Regional Resource-Pooling Initiatives

The article, Financing Black Progress, Part 2: A Self-Reliance “Marshall Plan”: Creating a National Resource-Pooling Fund, focuses on an ambitious nationwide resource-pooling effort based on the rationale that a national fund would have the necessary muscle and scope to efficiently galvanize the black community, mobilize resources on a massive scale, and thereby have greater transformational impact than small organizations.

However, to be effective, a national fund would, of course, need to establish operations on a regional basis around the country, and resource-pooling efforts could be concentrated in specific urban areas. An example of such a regional initiative is the Chicago Community Trust’s African American Legacy (AAL), whose grant making focus is “strengthening and supporting African American families.” According to its website:

“[AAL] is a philanthropic and educational initiative led by African Americans to improve the quality of life in the African American community in the metropolitan Chicago area. AAL involves African Americans in philanthropy, collectively and individually, and provides support to nonprofit organizations working day by day to solve community problems. With a permanent endowment as its foundation, AAL uses the power of collective giving and the philosophy of community engagement to make a significant impact on organizations focused on community based services. AAL has granted nearly $800,000 to more than 50 organizations with innovative ideas for impact.” [emphasis added]

Also, on a smaller scale, giving circles “with a focus on the black community, or that are composed mostly of African-American members, are on the rise,”  according to Ebony magazine (August 2011). The article cites two examples of such efforts in urban areas: the Black Benefactors (Washington, DC region) and the Next Generation of African-American Philanthropists (Charlotte, NC area).

See also: African American Women’s Giving Circle (Washington, DC region); Community Investment Network (national network of giving circles).

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