A Growing Tradition? Examining the African American Family Foundation
Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation,
African American family foundations have grown in number and in popularity, at least in part due to the fact that African Americans expressly prefer giving to organizations that are close to them and that aid their community. Little is known about these organizations. What are the overarching goals of these foundations, and in what areas are their donations concentrated? From what types of professional backgrounds do the founders of African American family foundations hail? In which areas of the country are African American family foundations located? What is the range of assets possessed by African American family foundations and how are these assets managed? How do African American family foundations use board members, employees, and volunteers to support their organizations? A new report by historian Marybeth Gasman, A Growing Tradition? Examining the African American Family Foundation, aims to fill in the gap in research and knowledge about these foundations by answering these questions.
In the report, Gasman writes: "Increasing the nation's understanding of African-American giving will help the majority culture to see blacks as full participants in American society. Perhaps through their family foundations, African Americans will become more visible agents of change and will no longer be viewed, by some, as merely passive recipients of the generosity of others."