African American Funders Group of Pittsburgh
As a result of this initial meeting, a lunch was scheduled inviting as many African American individuals as was known to gather to network and determine if there was a desire to meet on a regular basis. This initial luncheon was attended by 16 individuals from various foundations, corporations, and other grantmaking organizations. Surprisingly enough many of those in attendance were not acquainted with each other.
Instantly, the group realized a value in simply meeting for purposes of developing relationships with each other and to begin a dialogue about diversity in philanthropy and how this group could have some type of impact within philanthropy, nonprofits and the community as a whole.
The group soon moved from simply networking to discussing issues they faced within their employment spaces, potential professional development opportunities to determining joint issues to address as funders.
Over the next few years, the group had grown to over 25 members as new African Americans have entered the field of grantmaking within Pittsburgh. The organization has developed guiding principals which will guide not only our discussions but also how we approach our work individually as well as a group.
In 2010, the African American Funders Group partnered with our local forum of grantmakers, Grantmakers of Western PA (GWP) to co-host a session on Effective and Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities conducted by the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE). The session was a success with over 25 grantmakers from various foundations learning tools to help understand how to use a racial lens when making their decisions on their funding. This dialogue is continuing and AAFG believes it has and will be instrumental in how foundations begin to view their grantmaking with a racial equity lens.