News & Event
In December, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) hosted the release of Giving Black: Cincinnati, A Legacy of Black Resistance and Stewardship. The often-overlooked history of black philanthropy is an integral thread in the fabric of American generosity. African Americans created and established their own social services, educational programs and charitable organizations when they were excluded from mainstream participation.
The study, a GCF collaboration with New England Blacks in Philanthropy (NEBiP) co-funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, explores both that rich history of black philanthropic giving in Greater Cincinnati, along with the giving perspectives and priorities of African American Cincinnatians today.
Those viewpoints came from a survey completed by more than 300 Greater Cincinnatians in 2018, along with interviews and focus groups convened to gather quantitative and qualitative data. They provide a powerful testament to the current vitality of black philanthropy and offer insightful outlooks that are essential to transforming our communities.
Survey respondents live in mostly middle-class and upper-middle-class neighborhoods, from Clifton to Sharonville, Paddock Hills to Hyde Park. They range in age from Millennials (16 percent), Generation Xers and Baby Boomers (38 percent each) to the pre-Boomer generation (eight percent). The majority are employed full-time (60 percent) or self-employed (14 percent), female (62 percent) and married (57 percent). They’re highly educated, with 91 percent having attained a bachelor’s degree or higher. They report incomes ranging from less than $80,000 (31 percent), $80,000 to $160,000 (30 percent), $160,000 to $250,000 (22 percent) and over $250,000 (17 percent).
When asked what social policy issues mattered most to them, black donors across all age, gender, education, income and zip code groupings ranked economic equity as the most important, although donors earning less than $80,000 ranked it slightly lower. A mere 11 percent believe that Cincinnati — which is 44 percent black — is a place of economic opportunity for blacks to thrive.
Higher-income respondents (income of $120,000 or more) ranked economic and segregation/race issues as critically important to African Americans in Cincinnati. For those with household incomes below $80,000, education and employment were viewed as key issues. The study found that “black donors have the most confidence in nonprofit and affinity organizations that develop programs that solve or remediate local, regional and national problems that grossly impact people of African descent.”
Giving Black: Cincinnati lends significant weight to redefining the narrative of black philanthropy, celebrating its assets and power through resistance, resilience and renewal.
“This shines a light on the new landscape for giving,” affirmed Bithiah Carter, NEBiP President, in remarks at the Giving Black: Cincinnati presentation. “This report of resistance and stewardship is a legacy to us; it is the insight we need to fuel social equality.”
It’s also imperative to our collective future. “Ultimately, the goal is to help everyone grow,” said Carter. “Our communities are interdependent and socially responsible to one another. We need to use this to democratize philanthropy. We’re fighting for the sake of the entire community.
“Black philanthropy matters. It is a form of black leadership.”
Read more about the Giving Black: Cincinnati study here. For further information, please contact Robert Killins, Jr., GCF Director of Special Initiatives, at email@example.com.
A Legacy of Resistance, Resilience and Stewardship
Giving Black: Cincinnati
Research Release Event
Thursday, December 6, 2018
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Keynote address by Dr. Alandra Washington,
Vice President of Quality and Organizational Effectiveness for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Opportunities for connection and engagement will follow the presentation.
“Philanthropies that have come to recognize the roles of race and ethnicity are using research to become better informed about their role in social and economic disparities. These organizations are actively building into their lexicons and strategies an emphasis on historical inequality, racial equity and racial justice in their grantmaking, programs and services.” — Giving Black: Cincinnati report, December 2018
Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s (GCF) Giving Black: Cincinnati report, released in December in collaboration with New England Blacks in Philanthropy (NEBiP), provides a wealth of information into the largely unrecognized legacy of black philanthropy and current giving priorities of Cincinnati’s African American residents. It’s a data-rich document that resonates with insights that can amplify the significant gifts they bring to the funding table.
“Black philanthropy matters — it is a form of black leadership,” Bithiah Carter, NEBiP President, told attendees at the Giving Black: Cincinnati report release event. “Our children need to see us as philanthropists and leaders, and this report is proof that we are.” Giving Black: Cincinnati also celebrates the deep legacy of black stewardship in Cincinnati that dates back to the early 19th century. It’s a force that has driven civil rights, social justice and equity issues — often without noticeable recognition. That lack of acknowledgement, which Giving Black: Cincinnati seeks to dispel, persists today.
It prevails even among the 300 black respondents to the Giving Black surveys, interviews and focus groups. Across the board, they reported finding it difficult to see their charitable efforts as “philanthropy.” They also noted that they often weren’t included in the “ask” for mainstream philanthropic efforts.
While the respondents varied greatly in age, education and salary — from baby boomers to millennials, male and female, married and single, less than a high school education to PhDs, from under $80,000 in household income to more than $250,000 — their feedback identified philanthropy as the realm of wealthy white people. That’s despite the fact that, according to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, African American families give larger shares of their income, volunteer their time and donate other non-financial resources to charity more than any other racial or ethnic group.
The study found that a majority of black donors base their philanthropic decisions upon the value of “giving back to support the community.” That translates into an emphasis on Cornerstone and Kinship donor practices, defined as “general betterment of society” and “empowering the black community or a subset of the black community,” respectively.
Cornerstone donors are more likely to direct their giving to organizations that address needs of the black community such as education, the economy and social justice. Those themes resonate in Kinship giving practices as well; the perspective of Kinship donors is frequently driven by the belief that their personal outcomes are bound up with the broader fate of the black community.
Across gender and all income levels, black donors reported giving most heavily to churches/religious institutions (34 percent) and to family/friends in need (24 percent). That religious-based philanthropy comprises the third major donor practice, Sanctified giving, or “living out my faith.” Several Sanctified donors cited their giving to churches as result of first learning about the concept of giving from those institutions — a tendency retained regardless of their current church attendance.
Overall discretionary giving categories, after church/religious institution and family/friends in need, included educational institutions (11 percent), direct services agencies (11 percent), arts and culture organizations (7 percent), electoral campaigns (4 percent) and advocacy/policy research (3 percent).
According to the report, “black donors have the most confidence in nonprofit and affinity organizations that solve or remediate local, regional and national problems that grossly impact people of African descent.” Overall, they reported donating within the past 12 months to two civil rights organizations that have historically been cornerstones of the black community: the NAACP (29 percent) and the Urban League (30 percent).
In addition to financial support, 91 percent of the survey respondents reported giving of their time and talents to volunteer opportunities in the community, citing “making a difference” as their main motivation.
Check out the entire Giving Black: Cincinnati report here. For further information, please contact Robert Killins, Jr., GCF Director of Special Initiatives, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cincinnati Black Giving Circle Grant Recipients (above)
Cincinnati Black Giving Circle members (above)
Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), in partnership with its first Cincinnati Black Giving Circle, has awarded $100,000 in grants to four nonprofit organizations working to address racial inequities faced by emancipated youth, young children and single mothers in our region.
These four nonprofits will each receive $25,000:
The inaugural Cincinnati Black Giving Circle was formed as a result of GCF’s Giving Black: Cincinnati report, which explored both the rich legacy of black philanthropy in our region and the giving priorities and perspectives of black donors today. It provides hands-on impact, encouraging and leveraging organized giving by black donors to nonprofits serving critical needs faced by black residents in our communities.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the success of this first Cincinnati Black Giving Circle,” said GCF President/CEO Ellen M. Katz. “The passion and commitment of the members to drive the transformative impact of their generosity is truly inspiring.”
The Cincinnati Black Giving Circle’s steering committee met to collectively determine the focus of the grants and to seek proposal requests, which were then evaluated and voted on by the Giving Circle’s members.
This Giving Circle was one of five GCF Giving Circles convened in the past year, generating a total of $352,000 to benefit 29 nonprofit organizations in our community. GCF will partner in the formation of another Cincinnati Black Giving Circle this year.
Ziegler is known today as a professional and civic leader, but he began work as a farmhand, golf caddy and delivery boy before graduating from Covington Latin School. While studying at Thomas More College and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, he waited tables along Dixie Highway and was a third-shift dock worker at Wiedeman Brewery and a law clerk. Now at a law firm that bears his name, and having just this month celebrated 60 years of law practice, Ziegler serves on the board of trustees of Thomas More College and is on the UC College of Law board of visitors.
As someone who has seen first-hand the importance of education, Ziegler seeks to support students who exhibit a strong work ethic but need financial assistance.
The depth of his and his late wife Helen’s generosity and investment is reflected by the Wilbert L. and Helen R. Ziegler Charitable Fund, an endowment that will be established at GCF through an estate plan to provide everlasting support to student scholarships at local schools, as well as area organizations serving the disabled.
CINCINNATI (January 31, 2018)—The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has provided $25,000 in funding to support The Cincinnati Project, a community-engaged research initiative at the University of Cincinnati (UC). The funding will go to support projects that offer clear and direct benefit to women of color in Cincinnati.
“As GCF goes deeper on the complex issues of equity, we are intentionally investing in projects that support women of color in our community,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “By partnering with The Cincinnati Project, we can support the many innovative projects they are tackling, and we are inspired by what they are doing.”
The Cincinnati Project was launched in 2013 by faculty researchers in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences. More than 12 University of Cincinnati faculty and students from their classes will be involved in these upcoming projects.
Funding will support:
“We are thrilled to partner with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation,” said Dr. Jennifer Malat, UC College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean of Social Sciences and co-founder of The Cincinnati Project. “With their support, and the continued support and collaboration of our other community partners, The Cincinnati Project will raise the voices of women of color and collaborate to recommend policies that will improve lives.”
“The support from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is an important validation of the work that The Cincinnati Project has been doing for the last several years” said Dr. Ken Petren, Dean of the UC College of Arts and Sciences, “I’m confident that this partnership will not only help improve the lives of women in color in Cincinnati, but also provide hope and assistance to our other partners and organizations who are working for equity in Cincinnati.”
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.