New England’s emerging Black middle-class community increased household income by 40 percent in the last decade – and local nonprofits are trying to steer the new wealth into philanthropy.
Local fund raisers are encouraging Blacks with more discretionary income to go beyond traditional giving — to churches or civic organizations – and explore effective giving strategies like trusts, foundations and estate planning.
The first New England Conference on Black Philanthropy in June will encourage Black professionals to become more involved in philanthropy as donors, grant makers, board members and fund raisers.
The conference, titled “Building on the Legacy of Black Giving,” stems from a national movement to encourage Black philanthropy. Similar conferences in Philadelphia in 1997 and Oakland in 1999 highlighted the benefits of investing in Black communities.
Black philanthropy in the United States dates back to 1787, with the first recorded African-American mutual aid organization called the Free African Society. The group aimed to improve social and economic conditions for Blacks.