officer, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust; William Cordery, Program Officer, Marguerite Casey Foundation; Patrick Hendricks, Development Manager, Mayor’s Institute for Excellence in Government, Memphis, TN; Kelli King-Jackson, Program Officer, The Simmons Foundation; E. Bomani Johnson, Senior Director of Programs & Partnerships, DC Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation; Michelle D. Johnson, Associate Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation; Katrina Mitchell, Program Officer, Andrus Family Fund; Terrance Pitts, Program Officer, Criminal Justice Fund, Open Society Foundations; Castle Redmond, J.D., Program Manager, Health Happens in Schools, California Endowment; and Ed Smith-Lewis, Associate Program Officer, Student Success, U.S. Program, Postsecondary Success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information about ABFE and the Fellowship program, visit