Giving Compass' Take:

• Michael Gordon Voss interviews Tyrone Freeman at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and Stasia Washington at First Foundation Advisors, about the landscape of African-American philanthropy. 

• The podcast guests discuss how African Americans have always built a culture of generosity and are not new and emerging. The speakers note that engaging or collaborating with these donors will require commitments to diversity and inclusion and broadening your understanding of what philanthropy looks like. 

• Read more about philanthropy in Black communities. 

If nonprofits and financial advisors are serious about working with African American communities, they must commit to diversity and inclusion across their organizations, and dedicate the time, resources, and attention to identify, solicit, and steward Black donors on their own terms. SSIR publisher Michael Voss discusses these topics and others with Tyrone Freeman, assistant professor of philanthropic studies and director of undergraduate programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, and Stasia Washington, managing director at First Foundation Advisors. The full transcript of the episode can be read below.

MICHAEL GORDON VOSS: Welcome to Season 2 of Giving With Impact, an original podcast series from Stanford Social Innovation Review, developed with the support of Schwab Charitable. I’m your host, Michael Gordon Voss, publisher of SSIR. In this series, we hope to create a collaborative space for leading voices from across the philanthropic ecosystem to engage in both aspirational and practical conversations around relevant topics at the heart of achieving more effective philanthropy.

As one of our guests today has written in SSIR, it’s become customary to refer to African Americans as a new and emerging demographic in charitable giving. The phrase appears regularly at conferences and in media coverage about philanthropy. It intimates, however, that a large segment of the American population has suddenly started to give, as if they’ve never given before. The truth is that African Americans have participated in charitable giving in this country for hundreds of years, and that over the past decade, African American families have, perhaps more so than any other racial group, contributed the largest portion of their wealth to charity. The only new and emerging phenomenon is the recent interest of mainstream nonprofit organization in donors of color.

But if nonprofits are serious about cultivating diverse communities, they must commit across their organizations to diversity and inclusion, as well as dedicate time, resources, and attention to identify, solicit, and steward Black donors on their own terms. It’s essential to relate to these donors as individuals within the broader historical and cultural context that have and continue to shape their giving.

Read the full article about African-American philanthropy at Stanford Social Innovation Review.