A Rising Force: On the State of Black Philanthropy

Thanks to a few hundred years of slavery and Jim Crow, followed by decades of economic exclusion, African American households have far less wealth than whites. In fact, according to a recent study by Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy, the typical black household now has just 6 percent of the wealth of the typical white household.

This deep racial wealth gap wouldn't seem to bode well for black philanthropy. In fact, though, black Americans have a long history of philanthropic commitment. A report by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation a few years ago found that African Americans give away 25 percent more of their income per year than white Americans. With the cohort of people of color growing in size and assets, these populations will likely be even more important down the line. As we recently reported, a number of African Americans, as well as Latinos, are already giving at a substantial level.