The Cincinnati Black Giving Circle is a coalition of donors with shared cultural roots and hunger to disrupt philanthropy’s barriers to social change. To direct their philanthropic giving more purposefully, these individuals pool their dollars to provide strategic grants to Black-led and Black-serving non-profits routinely neglected by traditional philanthropy.
The Cincinnati Black Giving Circle gives African American donors the chance to use their leadership qualities, financial assets and social capital to clear away barriers to engagement and philanthropy that marginalize grassroots organizations. Additionally, the insights and cultural competencies of the donors foster mutual trust, uncover barriers to success and create a safe space for candor not often experienced in philanthropy.
What is more, Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits receiving funds and resources from Black donors enables organizations to expand their connections or diversify their donor base. Contributions from Black giving circles also help dispel false narratives about who gives and influences systematic segregation, disparities and equality in their communities.
Through lived experiences, cultural connections and proximity to the local African American community, the Cincinnati Black Giving Circle is accelerating Black-led social change and intensifying the collective influence of its donors.
For more information about the Cincinnati Black Giving Circle and grant award opportunities, contact Robert Killins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Cincinnati Black Giving Circle Awards
The 2021 Cincinnati Black Giving Circle Fund, housed at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, granted $115,000 to six Black-led and Black-serving non-profits.
Found Village, a welcoming place that connects teens who have faced traumas to audacious and intentional resources, received a $25,000 grant to support staff who coordinates volunteers as well as coach and mentor youth.
Rosemary’s Babies, a safe space that provides educational and financial support for pre-teen and teen parents and their families, received a $20,000 grant to support staff salaries and operational overhead.
The D.A.D. Initiative, which readies children of color for a successful future by teaching essential skills not traditionally offered in schools, received a $20,000 grant to support staff contracts.
Cincinnati Preschool Promise, which works to ensure equitable access to high-quality preschools and better prepared for future schooling, received a $20,000 grant to provide business services to in-home childcare providers mostly owned by Black women and men.
Ohio Justice Policy Center (OJPC), a nonprofit law firm that relentlessly advocates for fair and equal justice by offering free legal services, received a $15,000 grant to provide legal services for single mothers pursuing their secondary education.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), which advocates and enforces housing regulations, received a $15,000 grant to provide families with legal support to maintain stable and healthy housing amidst heightened economic instability.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) connects people with a purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone — now, and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.gcfdn.org
History of Black Giving Circles
Acts of kindness have been deeply ingrained in the Black culture from when we arrived on American soil, revealed through the bond of shared humanity. After Emancipation, Black Americans formed giving circles of friends and colleagues by pooling their charitable resources to fund social sustainability and resistance. Beneficiaries were pillars in the Black community – newspapers, churches, hospitals, banks, schools and colleges.
Rarely acknowledged as philanthropy, centuries-old cultural customs and beliefs nevertheless continue to have an impact on lives and communities. Giving circles, small and large, grouped by professional, political, fraternal and civic affiliations remain a significant source of funding for Black institutions to enrich the quality of life specifically in Black communities.
Societal realities of today require Black giving is also expanding from donations to beloved Black institutions to establishing a collective fund with the intent of leading social change for people of African descent. Where racism is mounting and economic rifts are widening, participation in giving circles is attracting growing numbers of Black Americans across the United States.
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