NGAAP Philanthropic Collective gives back, gives Black in Charlotte

It may surprise you to learn that members of NGAAP Charlotte have played a vital role in the evolution and expansion of Black philanthropy worldwide.

Valaida Fullwood is a founding member of New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP).


This August marked the 10th anniversary of Black Philanthropy Month (BPM). But what you may not know is how NGAAP, along with the Charlotte community, has played a part in its evolution and expansion as a movement and global phenomenon over the past decade.

Charlotte leads the world in its community-wide BPM activities, events, media stories, fundraising and social media engagement every August. This year’s #BPM2021CLT campaign is currently underway locally and will culminate with CLT Gives Black, a day of concerted financial giving to Black-founded, Black-led nonprofit organizations on August 28.

NGAAP members find their role in shaping and boosting annual BPM observances a significant point of pride. Our philanthropic collective ultimately aspires to see Charlotte’s high levels of engagement translate into greater investments in identifiably Black nonprofits. Funding from Charlotte’s foundations, corporations, governmental bodies and individual donors has been skewed due to racial bias for too long, and we want Charlotte to lead in funding equity, too.

The Bold Project – an NGAAP initiative with Black organizations leading differently – aims to pave a new path in philanthropy, to break down barriers to achieving equity, and to elevate Black leadership in driving positive change. #BPM2021CLT, a part of The Bold Project, is an annual collaboration with local organizations: My Brother’s Keeper, National PanHellenic Council, SHARE and YMCA.

In observance of #BPM2021CLT, below is a 10-year retrospective with examples of NGAAP’s imprint and Charlotte’s influence.

AUGUST 2011

NGAAP Founding Member Valaida Fullwood participated in a pan-African women’s philanthropy summit in Minneapolis to promote the fall 2011 release of Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, published by NGAAP. It was at the summit that BPM Founder Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland first proclaimed every August Black Philanthropy Month. 

TODAY: Both BPM and Giving Back are marking 10th anniversaries in 2021.

AUGUST 2012

Leveraging its platforms and networks, NGAAP amplified Copeland’s 2nd annual BPM op-ed in The Huffington Post, at a time when few groups recognized or covered the month. In observance of BPM, NGAAP released its now classic film short [ philanthropy reframed ].

TODAY: Hundreds of stories about Black philanthropists and African American traditions of giving as well as stories and images from Giving Back are spotlighted by media outlets every August. 

AUGUST 2013

In early 2013, Fullwood approached Washington, DC-resident Tracey Webb, creator of BlackGivesBack.com and founder of Black Benefactors, about leveraging their respective platforms, giving circles and resources to brand and scale up BPM nationally and globally. That summer Fullwood and Webb joined with Copeland to form the BPM Architecture Team. NGAAP became an early sponsor, producing BPM’s logo, tagline, themes and visual assets with JCSU alum and Charlotte-based graphic designer India Simpson. NGAAP celebrated and promoted BPM 2013 with a coordinated series of media storiescampaigns and philanthropic events.

TODAY: More than 70 foundations, giving circles and businesses have sponsored BPM and 18 million people across 60 countries have observed the month.

AUGUST 2014

On August 5th, NGAAP hosted Silicon Valley Community Foundation (former) President Dr. Emmett Carson. “What’s Community Got To Do With It?”: Forum for Civic Leadership” drew a diverse audience of more than 300 people to Bank of America Auditorium.

Notably, at the event JCSU (Former) President Dr. Ronald Carter announced the IMLS grant award to the University for a collaboration with NGAAP to create The Soul of Philanthropy exhibit. Additionally, (former) City Councilmember and NGAAP member David Howard first read aloud the City of Charlotte’s proclamation making every August Black Philanthropy Month. 

TODAY: Dozens of universities, libraries, museums and institutions have hosted The Soul of Philanthropy—often as a part of BPM observances. More than 35 governmental bodies, including the State of North Carolina, have followed Minneapolis, St Paul, and Charlotte with BPM Proclamations.

AUGUST 2015

NGAAP nearly broke the Internet with its stylized group portrait taken on August 16 on The Green in uptown Charlotte.

TODAY: NGAAP continues to take and release group portraits for BPM as do many Black nonprofits and philanthropic collectives.

AUGUST 2016

NGAAP led a powerful 31-day social media campaign, profiling its members and advancing their beliefs and hopes. 

TODAY: Such monthlong BPM campaigns have become a staple for organizations, everywhere.

AUGUST 2017

As a BPM Co-Architect, Fullwood introduced the BPM Art Poster and Featured Artist, selecting Charlotte artist Marcus Kiser for the inaugural year.

TODAY: The BPM Art Poster is now an annual feature. The 2021 artist Dr. Dimeji Onafuwa is a former Charlotte resident and currently part of the Gantt Center’s Visual Vanguard exhibition. Onafuwa is a longtime NGAAP collaborator, designing its original logo, book, and exhibit.

AUGUST 2018

NGAAP hosted “For The Culture, For The Future,” a social event and community conversation with Black nonprofit leaders and Black foundation program officers at the Gantt Center. 

TODAY: NGAAP is continuing its efforts to demystify philanthropy, strengthen and expand networks, and build power to lead change by bridging relationships between Black nonprofit leaders and area funders and donors.

AUGUST 2019

NGAAP released the film short, “Making History | NGAAP at 13,” which highlights its 13th anniversary. To mark the milestone, NGAAP hosted Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth, for a NC-homecoming event and series of forums in Charlotte.

TODAY: Villanueva’s Decolonizing Wealth Project has joined as a BPM 2021 Sponsor.

AUGUST 2020

NGAAP publicly launched The Bold Project and introduced #BPM2020CLTForbes recognized Fullwood as one of the trio of women leading Black philanthropy with BPM. Charlotte was recognized in leading the world in social media engagement, setting the bar for what communitywide observances can look like and achieve. Thanks to circle member Nik Eley-Carr, Ford Foundation profiled NGAAP as a pioneer in the Black Giving Circle and BPM movement.

TODAY: NGAAP, in its 15th year, is a go-to philanthropic collective, locally, nationally and globally.

AUGUST 2021

NGAAP is again a BPM Sponsor. New sponsorships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, and Barber and Associates were secured, thanks to current and former NGAAP members Tiffany Legington Graham, Charles Thomas and Anna Barber.

Eley-Carr was instrumental in securing Ford Foundation President Darren Walker as a featured speaker for the BPM “Making Equity Real” summit. Other summit presenters included NGAAP member John Jackson, president and CEO of Schott Foundation for Public Education, and Charlotte resident Bakari Sellers.

TODAY: Over 1500 people from across 40 countries registered for the Summit. Regional partners from Africa, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean have joined as official BPM collaborators.

We’ve come a long way since 2011. And if you don’t know, now you know.

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