More research as well as a new foundation for Black philanthropy are needed to support Black giving in the UK, with donors keen to give but lack of information creating barriers, a study has found.
‘Valuing the Black Philanthropic Pound’ was produced by GiveBLACK in partnership with UCL to examine the motivation, aims and patterns of Black giving in the UK. It draws on an evidence base of focus groups and interviews held with Black donors, including high net worth individuals (HNWI), and Black-led charitable organisations.
The study set out to learn how HNWIs define Black philanthropy, what motivates Black HNWIs to give, the patterns of giving among Black donors, and how Black giving can be galvanised in the UK.
Overall, it found that there is very little data available on Black giving in the UK, with a clear need for better tracking of racial data on donors and beneficiaries and for more research to map Black philanthropy and shine a spotlight on it.
GiveBLACK’s donor research found a strong desire to ‘give back’, empower the Black community and create opportunities, but that some HNWIs face barriers to giving with the fear of slipping back into poverty is common. As a result, trust is often a key factor in giving decisions meaning Black-led organisations must ensure they demonstrate strong governance and provide clear messaging about their purpose and outcomes. Highlighting a lack of information for donors, the study also uncovered frustration among HNWIs at having to rely on their own networks to identify worthy Black causes.
Questioning Black-led charitable organisations, GiveBLACK found that they are often overlooked or excluded from applying for large pots of funding. In addition, although they are keen to receive donations from Black HNWIs, there is a lack of understanding about who those HNWIs are, how best to approach them or what they require in order to give. This, the study says, highlights an urgent need for Black-led organisations to have better access to information about how to engage with affluent Black donors, build trust and communicate about the way their programmes are run and the outcomes they achieve.
The report makes a number of recommendations for donors, funders, and charitable organisations.
- For donors, these include making a commitment to engage and network with other donors, and identifying the spheres of influence they can use to promote Black causes.
- For funders, it recommends ensuring Black causes have fair access to funding, ring-fencing money for Black-led organisations responding to a proven need, and publicly recognising the success of Black-led organisations and generosity of Black donors so to make Black philanthropy more visible.
- Charitable organisations, it recommends, need to identify and engage with Black HNWIs more effectively based on their specific interests, values and expertise, be more transparent about how they operate and learn how to articulate their impact more efficiently.
It concludes that donors need a reliable vehicle for Black philanthropy that will help them connect with worthy Black causes and network with each other to increase their impact, recommending further research, and the creation of a foundation for Black philanthropy.