Leap day—which also marks the final day of Black History Month 2016—seems an ideal date for bringing a spotlight to the 10th anniversary year of New Generation of African American Philanthropists. Poet and social critic Henry David Thoreau wrote, “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” That quote sums up our circle’s auspicious start, our decade of conscious giving, and our tenacious push to reframe philanthropy.
Founded in 2006, New Generation of African American Philanthropists is a giving circle with members who share values around philanthropy and pool charitable dollars to give back to the community. Our members walk consciously together toward common goals, and when compelled we leap boldly. In 10 years, we have leveraged over a million dollars in fulfilling our mission.
Mission: Promoting philanthropy—the giving of time, talent and treasure—among African Americans in the Charlotte region, with the goal of enhancing thequality of life within our communities.
Vision: Healthy, safe and prosperous community for African American families to live, work and flourish.
A decade ago on June 8, a committee of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg African American Community Foundation hosted a gathering at The Wadsworth Estate. That evening a room of 60 people forged bonds, generated ideas, stirred momentum and embarked on what would become the founding of New Generation of African American Philanthropists.
Through collective giving, grantmaking, collaboration and civic engagement, we explore new as well as time-honored ways of giving and embrace a definition of philanthropy that encompasses gifts of not only money, but also time, talent and truth of our testimonies.
Our flagship initiative is the Giving Back Project, which emerged from our development and publishing of the book Giving Back. Creative approaches, artful photography, storytelling, digital tools and social media characterize the Giving Back Project, which has evolved into a vehicle for presenting new narratives about who gives, who can make a difference and who matters. Changing the world requires us to reframe portraits of philanthropy and to learn from new lines of sight on social justice issues.
Today, The Soul of Philanthropy is the newest dimension of the Giving Back Project and is touring college campuses and museums across the country. Further, our circle has strengthened connections with the African American Community Foundation through our members’ leadership, community connections, strategic thinking and hands-on involvement and service. Our evolution and accomplishments over the past 10 years are chronicled, in writing and photos, at New-Philanthropists.org.
In observance of our decennial, an array of community-centered events, forums, grant awards, partnerships and celebrations are planned throughout 2016. Stay tuned via our website, Facebook page and hashtag #NGAAPChar10tte.
READ MORE for a recap of what we’ve already taken on this year, and so much more is on the horizon. We are TENacious!