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Leadership Letter: A Call to Celebrate and Join Our Region’s Black Philanthropists

This August, we invite you to join us in celebrating our region’s Black philanthropists who positively impact our community and, consider how you can expand your philanthropic impact.

August is Black Philanthropy Month, a national, coordinated effort that honors African American and African-descent gifts of time, talent and treasure. Central Carolina Community Foundation celebrates this month each year to support and promote the voices of our region’s Black philanthropists. Through stories and action-focused communication on our social media, we will provide opportunities to financially support Black-led and Black-benefiting nonprofits and to learn how Black philanthropists impact our community.

Black Philanthropy Month also provides an opportunity to listen and learn so we can make smart investments in each other. To explore ways to solve existing problems, we must listen to the needs, stories and ideas of all members of our community. After taking this step, we can see what is possible and demand the most of ourselves and our community. Philanthropy can be the gateway to building a more equitable, livable and just community — if we engage everyone.

Since 2009, Central Carolina Community Foundation has worked to embed inclusion and equity into our work and culture. These efforts have included critically examining and inventorying our internal policies and grantmaking efforts, changing hiring practices and intentionally seeking diverse staff and board members. We have established the African American Philanthropy Committee, and we’ve launched or funded exhibits that examine race and the impact of Black philanthropy.

Over the last year, we took steps to make our commitment to philanthropic equity more deliberate. The Community Foundation is proud to be one of the first community foundations in the country to award unrestricted General Operating Support grants to Black-led and Black-benefiting nonprofits. The multi-year program will award a total of $210,000 over the next three years to local nonprofit organizations. We are also supporting the growth of Black, Indigenous and People of Color nonprofit leaders through professional development opportunities.

You, too, can be intentional in addressing equity through philanthropy. The following steps have been integral in shaping our approach:

  • Be a listener. Listen and seek to understand the challenges our community faces in order to bring efficient, effective and thoughtful solutions to the table.
  • Be present. Free your mind of outside distractions and focus on the challenge and conversations at hand.
  • Be consistent. This can’t be a one-and-done effort — we must continue to listen, learn and adapt.
  • Be generous. Critically review your philanthropy (the giving of your time, talent and treasure) and see if it reflects your heart and your community.

Join us in celebrating Black Philanthropy Month

Diversity is one of our region’s strengths and should be celebrated. Please join us by tuning into the Foundation’s Facebook page every Thursday in August to watch interviews with Black philanthropists. You can also learn more about our region’s Black-led and Black-benefiting nonprofits by using the filter available at MidlandsGives.org.

Give 8/28 — your opportunity to support local Black-benefiting nonprofits

To culminate Black Philanthropy Month, donate on Give 8/28 — the only nationwide giving day for Black-led and Black-benefiting nonprofits. Funding support is a powerful way you can support our nonprofits — gifts of even $10 can make a difference. Visit MidlandsGives.org to donate to over 100 local Black-led and Black-benefiting nonprofits and support their work in making our community stronger.

Thank you for recognizing and taking positive actions toward making our community stronger.

Your Philanthropic Partners,

Calvin Elam
Chair of the Board of Trustees

JoAnn Turnquist
President & CEO

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