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
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
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
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
You are urged to make a tax-deductible donation on August 28 to one or more of the
participating nonprofits at bit.ly/CLTGIVESBLACK. Give like you want them and the people they
serve to succeed!
About NGAAP | new-philanthropists.org
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.