Black Philanthropy Month Sets a New Record for Giving and Growth, and It’s Running Far Beyond August

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.As the month comes to a close, the scope and power of Black Philanthropy Month continue beyond the confines of any calendar or designated stretch of days; it’s running all year long at #BPM365. This month’s haul was its largest in history, measured not just financially but in the impact of livestreamed events, media coverage, and community service projects, thanks to the movement’s founder, Jacqueline Bouvier Copeland, and its architects, Tracey Webb and Valaida Fullwood. They see the campaign less as a finite financial pitch than as a movement to cultivate acts of giving and support, compiled in this year’s list of stories.
The very word “philanthropy” evokes a range of structural challenges. It’s also a call to action. A sharp essay on the subject was written days ago by Hawwa Muhammad, founder of Pink Trumpet, on the Tides Foundation’s website. Give it a close read; she outlines three pillars of the campaign’s future and ways to think about sustained giving as a lever of real, not just gestural, change.
The month launched in 2011 as a commemoration of the United Nations proclaiming that year International Year for People of African Descent, and with Copeland’s, Webb’s, and Fullwood’s efforts, it’s reached nearly 17 million people, with a new organizing concept each year. Check out the highlights and reach us at with stories about the campaign’s impact far beyond the backend of August. And follow Copeland, Webb, and Fullwood for initiatives throughout the year.

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