(BLACK PR WIRE) (February 15, 2009) African Americans have maintained a rich history of giving and philanthropy from as early as the eighteenth century. And we have every right to be proud of our efforts. By donating our time and resources to a variety of philanthropic organizations and causes, we have made a significant difference.
Although giving has been a part of living since the eighteenth century, recent years have seen a variety of new opportunities for African American giving, according to www.philanthropy.org. These include mainstream community foundations that reach out to black donors, federations of African American charities, and corporations that promote volunteerism and agree to fund projects in our communities.
In fact, corporations are facilitating African American philanthropy by establishing relationships with mainstream and alternative foundations for payroll-deduction programs. The AT&T Foundation, for example, was created in 1984 to help extend the reach of its employees’ community involvement efforts by matching employee contributions to educational and cultural organizations and by providing grants to recognize employee volunteer efforts. In 1998 and 1999, AT&T’s total contributions amounted to over $123 million in cash and product donations, of which $82 million came directly from the AT&T Foundation.
It is because of outstanding corporations such as AT&T, as well as a number of prominent African American entertainers and athletes like Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Camille Cosby, and Michael Jordan, who have encouraged others to give as well. Tiger Woods went as far as to establish a foundation, while NBA athlete Alonzo Mourning sponsors annual charity events to raise funds for non-profit organizations in the South Florida community.
From corporations to entertainers to affluent African Americans around the nation, people really have a keen desire to give back and help those in need. It is ingrained in us that giving should always be a part of living. As a result, we can expect African American philanthropy to continue to make a difference today and forever more.