Throughout August, NGAAP is spotlighting Black founders and leaders of nonprofits serving Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Our monthlong Bold. Beautiful. Boss. series will feature leaders, their nonprofit organizations, and photographic portraits by Alvin C. Jacobs Jr. The series is part of a media partnership with QCity Metro in recognition of Black Philanthropy Month.
Annual celebrations of Black Philanthropy Month in Charlotte advance The Bold Project™, an NGAAP Initiative with Black Organizations Leading Differently. Through The Bold Project, NGAAP aims to lead Charlotte in closing the funding gap by paving a new path in philanthropy, breaking down barriers and elevating the vision and voices of Black leadership.
Nonprofit organizations with visionary Black leadership are at the forefront of providing crucial support and resources across Charlotte-Mecklenburg. These nonprofits benefit not only Black children, youth, women, men and families — one-third of the county — but also a wide spectrum of communities of color and marginalized people. They are often well-recognized beacons of hope and opportunity, delivering critical services, training, and giving voice to those frequently unseen and unheard.
Even so, Black nonprofits are chronically under-resourced and underfunded.
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These organizations, which address education, housing, health, wellness, the arts, the environment, the economy and other interests and concerns of the community, are defined as follows:
- Black-founded: established by a person or people who identify as Black or African American
- Black-led: 50 percent or more of staff leadership and/or board members identify as Black or African American
- Black-benefitting: 50 percent or more of population served identifies as Black or African American
Fair and equitable funding is imperative to strengthen Charlotte’s ecosystem of over 300 identifiably Black nonprofits that form the backbone of our communities. The wellbeing of these organizations is an indicator of the wider community’s status and future. Studies show that in Charlotte, nonprofits led by and serving Black and/or people of color currently receive only 0.5% to 3.4% of local philanthropic dollars. Yet these populations are 30 to 54 percent of the county.
Charlotte boasts an increasing number of Black leaders — corporate, nonprofit and political. These times, however, require leadership. NGAAP aspires to invest in and cultivate local leadership committed to building economic, social and political power to uplift Black communities, ensuring everyone can flourish. In doing so, we recognize the value of trust, representation, cultural competence, being proximate and responsive to communities served, and leveling the playing field in philanthropy.
We embrace the belief that power, whether through organized people or organized money, is the force that changes systems, and changing systems is the only way to achieve equitable outcomes for all communities.
Our Bold. Beautiful. Boss. series is an expression of love and appreciation to not only the founders and leaders profiled but to all the Black advocates, activists, organizers and visionaries shaping Charlotte for the better. We see you. We hear you. We value you. We want you to win for the benefit of all of us.
Currently in its 16th year, NGAAP is Charlotte’s philanthropic collective inspiring action through the power of Black philanthropy. Since 2006, NGAAP has invested more than $1.4 million to strengthen the community, engaged thousands of people to promote philanthropic leadership and funding equity, and earned a global reputation as innovators in “reframing portraits of philanthropy.”
Our membership is a tight yet ever-expanding and evolving family of people who learn together, make grants together and lead change together. Standing on the shoulders of elders and ancestors, our members range in age from 27 to 72 and represent a new generation of Black givers, doers, culture-bearers and change-makers.
This year marks the 11th year NGAAP has led local observances of Black Philanthropy Month, which we call #BPM2022CLT. This year’s monthlong campaign is presented in partnership with SHARE Charlotte, Qcitymetro.com, AFP Charlotte, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.