The History of Black Philanthropy Month

Black Philanthropy Month was created in August of 2011 by Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson, the co-founder of the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network. Every August we recognize and celebrate giving from people of African descent. The primary goal of Black Philanthropy Month is informed, involve, inspire Black philanthropy.

Although this is only its 7th year in existence Black Philanthropy Month has been promoting black philanthropic investments and conscious giving in communities coast to coast all month long. The most notable celebration is taking place in the form of an exhibition entitled “The Soul of Philanthropy.” It is showing at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture at the 2017 Association of African American Museums Conference in Washington, DC, with a pop-up exhibition at the University of Kentucky.

The Value of Black Philanthropy Month

Good Philanthropy isn’t just money; it is a healthy balance between sharing your time, talent, and treasure. Research shows that as a community we tend to align ourselves with organizations that influence the neighborhoods we live in. This is because we fully understand that local nonprofits, community centers, and youth programs, do a better job addressing our issues than any public or government-sponsored program. Perhaps you may not have the money to invest in a local organization, but you have a couple of hours to spare, your time is as good as money. We have to reinvest into our communities and prioritize our issues because no one else is going to do it.

How to Choose which organization to uplift for Black Philanthropy Month

Picking the right organization to share your time, talent, and treasure with is vital if you want to make an impact as it relates to your giving. The best way to figure out which organization is worthy of your contribution is to consider a few key things. First, be sure you feel connected to the mission and vision of the organization you are considering. If you feel attached to the work giving your time and talent should feel like a blessing. Second, Find organizations that make an impact in spaces near and dear to your heart. Perhaps it is the neighborhood you grew up in, you’re currently live in, or you work in. Also, make sure the organization has been fiscally responsible in the past. Many organizations financial records are public.

7 Other Ways to Participate in Black Philanthropy Month

Attend a philanthropy or community-related event
Write an op-ed piece inspired by the community
Join or start a giving circle
Host a local civic engagement forum, e.g., panel discussion, community conversation, etc.
Engage in a community service project
Spread the word about Black Philanthropy Month
Donate to a cause of interest

I had a chance to sit down with Kimberly Hunter (Program Manager) from Mountain Biz Works to discuss Black Philanthropy Month. Check it out on Facebook.


Did you know about Black Philanthropy Month? How will you celebrate?