Charlotte, NC: Lead City in Digital Engagement for Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) 2020

In this Giving Season, we are proud to share 8 KEY METRICS (and more!) from #BPM2020CLT, Charlotte’s 2020 campaign in observance of Black Philanthropy Month during August. The primary objective of the monthlong campaign was to advance racial funding equity, countering chronic underinvestment in Black-led, Black-benefitting (BLBB) nonprofit organizations serving Charlotte-Mecklenburg by elevating their presence, acknowledging their impact, and generating vital support.

This year’s scaled up campaign was led by New Generation of African American Philanthropists (NGAAP Charlotte), in collaboration with My Brother’s Keeper (MBK-CLT MECK), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Charlotte Chapter, YMCA of Greater Charlotte, and SHARE Charlotte.

Data below offer insights on how our community, amidst a pandemic and climate of economic and social unrest, stepped up and became a pacesetter in recognizing Black philanthropy and promoting racial funding equity.

Charlotte’s illuminated skyline on August 28, 2020 in observance of the CLT Gives Black day of giving | Photo: Alvin C. Jacobs Jr.

1

15,640 unique visitors reached sharecharlotte.org during August – the most web traffic in any given month in SHARE history. NGAAP’s site, new-philanthropists.org, also experienced a high volume of visitors, 3x more in August than on average. Heightened public interest in Black Philanthropy Month and Black-led nonprofits was evident in these record levels of web traffic. 

On social media, daily posts and robust engagement by campaign collaborators boosted  interest and created a buzz. Metrics show #BPM2020CLT attained a reach of over 1 million on Facebook. On Instagram, SHARE introduced a photography series in August, featuring our community’s Black nonprofit founders and leaders. Through its social media channels, NGAAP led a digital campaign with inspirational #BeBold messages from local donors and social justice advocates. Both SHARE and NGAAP marked record highs with their social media metrics during the month. The most popular social media posts included shoutouts from the Charlotte Hornets, which has millions of followers, and a video message from Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.

2

433 volunteer opportunities posted by local nonprofits gained prospective volunteers applying to serve. This boost in human resources was universal, because not only did Black-led organizations benefit but so did other nonprofits. #BPM2020CLT prompted people to sign up and get involved in a variety of organizations.

Targeted connections to nearly 100 Black-led organizations were made possible by a new “Black-led, Black-benefitting” filter introduced to SHARE’s digital database through its collaboration with NGAAP. An estimated 300 nonprofits currently operating in Charlotte-Mecklenburg have Black founders and/or majority Black leadership and are centered on concerns within Black communities. 

3

320 participant hours invested in The OpEd Project workshop, Write To Change The World. NGAAP hosted the monthlong virtual workshop for 40 Black nonprofit founders, CSR professionals, community leaders and activists (a value of $450 per person). Write To Change The World aims to amplify underrepresented voices for an inclusive and more balanced marketplace of ideas. Local participants gained new skills and knowledge to become more influential with their perspectives and effective in their advocacy. The workshop was part of The Bold Project: An NGAAP Charlotte Initiative for Black Organizations Leading Differently that launched with #BPM2020CLT.

4

40 businesses and community groups joined as official Promotional Partners. In support of local Black-led nonprofits, these Charlotte organizations, across sectors, committed their participation by contributing dollars and mobilizing internal resources; learning more and advocating for racial funding equity; and/or amplifying #BPM2020CLT content and stories through their communication channels. 

For example, as a promotional partner, Bank of America and its Black Professional Group (an employee resource network) engaged colleagues in #BPM2020CLT events, promotions and the company matching program during August. The African American Community Foundation, another promotional partner, scheduled its annual grant awards to coincide with #BPM2020CLT. Overall, local promotional partners were instrumental in elevating Charlotte’s standing as a lead city for Black Philanthropy Month – regionally, nationally and globally. 

5

25+ media stories were published profiling Black givers and changemakers and their contributions to change lives and advance racial justice in Charlotte. Among them were weekly articles on QCityMetro, over a dozen SHARE “spotlight stories,” a piece by Queen City Nerve, an op-ed in The Charlotte Observer, as well as national features by Forbes and Ford Foundation. In addition, there was a podcast with PMA Consulting and broadcast interviews with philanthropic and nonprofit leaders on WCCB, WSOC and WCNC. 

#BPM2020CLT organizers sought out and hired freelance writers and photographers and also engaged Black journalists and media groups to document and publish a large share of the stories that rolled out during August.

6

100 percent of Black nonprofit leaders who completed in the #BPM2020CLT post survey rated the experience as positive. Of the 30 post-survey respondents, an overwhelming majority (87%) rated the month’s offerings and opportunities “Good” or “Excellent.” Among benefits received, respondents overwhelming cited broader exposure (86%). Other acknowledged benefits of the campaign included: new knowledge and information (66%); peer connections and networking (62%); financial contributions (59%); and greater access to funders (41%).

7

70,000+ dollars in financial donations and grants were directed to Black-led nonprofits during August, based on the post survey. Nearly half ($34,000) was contributed on August 28th, the day dubbed CLT Gives Black. SHARE reported $6,000 from 109 donors based on #BPM2020CLT donations to nonprofits via its platform. Of those donors, a large majority (85%) were new to the nonprofit. 

NGAAP awarded a total of $20,000 to West Side Community Land Trust and The Males Place. With resources from The Amy and Brian France Foundation, SHARE led a #BPM2020CLT crowdsourcing promotion that generated 5,849 votes from community members. The month’s $5,000 prize went to Raise a Child of the Carolinas, a newly formed nonprofit.  

8

6 major events, plus numerous others, were organized and/or promoted locally. The pandemic resulted in a slate of thoughtful and innovative virtual gatherings. These events included the August 1st BPM global kickoff summit, a Giving Black panel discussion with local philanthropists hosted by the Gantt Center, What’s Next Takeover: BPM Edition organized by Next Stage Consulting featuring NGAAP members, and a SHARE-a-latte gathering with NGAAP.

Local campaign organizers received high praise for the #BPM2020CLT Nonprofits x Funders Virtual Networking Event, which drew dozens of area funders and over 150 nonprofit professionals on August 5th. The lunchtime gathering comprised a plenary panel discussion with Black donors and institutional funders and a networking forum with funder-hosted Zoom breakout rooms. Instead of funding pitch sessions, the event provided Black nonprofit professionals rare access to a wide range of funders with whom they made connections, exchanged information, and cultivated relationships. 

The month’s culminating event was CLT Gives Black, a community-wide day of giving on August 28th to benefit the Black-led nonprofits. That evening, photographer Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr produced a series of powerful photographs with the city’s skyline illuminated green, thanks to local corporations recognizing #BPM2020CLT. 

•••

FORESIGHT 20/20 was the worldwide organizing concept for Black Philanthropy Month 2020. While we cannot predict the future, this year brought unprecedented experiences and important insights for making enlightened decisions that can lead to a safer and more equitable future. 

Knowledge gained through #BPM2020CLT—on investing in authentic relationships and collaboration, exerting the power of collective action, and transforming systems for inclusion, access and equity—positions us for even greater impact in 2021. Be ready!

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