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Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors on communities of color

September 8, 2012

Melissa A. Berman, President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, recently did an interview with Philanthropy UK.  RPA did an inventory of giving vehicles led by communities of color – things like Native American tribal funds, Asian-American giving vehicles, and diaspora remittances.  I thought this was the most interesting assertion:

It is an ongoing (and valid) criticism of American philanthropy that communities of colour have historically been underrepresented in mainstream philanthropy, both as staff and board members of foundations and as grant recipients.  And, there remains a pervasive assumption that communities of colour can only be recipients or beneficiaries of philanthropy, seldom the ones making funding decisions or controlling their own resources.

But recent research proves this assumption completely false: Nearly two-thirds of Black households make charitable donations, worth about $11bn (U.S.) a year.  In fact, African American donors give away nearly 25% more of their incomes than White donors.  Sixty-three percent of Latino households make charitable donations.

We at SAPP would love a citation to the “recent research” – it is our hunch that this is true as well, that South Asians DO give, but perhaps in different forms than established philanthropy might recognize.

It’s a great piece, I encourage you to read the whole thing for a lot of great insights on the history of diversity in American philanthropy!

 

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