Giving Black® Hampton Roads: The Genesis of American Black Philanthropy

Philanthropy is for everyone.

To learn more about the diversity in giving, the community foundation commissioned the Giving Black® Hampton Roads study in 2021. The project engaged more than 600 Black residents and uncovered important insights, such as the fact that 98 percent of Black donors gave to charitable causes during the past year and that 30 percent of them gave $5,000 or more.

“Black philanthropy is the economic engine which powers and empowers our community – sustaining social, business, educational, and religious institutions all while supporting friends and families in need,” said VivianOden, vice president for equity and inclusion at the community foundation.

Study Highlights

Throughout time, Blacks have used their resources to help those in need. For example, in the 1850s, Blacks who were not enslaved risked their livelihoods and lives to assist enslaved people seeking freedom. People like John Minkins of Norfolk, a free Black man, helped Henry “Box” Brown flee from slavery by hiding in a box aboard the City of Richmond steamship where Minkins worked.

Black Donors have left a lasting impact on Hampton Roads, like Dr. Sam Coppage, a professor who died in 2014. His estate created four funds to benefit two local churches, Tidewater Community College, and Hampton University, which is a historically Black school.

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