They Say Black People Don’t Give [PART ONE]
Vic Mullins – MORTAR Development Manager
Being a black development professional is already an uphill battle. Most of my professional peers are well-to-do white women who have gravitated to fundraising as a hobby. One of the challenges that I’ve discovered is that oftentimes, finding black donors can be a feat within itself.
There has been a longstanding myth that when Black people give, it is typically only to their churches or religious institutions. What I’ve noticed though, is that usually, people don’t give because they don’t even know that these opportunities exist. Often, when planning giving campaigns and events, potential black donors are not pursued in the way that even low-income white donors are. This remains true even though one of the favorite phrases in development is “people don’t give because we don’t ask.”
This concept is then coupled with deficit-centered thinking to perpetuate the idea that not only do black people not give, but we also don’t have it to give, furthering the lack of engagement with Black potential donors.
But, I believe that Black people do give. And I intend to prove it.
My goal in my first few years as Development Manager at MORTAR Cincinnati will be to drastically deepen our connection with the African-American community in our city and abroad. I understand that this is a marathon and it starts with developing educated, informed and empowered black donors. In the coming months, MORTAR Cincinnati – in partnership with other local organizations – will begin to host sessions for black and minority donors to learn more about philanthropy and how we can ALL be generous donors. Our first step in building community with Black donors was by participating in #GivingBlackDay on August 28, 2019. #GivingBlackDay is the first and only national day of giving that specifically benefits black-owned and black-serving organizations. If you would like to show your support for MORTAR Cincinnati you can make a donation here!
Giving Black Cincinnati, 2018, Greater Cincinnati Foundation https://www.gcfdn.org/Portals/0/2018%20Giving%20Black%20CINCINNATI%20Final%20Report.pdf