The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle launches this week - Generocity Philly

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Feb. 21, 2018 12:45 pm

The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle launches this week

The philanthropic group will distribute pooled funds to Black-led, Black-serving nonprofits in the region.

Philadelphia Black Giving Circle.

(Photo via twitter.com/PhillyBPN)

In time for Black History Month, a group of local civic and philanthropy professionals are making history in Philadelphia.

This week marks the kickoff of the Philadelphia Black Giving Circle (PBGC), a collective giving group that will distribute pooled funds to Black-led, Black-serving nonprofits in the Philly area.

PBGC is hosted by the POISE Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based community foundation.

“Historically, the Black community has always valued the giving of money, goods, and time to support worthy causes, though the term ‘philanthropy’ was not necessarily used to describe these efforts,” said Sidney Hargro, ED of Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, in a release. “The Philadelphia Black Giving Circle will be a formal catalyst that builds on this rich tradition to create and scale social change in our region.”

Founding committee members include:

  • Allison Acevedo, education consultant
  • Kevin Dow, former SVP of impact and innovation at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ)
  • Jocelyn Arnold, deputy director of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Grants
  • Gina Degraphenreid, data analyst at UWGPSNJ
  • Theresa Jackson, director of learning and knowledge management at Philanthropy Network
  • Tunisia Meek, education coordinator at UWGPSNJ
  • Rashanda Perryman-Stiff, program officer at VanguardCommunity Stewardship division
  • Dwayne Wharton, director of external affairs at The Food Trust
  • Kelly Woodland, executive director of After School All Stars of Greater Philadelphia and Camden

The giving circle’s founding was inspired in part by a 2016 report by Philadelphia African-American Leadership Forum that reported Black-led nonprofits tend to be smaller, have less access to grantmakers and have fewer cash reserves.

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In its first year, PBGC hopes to reach 100 member-donors, raise a collective $20,000 and fund four nonprofits. Voting membership costs $250, though non-voting members may join for as little as $25.

Apps for funding will open this spring, and the first grants will be distributed this year. The giving circle has already raised over $10,000 from corporate, nonprofit and individual donors.

PBGC joins the ranks of local giving circles such as women-led Impact100 Philadelphia, 100Women and Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia Giving Circle and education-focused Philadelphia Public School Giving Circle, among others. It also reminds of Bread & Roses Community Fund’s Giving Projects, a collective giving program that funds racial and economic justice.

A kickoff event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Independence Live, 1919 Market St. RSVP here to attend and learn more about how to get involved with the giving circle.

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