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Give 8/28 - After the Pledges


                                                        After The Pledges

                        The audacity and necessity of CLT GIVES BLACK

                                         Written by Valaida Fullwood

It’s been three years since the tsunami of financial pledges, solidarity statements, and

declarations of a fairer and more equitable future. The reckoning by corporations and

foundations came in response to devastation caused by the pandemic and revelations about

racial injustice.


Despite good intentions, the urgency and unprecedented generosity of 2020 seems all but

evaporated. While corporations pledged big dollars and foundations promised structural

change, many of those commitments have fallen short of their potential or failed even to

materialize. The Washington Post, in August 2021, published an analysis of the $50 billion in

racial justice pledges made by corporations in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. The

report illuminated shortfalls in actual investments and shortcomings in corporate power to

address systemic racism. Further, backlash to the movement for racial justice has resulted in

today’s more hostile social and political climate for advancing equity.


Chronic underfunding of identifiably Black organizations isn’t new and was well documented

before and since the pandemic. National study after study estimate less than 2 percent of

philanthropic dollars go to Black-led, Black-benefitting nonprofits. Power dynamics and bias

reported nationally play out locally too, resulting in comparable inequities. Currently in

Charlotte, anecdotal accounts by funders suggest incremental shifts in practice may be

occurring. However, without quantifiable data shared publicly and regularly on where dollars

are going, meaningful measures of fairness and change are lost.


So, while some funders choose to carry on with pre-pandemic business as usual, many

Charlotte residents are still reeling. The weight of anti-Black racism compounded by the

pandemic’s damage has had a profound and disproportionate impact on Black communities.

We are still seeking healing and recovery. “The axe forgets; the tree remembers” so goes a

Zimbabwean proverb. 


NGAAP has not forgotten. We remember the critical role assumed by Black founders and

leaders of nonprofit organizations during the lockdown and throughout the crises. Their

organizations were a lifeline to individuals, families and communities experiencing

unprecedented hardship. It is a role Black-led organizations have long played.


NGAAP’s local research for The Bold Report: Insight, Vision and the Opportunity for Racial

Funding Equity showed a majority of Black-led, Black-benefitting nonprofits have fewer than

five paid staff, rely heavily on unpaid workers and volunteers, and operate on annual budgets

of $250,000 or less. Even while under resourced, these organizations compose a vital

ecosystem and function as the backbone of our dynamic and diverse communities. Committed

to having an impact on the frontlines, these nonprofits are frequently off the radar of donors,

foundations and businesses. Consequently, they do not receive a fair share of funding.


NGAAP launched CLT GIVES BLACK in an audacious move to increase the quantity and quality of

funding invested in Black nonprofits serving Charlotte-Mecklenburg communities. The

annual fundraising campaign on August 28 brings attention to the scores of trusted, culturally

competent organizations working in neighborhoods, on the margins, and with people seeking

to thrive. Collectively, they address wide-ranging issues and serve as first responders in crises.


Nearly 70 organizations can be found on the CLT GIVES BLACK Group Page this year, with more

to add.


You are urged to make a tax-deductible donation on August 28 to one or more of the

participating nonprofits at Give like you want them and the people they

serve to succeed!


About NGAAP |

New Generation of African American Philanthropists, aka NGAAP, is a member-driven,

grantmaking collective that inspires action through the power of Black philanthropy.

Its CLT GIVES BLACK campaign is part of The Bold Project—an NGAAP initiative

with Black organizations leading differently. The Bold Project works to pave a new

path in philanthropy by breaking down barriers and elevating Black voices and leadership.


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