Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Two Endowments Combined to Form Charlotte’s African American Community Foundation

 photo Banner for AACF article_zps80qxgil6.png
Top photo: New Generation of African American Philanthropists giving circle in Charlotte, NC
Bottom photos: Student participants from Youth Development Initiatives, Inc., an AACF grantee partner

New Generation of African American Philanthropists giving circle joins for greater impact

CHARLOTTE, NC—The African American Community Foundation (AACF) supports organizations that address societal disparities experienced by African Americans, and also serves as a center for African American philanthropic development.

Established in 1991 as a special program of Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC), AACF was made possible through two charitable funds managed by FFTC: the Lethia Henderson Fund Endowment, which supports health and community service, and the Elizabeth S. Randolph African American Fund Endowment, which supports organizations that address African American concerns. Henderson was an African American business woman, and Randolph was a teacher and principal. Both were residents of west Charlotte’s Beatties Ford Road Corridor.

In 2015, AACF partnered with New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP-Charlotte), a collective giving circle that makes grants and promotes philanthropy among African Americans in the Charlotte region, with the goal of enhancing the quality of life within their communities.

“The partnership between NGAAP-Charlotte and AACF was timely in that it has brought together the talents of burgeoning African American philanthropists with nonprofits focused on eradicating issues primarily facing African American residents in Charlotte,” said Robyn Massey, NGAAP-Charlotte giving circle member and AACF board member. “In any city, it’s traditional for philanthropic funding to be channeled to very established organizations with community stalwarts acting as cheerleaders to drive funding. AACF has become an equalizer for nonprofits who don't have cheerleaders to obtain much needed funding to begin or continue operations.”

Massey continued, “As the partnership between NGAAP-Charlotte and AACF evolves, we’re excited about the impact on the landscape of African American nonprofits, as the partnership will enable not only the growth of AACF grant-making funds but also will act as a facilitator for cultivating relationships between nonprofits and the African American community in Charlotte.”

According to Qiana Austin, vice president of community programs and civic leadership for FFTC, to date the Henderson and Randolph Funds have made more than $300,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations. Today, AACF targets organizations focused on a variety of important areas, including public education support, economic development and health initiatives. In 2015, AACF awarded $30,000 to nonprofit organizations providing services within the community. The 2015 grantees include: Citizen Schools to support expanded learning time for urban middle schools; Drive, Inc. to fund a Summer Coding Camp Program; Queen City Metropolitan Chapter of 100 Black Women to support the Building Bridges to Success Mentoring Program; Youth Development Initiatives, Inc. for their Project L.I.F.T. After School Academy; and Family Agriculture Resource Management Services to support the Farms to Food Bank Program. AACF will request and review grant proposals in January 2016.

Individuals or groups interested in contributing to the Henderson and Randolph funds, or who would like to establish a new charitable fund, may contact Qiana Austin at Foundation For The Carolinas at 704.973.4535. See more at: www.fftc.org.

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