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Topical Resource Lists

Philanthropy in Minority Communities:
A Resource List

Philanthropy in communities of color is likely to continue to grow as minority populations increase in size and accumulate wealth. This resource list, which contains citations to selected works from the Foundation Center's bibliographic database, Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, explores and celebrates the philanthropic traditions of diverse communities. For complete bibliographies on related topics, search Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, using headings such as Minorities, Asian Americans, Black Philanthropy, Hispanics, or Native Americans in the Subject field.


Berry, Mindy L.; Chao, Jessica. Engaging Diverse Communities For and Through Philanthropy. Washington, DC: Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, 2001. 44 p. Subject File Number: 458.
Explains the typical patterns of philanthropy among four minority groups in the U.S., largely drawn from the publication Cultures of Caring. Drawing on research conducted for that resource, the authors present numerous recommendations for organizations that want to develop their relationships with community populations. Includes resource list and bibliographic references.

Council on Foundations. Cultures of Caring: Philanthropy in Diverse American Communities. Washington, DC: Council on Foundations, 1999. 305 p. Call Number: 458 COF CUL.
Four separate studies of philanthropy in diverse communities: African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Researchers interviewed 15-25 donors from each group who gave at least $10,000 each year, other individuals with knowledge about the giving of each group, and studied the literature on motivations for giving, among other techniques. Contents include: "Native-American Philanthropy: Expanding Social Participation and Self-Determination" by Mindy L. Berry; "Reflections on Endowment Building in the African-American Community" by Mary-Frances Winters; "Latino Philanthropy: Expanding U.S. Models of Giving and Civic Participation" by Henry A. J. Ramos; "Asian-American Philanthropy: Expanding Circles of Participation" by Jessica Chao. Also included is a study by Diana S. Newman, "The Role of Community Foundations in Establishing and Growing Endowment Funds by and for Diverse Ethnic Communities" and an introduction by Joanne Scanlan.

Diversity Practices in Foundations: Findings from a National Study. Joint Affinity Groups, 2001. 27 p. Subject File Number: 401.
Presents the findings of a study of formalized philanthropy that shows that minorities are under-represented in foundations today. More than 500 survey questionnaires were collected in 1999-2000, and subsequent data is given. The authors provide recommendations for changing the culture of foundations to enhance diversity.

May, Michael. Are We Ready? Social Change Philanthropy and the Coming $10 Trillion Transfer of Wealth. Washington, DC: National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 1999. 54 p. Call Number: 408 MAY.
Examines social change philanthropy, providing historical facts, current status, and future outlook for Asian/Pacific-American, African-American, Latino, Native American community funds, women's funds, gay and lesbian foundations, and progressive faith-based grantmakers. Also describes Working Assets' cause-related marketing initiative, through which the company donates one percent of its revenues to progressive causes.

Mottino, Felinda; Miller, Eugene D. Pathways for Change: Philanthropy Among African American, Asian American, and Latin Donors in the New York Metropolitan Region. New York, NY: Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and the Coalition for New Philanthropy, 2004. ix, 125 p.
Presents results from a survey of more than 150 donors that was conducted from 2002 to 2003. Executive summary available at:

Newman, Diana S. Opening Doors: Pathways to Diverse Donors. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2002. xxxvi, 236 p. (Jossey-Bass Nonprofit and Public Management Series). ISBN: 0-7879-5884-0. Call Number: 703 NEW.
A fundraising guidebook that discusses the philanthropic traditions of four broad minority groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Includes useful examples and tips for planning personal meetings, special events, and direct mail campaigns. Provides suggestions on building endowments and collaborating with diverse groups.

Pettey, Janice Gow. Cultivating Diversity in Fundraising. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2002. xxix, 281 p. ISBN: 0-471-40361-X. Call Number: 703 PET.
Written by various experts, the book is a compilation of strategies for fundraising among minority groups in the United States: African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. For each group, the authors provide a brief history of their experience in the U.S., demographic statistics about the group in today's society, and an explanation of their traditions of philanthropy. Also illustrates the principles with six case studies—with discussion questions—of successful fundraising in these communities.

Rogers, Pier C. (ed.) Philanthropy in Communities of Color: Traditions and Challenges. Indianapolis, IN: Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, 2001. 97 p. (ARNOVA Occasional Papers series). Call Number: 458 ROG.
Composed of five essays that study various traditions of giving and service among African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans, with an introduction and concluding statement by the editor. Contents include "Fostering Philanthropy and Service in U.S. Latino Communities" by Michael CortÚs; "The 'Relief Corps of Heaven': Black Women as Philanthropists" by Bettye Collier-Thomas; "Native American Philanthropy" by Sherry Salway Black; "Asian American Philanthropy: Acculturation and Charitable Vehicles" by Jessica Chao; and "The Racial Wealth Gap: Origins and Implications for Philanthropy in the African American Community" by Dalton Conley.

Smith, Bradford; Shue, Sylvia; Vest, Jennifer Lisa; Villarreal, Joseph. Philanthropy in Communities of Color. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999. 176 p. ISBN: 0-253-33493-4. Call Number: 458 SMI.
Examines ethnic philanthropy, defined as "sharing and helping within communities of color." A 1991-1993 survey looked at the philanthropic activities of 260 individuals from various ethnic communities in the San Francisco region, studying values, behavior, and attitudes. The individuals represented the African American, Chinese, Filipino, Guatemalan, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, and Salvadoran groups. For each group, basic philanthropic tenets are explained and analyzed. Appendix A describes the research methodology, and includes the interview instrument.

African Americans

Curan, Catherine. "Hip-hop humanitarians." Robb Report Worth . vol. 15 (April 2006) p. 57-60, 62, 64.
Describes the philanthropic efforts of hip-hop celebrities, including Def Jam Records co-founder, Russell Simmons. Explains that hip-hop artists can be more effective with their charitable activities when collaborating with mainstream nonprofits and donors.

Gasman, Marybeth; Anderson-Thompkins, Sibby. Fund Raising from Black-College Alumni: Successful Strategies for Supporting Alma Mater. Washington, DC: Council for Advancement and Support of Education, 2003. [iv], 119 p. ISBN: 0-89964-377-9. Call Number: 710 GAS.
The authors evaluate how Black colleges approach alumni for donations, and the responses to their appeals, based on interviews with development staff, alumni, and an examination of fundraising solicitations. Also provides concrete advice to advancement practitioners based on the results of the research.

Hunt, Erica. African American Philanthropy: A Legacy of Giving. New York, NY: Twenty-First Century Foundation, [2003]. 24 p. Subject File Number: 403.
A brief history, with timeline, of both organized and individual philanthropy by African Americans. Full text available at:

Stephens, Charles R. "Professionalism in black philanthropy: we have a chance to get it right." New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising. vol. 48 (Summer 2005) p. 13-19.
Veteran fundraiser Stephens ponders on the state of the profession for African Americans and contemplates how new leaders will be developed. He recommends that infrastructure organizations be closely involved in fostering and training younger Blacks who are considering this career.

See also African-American Philanthropy: A Bibliography and Resource List.

Asian Americans

A New Heritage of Giving: Philanthropy in Asian America. New York, NY: Asian American Federation of New York, 2001. 24 p. Subject File Number: 458. See also:
Describes the changing face of Asian American philanthropy, explaining how funding interests are expanding beyond family and kinship ties. Suggests the need for Asian Americans to invest their growing wealth in the future of their communities.

Greene, Stephen G. "Entrepreneur Finds a Home for Collection of Rare Chinese Artifacts." Chronicle of Philanthropy, vol. 16 (19 February 2004): p. 21.
Presents a profile of a California entrepreneur, Roland Tseng, who recently donated his collection of antique Chinese art worth $38 million to California State University at Northridge.

"Transforming Tragedy Through Philanthropy." Advancing Philanthropy, vol. 8 (July-August 2001): p. 28-30.
George Aratani, founder of Kenwood Electronics and Mikasa Chinaware, actively supports institutions helping Japanese-Americans.

Hispanic Americans

Boice, Jacklyn P. "More Than Money." Advancing Philanthropy, vol. 10 (November-December 2003): p. 18-22.
Techniques for soliciting potential minority donors and cultivating their continuing support. Includes several case examples and statistics related to Hispanic philanthropy.

Flather, Newell; Maksy, Pamela Labonte. "This Is Your Final Notice." Foundation News & Commentary, vol. 44 (July-August 2003): p. 30-4.
Fiduciary oversight is a primary responsibility of foundation trustees. This article provides practical advice to foundation board members on safeguarding the funder, and four case studies illustrate potential pitfalls.

Campoamor, Diana (ed.); Diaz, William A. (ed.); Ramos, Henry A. J. (ed.) Nuevos Senderos: Reflections on Hispanics and Philanthropy. Houston, TX: Arte Publico Press, 1999. 294 p. ISBN: 1-55885-263-8. Call Number: 401 CAM.
Results of research presented in essays by various scholars, consultants, and practitioners on the broad topics of the state of the Hispanic nonprofit sector in the U.S., increasing Latino participation in organized philanthropy in the U.S., and promoting social investment in Latin America. The chapters are: "A statistical profile of Latino nonprofit organizations in the United States" by Michael Cortes; "Explorations into Latino voluntarism" by Rodolfo O. de la Garza with Fujia Lu; "Latinos and African Americans: connecting" by Arlene Scully; "New pools of Latino wealth: a case study of donors and potential donors in U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities" by Ana Gloria Rivas-Vazquez; "Latinos and community funds: a comparative overview and assessment of Latino philanthropic self-help initiatives" by Henry A. J. Ramos and Gabriel Kasper; "Current issues affecting U.S. Hispanic foundation and nonprofit directors/trustees: a survey of the field" by Diane Sanchez and Rosie Zamora; "Women, fundraising, and the third sector in Mexico" by Rosa Maria Fernandez Rodriguez, et al; and "The social involvement of corporate foundations in Argentina" by Elba Luna.

Developing a Giving Program in Hispanic-Owned Companies. Miami, FL: Donors Forum of South Florida, [2001]. 8 p. Subject File Number: 550.
Intended for small to medium-sized businesses, this brief pamphlet provides general guidelines that pertain to starting a corporate giving program.

Perry, Suzanne. "Tapping Hispanic philanthropy." Chronicle of Philanthropy , vol. 18 (28 September 2006): p. p. 7, 10, 12.
Many grantmakers are exploring ways to serve the country's growing Hispanic population. Some foundations are supporting so-called "hometown associations" that raise funds from migrant communities in the U.S. to fund social programs in Mexico.

Native Americans

Adamson, Rebecca. "Indigenous peoples and philanthropy : colonialism by other means?" Alliance, vol. 11 (December 2006): p. 40-1.
A level of distrust between foundations and indigenous organizations has emerged over time due to cultural misunderstandings. The author suggests that grantmaking can be more effective when funders employ a holistic approach to philanthropy that provides enough flexibility for indigenous peoples.

Adamson, Rebecca. "Smoothing Out the Road." Foundation News & Commentary, vol. 42 (July-August 2001): p. 32-5.
A report on the current status of Native American philanthropy. Various factors have led to a new emphasis on the topic, including new tribal wealth due to the gaming industry as well as the growth of tribal nonprofits, which may have income-producing enterprises. SNAP, Strengthening Native American Philanthropy, has emerged as a program for encouraging the growth of formalized philanthropy. Various specific projects described here illustrate the diversity of the initiatives in the field.

Peck, Kay C. "Philanthropy and American Indians: Ancient Traditions Meet Modern Giving." New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising, vol. 37 (Fall 2002): p. 55-63.
Explains some facets of the distinctive traditions of philanthropy among Native Americans, and suggests ways that fundraisers can build positive relationships with this group of potential donors.

Reed, Mary. "Strategic philanthropy: assessing the needs of the Native philanthropic sector." Fredericksburg, VA: First Nations Development Institute. 2005. 27 p.
The conference took place in September 2005 in St. Paul, Minnesota and concentrated on issues related to the support and maintenance of Native American philanthropy and foundations.

Stately, Jo-Anne E. "Walking Softly Across the Dialogue of Religion, Spirituality, and the Native American Experience of Giving." New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising, vol. 35 (Spring 2002): p. 79-96.
A former leader of a Native American nonprofit shares her point of view about traditional philanthropy and several initiatives for minority communities, including the Diversity Endowment Funds of the Saint Paul Foundation.

Internet Resources

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
The membership and advocacy organization seeks to promote philanthropy in Asian Pacific American communities and to provide resources to underserved areas.

Hispanics in Philanthropy
The mission of the association is to strengthen partnerships between institutional philanthropy and Hispanic communities. Founded in 1983, Hispanics in Philanthropy represents corporate, government, and private grantmakers.

National Center for Black Philanthropy
The organization promotes giving and volunteering among African-Americans, supporting organizations and institutions involved in Black philanthropy, and educating African-Americans and others about the importance of philanthropy.

Native Americans in Philanthropy
Founded in 1990, the organization promotes philanthropy that supports the traditional values of Native Americans. The group also provides professional development opportunities for Native Americans working in the philanthropic sector.
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