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$1.5 Million Grant Will Help Black Women in Biz Succeed in America


A generous $1.5 million grant given to Grameen America is intended to assist black women entrepreneurs with their businesses. 

On August 17th, 2021, Grameen America announced that it received this $1.5 million grant from the Truist Foundation. The Truist Foundation is dedicated to funding nonprofits that work with their communities toward better quality of life. They describe their purpose as being “to inspire and build better lives and communities.”

Grameen America Empowers Low-Income Women

Grameen America is a nonprofit aimed at helping low-income women build small businesses, along with other entrepreneurial ventures necessary for this. Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, the organization provides microloans, training and support to help communities flourish and combat poverty in the United States. They have invested more than $2 billion in women entrepreneurs since their inception in 2008. 

Now, the organization is turning its focus specifically to black women. In light of the effect of Covid-19, this demographic has struggled to cope with the additional issues they now have to deal with, in addition to what they already had.

Grant Will Support Black Women Entrepreneurs

In addition to their announcement of receiving the grant, Grameen America has also come out to say that this funding will go to a ten year plan they have planned for black women entrepreneurs. The plan intends to provide $1.3 billion in loans to 80,000 of these entrepreneurs by 2023. This plan allocates loan capital, financial training, and asset and credit building tools to it’s designated recipients. 

Grameen America has also explained that the grant will go toward testing programmatic enhancements and community partnerships in select cities. Their continued partnership with Truist will push for these in the geographic areas where Truist does business. The partnership will also target outcomes related to member outreach, recruitment, upfront training, retention, and business and financial education.

 “Seed funding from Truist Foundation will play a transformative role in innovating and adapting our model to advance economic independence for Black women entrepreneurs,” said Andrea Jung, president and CEO of Grameen America. “Together we aim to remove systemic barriers in accessing affordable capital for small businesses led by Black women. When we invest in financial equality for all women, we’re in turn strengthening microbusinesses, creating jobs and revitalizing local economies.”

Much-Needed Grants in the Current Climate

This donation and dedication to black women entrepreneurs comes at an excellent time. Data shows that the impact of Covid-19 on black-owned businesses has left them struggling. Between February and April 2020 alone, black owned businesses have declined by 41%. For white business owners, the decline is only 17%. 

Although this data does not include a breakdown based on gender, it’s safe to say that black women are struggling. Where sexism and racism intersect, it stands to reason that the numbers for black women owned businesses are smaller than they should be. 

Racial disparities that have been exacerbated by Covid-19 leave black owned businesses, especially black women owned businesses, struggling to stay afloat. Donations like this one have a positive impact on the ability for these entrepreneurs to seek help against these issues. 

In order to address and work against these inequities, future donations and work from nonprofit organizations can make all the difference. Moreover, efforts like this ensure that black women do not fall to the wayside in the future. The effect of such work can already be seen:

“As a single mother and entrepreneur, my business success means my children will have a better future,” said Ruth, owner of a fashion studio in Harlem. “Having access to capital is everything. Loans from Grameen America allow me to rethink my business goals and focus on expansion.”

Going forward, Grameen America and the Truist Foundation are both expected to stay true to this pledge to help black women in business.

Related:

Growing Women’s Financial Power: Microfinance as a Feminist Strategy

Grameen America to Loan $1.3 Billion with New Initiative for Black Women

Grameen America Starts New Loan Fund for Low-Income Women

Author: Kimberly Pike


Kimberly Pike is a writer, artist and self proclaimed cat lady living in Rhode Island. She is passionately writing about women’s issues and helping to teach others about it.
View all posts by Kimberly Pike



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One-third of donors directed half their giving to disaster relief | Philanthropy news



Last year, 37 percent of American donors gave half or more of their charitable contributions to disaster relief efforts, and 64 percent gave to a charity they had never supported before, a survey commissioned by Vanguard Charitable finds.

Conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Vanguard Charitable, the survey of more than 1,300 American donors found that the top reasons American donors gave to disaster relief included wanting to assist those impacted by humanitarian crises (46 percent), feeling overwhelmed by a situation and wanting to help (33 percent), seeing charitable giving as the only way they could provide support (30 percent), and having a personal connection to the disaster/crisis (30 percent). The survey found that donors who contributed to disaster relief efforts gave more overall, meaning that disaster relief giving did not take away from, or occur in place of, ongoing giving. 

“From COVID-19 to a devastating humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, we’ve seen donors respond to disaster relief needs in inspiring and meaningful ways,” said Vanguard Charitable president Rebecca Moffett. “In fact, this data reflects that disaster relief support is an integral part of the giving landscape, often increasing total generosity as donors look to give when and where support is needed most. And because the money in donor-advised funds has already been set aside for charitable purposes, donations from DAFs tend to be more responsive in moments of crisis, and more resilient during moments of economic uncertainty.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Drazen Zigic)



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Trust in nonprofits fell slightly last year, survey finds | Philanthropy news



While there is room for U.S. institutions across the board to increase public trust, a majority of respondents believe nonprofits will do what is right for society, a survey conducted by Independent Sector finds. 

Conducted in February in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence, the third-annual Trust in Civil Society survey found that 56 percent of Americans said they trust nonprofits, down 3 percentage points from the 2020 benchmark study (59 percent). Trust in philanthropy edged down from 36 percent to 34 percent during the same period. According to the survey, financial well-being and education are major drivers of trust, and trust of nonprofits among women fell during the pandemic.

Given the findings, Independent Sector recommended that nonprofits work to make greater progress to support and strengthen the country, for example by leveraging trust in the social sector to strengthen U.S. democracy, deepening engagement with communities and institutions, and upholding public expectations of government accountability.

“Increasing public trust of institutions and the social sector is a pressing issue for the U.S. We all benefit from strong public trust,” said Independent Sector president and CEO Daniel J. Cardinali. “Trust is the priceless currency for nonprofits, philanthropies, business charity programs, and all of us to build a healthy, equitable society. We see what happens when trust breaks. Our 2022 Independent Sector Trust in Civil Society report elevates important data and recommendations for conversations about how the social sector can engage more deeply and do better so everyone in our country thrives.” 

(Photo credit: Getty Images/SDI Productions)



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Digital, other channels of giving are expanding, study finds | Philanthropy news



Emerging trends in the United Kingdom and Brazil reveal an expansion of digital and other types of channels for giving, including online giving, crowdfunding, charity rounding up, and social impact publishing, a new research series from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI finds.

The research series, Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving, builds on the school’s Global Philanthropy Environment Index and Global Philanthropy Tracker and will be released in phases over the next five months. The first two studies examine philanthropic engagement in Brazil and the UK prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with profiles of China, India, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea to follow.

Based on an analysis of three case studies in Brazil, the first profile found that prominent emerging ways of giving include charity rounding up, crowdfunding, and social impact publishing, which involves the production of inspiring, revenue-producing editorial content. Donations collected through rounding up for charity via Arredondar increased from BRL1,091 in 2013 (equivalent to $590 in 2021, adjusted for inflation) to more than BRL1.6 million in 2020 (equivalent to $330,186 in 2021, adjusted for inflation). In addition, the study found that the most successful initiatives prioritized transparency and accountability in giving.

Based on an online survey of nearly 3,000 individuals in the UK, the profile found that prominent expanded methods of giving include online giving and crowdfunding. Among donors interviewed between May and July 2021, 60 percent reported that gifts they had made in the past year had been made online, with the most common way being through a third-party app. In addition, researchers found that 63 percent of people who used social media to request donations also made requests in person.

“The results of the first two country profiles suggest an evolution in giving practices and highlight a significant expansion of digital giving practices and peer-to-peer giving,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “While these findings are the first in a series, the documented growth in digital giving and shifting donor expectations in the UK and in Brazil reinforce existing evidence that digital practices can help democratize the practice of philanthropy. Digital innovation makes philanthropy accessible and fosters greater transparency and accountability for how gifts lead to impact.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images)



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