Monday, July 26, 2010

The Black Benefactors: African American Giving Circle Celebrates Three Years

“I am pleased that the Black Benefactors has supported our grassroots mission of making first generation college bound students dream to attend college a reality.” --Joseph Fisher, CEO & Founder, First Generation College Bound Inc., Prince George's County, Maryland (Photo credit: Kea Taylor, Imagine Photography)

Three years ago today, the Black Benefactors Fund was launched to support non profit organizations that serve the African American community in the greater Washington, DC region. We're a group of dedicated individuals who pool our monies, and then decide collectively where to donate our monies to, also known as a giving circle. I founded the Black Benefactors in an effort to give back to my hometown of Washington, DC, and to help keep the doors open of organizations that serve the African American community. (You can learn more about why I started the Black Benefactors HERE). In celebration of our anniversary, we're hosting a membership recruitment and donation campaign! To donate to our fund, please visit HERE.

This past January, we granted nearly $10,000 to three organizations that provide college readiness, life skills, mentoring and the arts. The students pictured above are the 2010 graduates from First Generation College Bound, an organization that for the past twenty years, has helped students to be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college.

“African Continuum was very surprised and honored to receive the letter that it would be awarded a $3,500.00 grant from Black Benefactors’ BPA Fund, especially since we were one of the initial awardees. It is extremely important that we know African Americans support our work and the services we provide to the Washington, D.C. community. We truly appreciated the Black Benefactors' financial support and acknowledgement and hope that its members will continue to follow our progress as we expand our reach into the community.” -- JoAnn Williams, Executive Director, African Continuum Theatre Company, Washington, DC

We also awarded a grant to the African Continuum Theatre Company, the only professional black theater company in Washington, DC. The company's mission is to produce professional caliber plays for the general community that entertain, enlighten and educate from an African American perspective.

I'd like to thank the members of the Black Benefactors, our supporters, and to you, the readers who attended our spring happy hour, DC Blacks Give Back in partnership with the African American Nonprofit Network and our host, the Black Philanthropic Alliance. To learn more about us or to donate, visit, and join us on Facebook and Twitter. Are you a member of a giving circle in your community? Please share in the comment section below or send me an email at blackgivesback[at]

The Black Benefactors is a donor advised fund administered at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Washington, DC.

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