Friday, December 9, 2011

Association for Black Foundation Executives Announces Multi-Year Campaign to Support and Connect Black Foundation Trustees

Leverage the Trust to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities

NEW YORK, NY - On the 40th anniversary of the signing of its articles of incorporation, the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) announces the launch of Leverage the Trust; a campaign to support Black foundation trustees in their efforts to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. By 2015, the multi-year Campaign aims to engage 100 current and future Black foundation trustees in regions across the country in a robust set of activities and opportunities designed to maximize the strengths and assets of Black trustees.

To carry out this work nationally, ABFE will partner with the Black Philanthropic Network; a group of 11 regional Black philanthropic associations. In the Campaign’s first year, the goals are to identify Black foundation trustees by region across the country to engage in this work; convene a core group of 40 Black trustees in customized discussions at ABFE’s 41st Annual Meeting in Los Angeles April 26-29, 2012; and survey Black trustees themselves to inform the design of regional and national strategies to support their work.

“We believe Black trustees hold a special place of power and prominence,” says Campaign co-chair Karen Kelley-Ariwoola, member and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota Council of Foundations. “As trustees, they join with their peers in influencing billions of dollars in philanthropic capital. Black trustees that sit at these tables of influence have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of Black communities and leverage investments to increase philanthropy’s responsiveness to the needs of Black communities.” The Campaign is co-chaired by Anita Brown Graham, a trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem North Carolina.

“We are excited about this work moving forward,” says Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE’s President and CEO. “This is a fitting end to the 40th celebration year for ABFE – reaching to the highest levels of foundation leadership to make change for Black communities. We believe that as Black communities are strengthened, other communities, and the nation, gain a set of tangible social, economic, and political benefits. We look forward to working with all of our partners to realize this vision.”

For more information about ABFE, visit