Black Giving Collective Fund established
Yesterday, Akron Community Foundation's board and staff announced the establishment of the Black Giving Collective Fund, the newest affiliate fund at the community foundation.
Board member Tracy Carter announced the creation of the endowment fund, which will benefit the Black community in Akron forever through its grantmaking, at an event held at Alpha Phi Alpha Homes on Monday, August 28, chosen for its significance as the 60th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech. Dr. King was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. More than 100 community members were in attendance for the announcement.
"For those of you who may not be aware, August is national Black Philanthropy Month, which felt like a fitting time for us to unveil the Black Giving Collective initiative — a movement that will celebrate Black philanthropists and launch a dedicated fund to forever benefit nonprofits that are focused on helping the Black community thrive," explained Carter.
She also announced that the foundation has committed an initial $50,000 gift to the fund, along with a $50,000 matching gift if the community can raise the same by March 31, 2024.
The fund was established following eight months of listening sessions with nearly 150 Black community members, during which foundation board and staff learned about attendees' views on philanthropy and giving back, as well the causes and issues they care about most. Board member Theresa Carter revealed the findings from the listening sessions, including the top community issues that could be potential priorities for the fund's future grantmaking, such as education, housing, infant mortality and crime.
"As a community foundation, we recognize that we need to be representative of the community we serve. Admittedly, and in more recent years, we have been intentional in becoming a more equitable and accessible organization," said John T. Petures Jr., president and CEO of Akron Community Foundation. "We're thankful to our board members for convening the Black community over this past year to help us listen and learn and become more enlightened about how we can better promote and advance the interests of and service to members of our local Black community."
At the event, foundation board member Dr. Rachel Talton also announced plans to bring the national touring exhibit The Soul of Philanthropy to Akron in fall 2025. The exhibit celebrates the history and legacy of giving within the Black community and has traveled to other locations around the country including Cleveland, Chicago and, most recently, Detroit.
For more information or to donate to the Black Giving Collective Fund, visit www.blackgivingcollective.org.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 68 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $277 million with a growing family of more than 830 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded more than $223 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit akroncf.org.