Heavyweight in Philanthropy Weighs In

Charles and I, along with members of New Generation of African American Philanthropists, have invited a cross-section of thought leaders to preview Giving Back and provide advance commentary on the book.

Giving Back straddles the intersection of arts, cultural heritage and philanthropy, so it has garnered praise from a mix of scholars, authors, photographers, foundation presidents, nonprofit executives, fundraisers, social innovators and clergy from various faith communities. Each commentator has leant a fresh perspective based on his or her field of work and expertise. Their generous praise for the book continues to gratify and encourage us, as shared here, herehere and here.

Here’s the most recent submission, from Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Council on Foundations, who after this month heads off in pursuit of the next stop on his journey of life.  

“Beautiful. Powerful. Poignant. Giving Back is more than a book: It is a gift to each of us given the opportunity to walk this journey through each page, each voice, each story and each photograph. Philanthropy is practiced in many different ways around the world. Giving Back teaches us that philanthropy is practiced in many different ways right here at home—in our history, our present and our future.”

— Steve Gunderson, former president and CEO, Council on Foundations

Steve Gunderson, Council on Foundations and Emmett Carson, Ph.D., Silicon Valley Community Foundation (Photo credit: Charles W. Thomas, Jr.)

Yes, We Give Back

Appreciative to the fabulously thoughtful and generous Tracey Webb, creator of BlackGivesBack.com, for today’s feature story about Giving Back.

Cup Overflowing

Generous advance praise continues to pour in for our forthcoming book Giving Back. Duke Energy Foundation President Stick Williams recently provided the following commentary:

“You just never know what will generate the spark that transforms a life, a community or a people. It might be that kind, encouraging word; or maybe ‘a couple of bucks to help you get by;’ how about the time that you spent with me sharing the secrets to your success; or, the scholarship that you gave privately so I could attend summer camp. You just never know what little thing (or great thing) will provide that inspiration for another to soar to higher heights.

Charles W. Thomas, Jr., photographer

“That message is loud and clear within Giving Back. It leaps out at you when you read the individual profiles that are provided by sons, daughters, mentees and admirers.  It is prevalent in the responses to the book’s probing questions. “Giving Back will be a great read for anyone who has an interest in making a difference!”

Richard “Stick” Williams, president, Duke Energy Foundation

Giving Props

Charles W. Thomas, photographer

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

— William A. Ward

An expressed thanks and acknowledgment of the sponsoring partners of the Giving Back Project. With their generous financial support—and that of 80 individual donors—New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP-Charlotte) is reframing portraits of philanthropy.

GivingVision Partners

Philanthropic organizations sponsoring the start-up of the Giving Back Project are:

Foundation For The Carolinas

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

Charlotte Post Foundation


Community Investment Network

BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation

GivingMomentum Partner

The Duke Endowment

GivingJoy Partner

Piedmont Natural Gas

Thank you!