Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Redefining Philanthropy: How African-Americans Give Back (NPR)

Below is a brief NPR discussion to help people think more broadly about philanthropy, and its place within the African American community. Research shows that African Americans give a higher percentage of their income to charity - one form of philanthropy - than other groups.

While this is important to understand and appreciate in its own right, we should also be thinking about the potential of our giving when combined, and directed toward some of the more fundamental challenges facing our community - high quality early learning programs (and child care more broadly) for our children, weekend Saturday schools, our own cultural institutions, community-focused businesses and social entrepreneurial efforts, etc. I'm really interested in learning more about the ways people are doing this sort of collective and targeted giving. Tracey Webb mentions this approach in passing, and I look forward to learning more about this.

In the meantime, here's the recent brief NPR discussion...

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation released a study in 2012 showing that African-Americans give a larger share of their income to charities than any other group. Tracey Webb, founder of The Black Benefactors and, talks to [NPR] host Michel Martin about African-American philanthropy.

A portion of the exchange...

WEBB: I want that to be seen as philanthropy also - trying to shift the image and just thinking about philanthropy just for the wealthy and the elite. I want people to know that philanthropy is giving of your time, talent and treasure, whether you have $20 or $20,000 or $20 million - that that's a form of philanthropy, and it's a form of giving back.

MARTIN: Why does ethnicity matter in something like this?

WEBB: We're seen as recipients of philanthropy and not always the givers. And I just wanted to help to change that narrative. I think that's very important.