Resource Pooling Initiatives

Two articles on this website – Financing Black Progress, Part 1: A Publicly Financed “Marshall Plan” Is Unrealistic, So What’s the Alternative? A “Self-Reliance Marshall Plan”? and Financing Black Progress, Part 2: A Self-Reliance “Marshall Plan”: Creating a National Resource-Pooling Fund – discuss the need for, and feasibility of, an ambitious, large-scale national resource-pooling initiative – a National Venture & Excellence Fund (or “EXCEL Fund”) – to address critical issues in distressed communities (education, job training, entrepreneurship, job creation, etc.).

Below are a few initiatives that utilize the resource-pooling concept in different ways.
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See also: Capital, Entrepreneurship, and Black Progress: Harnessing Black Financial Power Through a National Venture Capital Fund
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Also visit our blog on this website: Pooling Our Resources – Blog 
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Giving Circles

A giving circle is a philanthropic vehicle in which individual donors pool their money and other resources and decide together where to give them away. Giving circles include social, educational, and engagement components that seem to connect participants to their communities while increasing their understanding of philanthropy and community issues.” [From: The Impact of Giving Together]

African American Women’s Giving Circle and Rainmakers Giving Circle (Washington Area Women’s Foundation) — Washington, DC region.

The Black Benefactors — Washington, DC region. Featured in Ebony Magazine (Black Wealth Issue), August 2011.

African American Giving Circles. Video by NCGives, from Kim Best of Way Out Giving Circle in Raleigh, NC. [Excerpted from NCGives' documentary, "North Carolina Giving: Philanthropy Across Cultures & Communities" - ncgives.org/documentaries]

Capital Cause – Washington, DC region

Community Investment Network – List of Member Circles

Community Investment Network Website

Givingforum.org

Givingcircles.org

The Impacts of Giving Together: Giving Circles as a Civic Engagement Strategy. Community Investment Network. December 2011

Excerpt: 
For decades, African American communities, churches, and households have pooled their resources in support of one another. Some speak of their giving simply as the actions of caring people. A growing number have formalized their activities, and have begun self-identifying as philanthropists or members of giving circle. Giving circles become a place of empowerment. As a learning group, members demystify philanthropy, and demystify the social, financial and legal systems that govern their lives  … Similarly, CIN introduced a specific type of giving circle – Black males supporting other Black males – that had deep resonance with these connectors. There are a number of charitable giving channels in communities like Milwaukee or Jackson, but rarely had Batteast and Cobb been able to influence where those charitable dollars went. …“What inspired me was that I was one of those young people who needed that assistance [for Jackson’s Black male population],” said Batteast. “Being in the position where I see myself in a lot of these young men, I don’t have a choice. This is my moral obligation.” In a similar vein, Cobb views membership in giving circle as “actually having a stake in what’s going on as a Black man.” Moreover, the giving circles promote a high level of responsibility and agency on the part of their members. “That’s the difference [between giving circles] and giving to the United Way,” Cobb said. “There’s transparency. I own the process.”

The Impact of Giving Together: Giving Circles’ Influence on Members’ Philanthropic and Civic Behaviors, Knowledge and Attitudes. 2009. Angela M. Eikenberry & Jessica Bearman. Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

See also blog posts on this website under:  Pooling Our Resources – Blog 
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Entrepreneurial Mindset Initiative (EMI) -  OIC of America 
From the website:

“Given the proven correlation between self-employment and wealth creation, OICA is launching this focused initiative to encourage more African Americans to think like and become entrepreneurs. …[EMI] will recruit individuals from economically distressed communities. In so doing, we will challenge the notion that people without means cannot thrive in business in our society. While it may be harder for them to achieve success than for those with more, these individuals will demonstrate that they, too, with help, can be business owners, acquire wealth, employ others and contribute to their communities.”

The $100 million EMI will be “perpetually funded” by an endowment to be raised in two parts: (a) the first $10 million will be raised through OIC10, a funding initiative that is soliciting one million, one-time $10 contributions nationwide; and (b) the remaining $90 million is expected to be obtained through ‘challenge grants’ from foundations and interested individuals….

“Consistent with our history, OIC of America will not wait for someone to wave a magic wand and eliminate the economic disparities for African Americans. It has not happened in the past and will not happen in the future…” (emphasis added) – Herman “Art” Taylor, Chairman OIC of America, at launching of EMI.  

See also blog post on this website: OIC of America’s “Entrepreneurial Mindset Initiative”: The Precursor or Prototype for a National “Self-Reliance” Resource-Pooling Fund?
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The Unity Movement 
From the website:

“The Unity Movement … is uniting Black people to help each other. Our mission is to unite, educate and economically empower Black people everywhere. We are currently uniting 2 million Black people that are committed to helping each other succeed. Organizing Black people both socially and economically will create huge opportunities for you and your family to prosper.”

Related:
Blackonomics: Let’s Unify Around the Unity Movement. James Clingman
The Unity Movement – Get on Board! James Clingman (Blackonomics.com)
“…The current environment in this country, and the world, makes it incumbent upon each one of us to do whatever we can to help build a solid future for our children. They will need all the tools available to be able to survive and thrive in this global economy. They need to see us, the adults, acting in concert with one another and doing what we want them to do as they grow older. They need to see us connected and responding unselfishly to the demands of this world especially when it comes to sharing, collaborating, and being willing to help one another.

Ever since the Million Man march in October 1995, I have participated and helped establish several initiatives whose purpose was to empower our people, mainly economically but also educationally, socially, and politically. All but a couple of those initiatives eventually faded away, not because they failed to address many of our problems, but because we simply did not sustain them. Support and sustainability are keys to the survival of any movement, and no matter what we call it, no matter how enthusiastic we are at the beginning, and no matter how much we understand the need for any initiative, it will not last if we do not bring the commitment and dedication to support it and do whatever it takes to sustain it as well….”

Pooling Our Resources. James Clingman. April 14, 2012.
Why does the concept of putting our dollars together for one collective purpose, say, business development, seem so foreign to us? Yes, we do a great of talking about it but seldom see the results of having done so when it comes to purchasing foreclosed homes, vacant lots, and businesses in our neighborhoods. We complain about others coming into our neighborhoods and setting up businesses or buying the property, while we continue to support them through our purchasing power. Doesn’t make sense does it? …
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African American Legacy (AAL) Initiative (Chicago Community Trust)
From the website:

Strengthening the African American Family
The African American Legacy (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.
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Create Jobs for USA  
From the website (“How It Works”):

“Starbucks has teamed up with Opportunity Finance Network® (OFN) to help create and sustain jobs. The Create Jobs for USA program provides capital grants to select Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The CDFIs will provide loans to underserved community businesses, which include small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing. The goal of Create Jobs for USA is to bring people and communities together to create and sustain jobs throughout America.

The Create Jobs for USA program initially was seeded with a $5 million contribution from the Starbucks Foundation. People can support the initiative by making a donation to the Create Jobs for USA fund. Donations are accepted at company-operated U.S. Starbucks stores and online at createjobsforUSA.org. For donations of $5 or more, donors will receive an American-made “Indivisible” wristband. To learn more about this program, please view our video.”

Howard Schultz, founder/CEO of Starbucks, discussed the initiative on the Tom Joyner Morning Show on April 4, 2012. According to a BlackAmericaWeb.com report [Starbucks Fund Aims to Create Jobs. By Jackie Jones]:

“More than $7.5 million has been raised – including $5 million in seed money from the Starbucks Foundation – since the fund was started in October and two other partnerships are expected to add another $4 million, which would support about $80 million in lending that Starbucks has said could create or save nearly 4,000 jobs.

Google Offers will sell $10 Starbucks vouchers for $5 on Wednesday in an effort to raise $3 million by donating $3 from each voucher sold. The Banana Republic will donate $1 million from purchases made during two four-day sales later this year. The first one is scheduled for April 19. Individuals may participate as well.”

CBS News report: Starbucks CEO touts program to create U.S. jobs (includes a video of Schultz discussing  Create Jobs for USA with Gayle King and Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning).
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