KANSAS CITY, Mo. — August is Black Philanthropy Month, a global campaign started in 2011 to celebrate and encourage giving within the Black community.
In Kansas City, the group leading this effort is the Black Community Fund, an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.
NaTika Rowles, The Black Community Fund's executive director, says she wants to empower people to know they can make a difference.
"I think the message is that anybody can be a philanthropist. We're all already philanthropists," Rowles said. "The Black Community Fund is one fund. There's many here [in Kansas City]. We can't fund everybody, but everybody can fund somebody. Right?"
Since its founding in 1983, the Black Community Fund has awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to more than 200 nonprofit organizations in the greater Kansas City area.
In 2010, it also launched a scholarship program to help local students pursue higher education.
The group prioritizes organizations that are focused on serving the Black community and are led by people of color.
In 2020, during the nationwide protests against social and racial injustice, the group also provided $100,000 in aid to organizations dealing with food and housing insecurity and voter registration.
In honor of this month, the Black Community Fund is hosting its Vision Gala on Saturday, Aug. 6.
It's an opportunity for donors, nonprofits and the community to come together to celebrate Black philanthropy and support each other.
"We'll talk about what Black philanthropy is and what that means to each person individually," Knowles said. "We'll talk about the great things that the Black Community Fund has done in the 40 years of its existence. And we'll talk about the vision for Black philanthropy in Kansas City and how that will impact our community."
Tickets are still available for the Vision Gala. More information about the Black Community Fund is available on the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation's website.