Building a Community of Black Giving
15 February 2023
Patricia Hamzahee is an advisor, impact investor and philanthropist. After almost 20 years in banking and finance, Patricia now helps social enterprises attract private capital through her company Integriti Capital and advocates to increase funding for diverse founders of startups and small businesses through Extend Ventures. She co-founded Black Funding Network, a community of individuals and institutions who support small Black-led non-profit community organisations. As co-founder of GiveBLACK UK, she commissioned an important examination of Black Philanthropy in Britain. She is a Director of Social Enterprise UK and a Trustee of Ballet Black, Theatre Royal Stratford East, NFL UK Foundation as well as a member of Women in Social Finance.
Despite systemic exclusion from opportunities to build wealth and attain economic mobility, Black communities have long demonstrated their love of humanity through constant giving in monetary and non-monetary ways. Yet the altruistic nature of Black communities and their commitment to collective benefit is not characterised as philanthropy. Black communities are too often only seen as the recipients of charity rather than those giving.
Although not formally documented, this culture of giving has historical roots in the African continent through indigenous practices such as cooperatives, community collection and burial societies. This is where rotating savings clubs such as Pardner and Susu were born. This community collectivism also manifests itself through generous gifts to churches and mosques as well as remittances to those who remain in original home countries.
We commissioned ‘Valuing the Black Philanthropic Pound: Patterns and Motivations for Black Giving in Britain’ to combine solid evidence gathering with a strong call to action, in order to galvanise Black philanthropy in Britain. This ground-breaking report provides the insight we need to support a campaign of community wealth building by us, for us.
The findings of the GiveBLACK study represent the first ever set of empirical data on the extent or focus of Black philanthropy in Britain. With 4.2% of the population, or some 2.4 million people, identifying as Black in 2021 (and another 3% or 1.7 million identified as mixed race) combined with the spending power of Black consumers estimated at more than £300 billion, there can be little doubt that the value of Black giving could be substantial.
Why should we support identity-based giving?
With racial disparities and social injustice brought sharply into focus with recent searing events, we believe the time has come for Britain’s Black communities to leverage our own resources to achieve social, economic, health, educational, environmental, and cultural equity.
To do this, we must build coalitions of Black donors, Black-led infrastructure organisations with deep community roots, allies among institutional funders and policymakers to form a powerful ecosystem of intentional philanthropy. It is here that we will be able to engage in the necessary, if difficult, conversations that will help us move the narrative on to action as headlines about Black Lives Matter fade.
GiveBLACK promotes a self-sustaining model of giving within Britain’s Black communities. Although public funding will always be needed, dependency on government largesse is neither reliable nor ideal. The same is true of reliance on support from mainstream funders who are not guaranteed to stay the course and to which access remains problematic for many Black-led community organisations.
We ask everyone who believes in this mission to support five key essential actions:
- Convene Black donors at all levels – from high-net-worth individuals to grassroots donors – to be intentional with their giving of time and treasure through private wealth-management sessions, donor workshops, public events, campaigns, and celebrations, including launching a #GiveBLACK day.
- Establish a Black-led giving vehicle – either by backing the expansion of an existing body or by launching a new institution – that can become a trusted and reliable source of philanthropic capital for organisations serving Black communities.
- Create clearing houses that connect effective and innovative organisations seeking to meet the needs of Black communities with donors who have the resources and expertise to engender systemic change.
- Collaborate on an actionable Black agenda with other like-minded organisations working to advance progress on key priorities for Britain’s Black communities, such as community wealth creation, funding Black businesses, championing Black talent, closing the ethnicity pay gap and eliminating educational and health disparities.
- Collect more, regular, and broader data to track Black philanthropy and general giving in support of Black communities, so that we better understand the power and value of Black giving.
To learn more or get involved, you can reach Patricia Hamzahee at: email@example.com and sign up for the GiveBLACK UK newsletter here: www.giveblackuk.org.