I spent my first few jobs out of college raising money for nonprofit arts programming and causes close to my heart. I remember spending hour after hour fitting nuanced narratives about our incredible young Black leaders into the tightly defined structures and word counts of LOIs and grant reports.
I worked tirelessly to win the approval of foundations, but my hard work didn't result in the success I expected. Even mainstream charity events (like Giving Tuesday) weren't bringing in the thousands of dollars I saw similar organizations netting. I came to realize that not all giving is created equal.
Shocking Black philanthropy facts
Nonprofits like mine—and organizations led by people who look like me—didn't fit the philanthropic mold that white men had largely created. We were suffering trying to squeeze into structures that were never made to fit us.
What I already knew from lived experience is now backed by data. Even though Black communities are some of the most philanthropic in the world, Black-led organizations only receive a small fraction of the billions in tax-deductible donations Americans contribute each year. Plus, Black-led nonprofits receive substantially less investment than organizations that do the same work but have white leadership. A recent review of early-stage organizations showed the revenue of Black-led organizations is 24% smaller than their white-led counterparts, and their unrestricted net assets are 76% smaller.
Advancing racial equity in fundraising and philanthropy
When I first learned about Black Philanthropy Month and the incredible network of leaders working to close what's known as the "Giving Gap," I finally felt seen. Here was a group of people unapologetically calling out the issue and organizing initiatives to solve it. I no longer felt alone, and I became more committed than ever to working toward increasing equity in charitable giving.
"I don't want to just survive. I want to thrive." - Ayo Tometi, Black Lives Matter Co-Founder & Black Philanthropy Month 2022 Summit Keynote Speaker
Givebutter's commitment to advancing racial equity and Black philanthropy
When I first joined the Givebutter team, I was thrilled to be working for a fundraising platform committed to giving everyone full access to the best tools to enact change. The Givebutter ethos is one of equipping and encouraging Changemakers while simultaneously acknowledging that barriers to equal opportunity still exist. As Changemakers, we're all making history every day. Here at Givebutter, we're honored to be a fundraising home for both large nonprofits and small grassroots groups. We get a front-row seat to organizations that are led by and serve historically marginalized communities.
That being said, we know technology alone won't level the playing field for charitable giving. That’s why I’m beyond excited to announce that Givebutter is partnering with Black Philanthropy Month this August. We will be donating $10,000 to Black-led organizations and those that serve predominantly Black communities.
Black Philanthropy Month is about celebrating not only Black organizations but also Black donors, Black foundations, and Black dollars. It's also about allies recognizing their critical role in supporting this movement.
Zoom calls don't always give me chills. However, meeting Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland, Founder of Black Philanthropy Month, was one of those rare, special moments where things came full circle for me. I am so proud to have been part of uniting these two powerhouses, and I can't wait to see where this partnership takes us.
Let’s make the world a better (and more equitable) place
I believe a paradigm shift is underway where organizations are the ones building power. People are becoming the writers of their destinies, and they will no longer have to rely on traditional philanthropic institutions' power dynamics.
We'll keep challenging ourselves to do butter in growing this community where everyone can enact the change they envision in the world. We'll continue to foster a more equitable community that enables purpose-driven creators to make an impact—within their larger communities and their own institutions.
Join us in celebrating Black Philanthropy Month this August, spread the word, and submit your campaign (or nominate a fantastic organization) today.
Floyd supports the Community team’s growth strategy via partnerships, sponsorships, strategic campaigns, and special events. He works directly with Givebutter’s Product, Success, and Marketing teams to support overarching company goals and has a deep passion for growing community within the social enterprise sector.