Frequently Asked Questions

Why not just give directly to my favorite organizations?

You can! We will never discourage anyone from giving their resources to nonprofit organizations. The value we believe BPI brings to your giving is the legacy and power of collective giving, where gifts are given with shared purpose and understanding as we work to transform lives. Plus, BPI’s staff and volunteers are exceptionally connected within the nonprofit community and committed to deep listening and research, especially on racial equity, to ensure grantmaking is most effective.

We have knowledge of Black-led nonprofits and other organizations that are using racial equity practices, so your contribution to BPI can in turn support organizations doing this important work, some that you may not already be aware of.

How can I get involved with BPI?  

There are many ways to connect with BPI: follow us on social media, attend our events, or you can sign up for our e-news to get to know us better. We hope you’ll get more involved by donating what you can to support our work or you can join one of our committees to become a BPI volunteer. No matter how you support us, your generosity of time, talent, or treasure will strengthen Black lives in Forsyth County.

How is BPI using research to inform its grantmaking?  

When we released our research report Rethinking Philanthropy: An Exploration of Black Communities in Forsyth County  in 2018, it only confirmed how systemic inequities in place since our country’s founding continue to disproportionately affected Black people across the United States and most certainly in our own community. BPI’s Advisory Committee has and will continue to use data to inform our grantmaking.

How can I direct my donation? 

Donations of any size can have a transformative effect on Black lives. You are welcome to designate that your gift be used for:

  • Black Philanthropy Initiative Fund: your contribution supports BPI’s overall mission, grantmaking, and programming as follows: 10% of your gift supports BPI's endowment, 60% supports our grantmaking, and 30% supports our programming.
  • Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment: 100% of your contribution builds the Fund’s endowment for the future.
  • Black Philanthropy Initiative Grantmaking Fund: 100% of your contribution supports the Fund’s grantmaking in the community.

For any donation, you can make a tribute gift in memory or in honor of a special person.

Can you tell me more about membership in BPI’s Bass Society? 

The Bass Society of the Black Philanthropy Initiative is named in honor of Marshall B Bass, who was the first Chair of BPI and a great philanthropist and community leader. Individuals who support BPI with annual gifts of $1,000 or more are inducted into the Marshall B Bass Society and honored each year at BPI’s annual fundraiser. Contact us for more information.

Why do you refer to people as Black instead of African American?

We use the word Black to expand the population to include the geographical and cultural traits that define Black people as people of African descent, including Africans, African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Latinos, as well as people of mixed ancestry who identify as being Black, either alone or in combination with one or more other races.

How is the Black Philanthropy Initiative affiliated with The Winston-Salem Foundation?

The Black Philanthropy Fund is a strategic initiative of The Winston-Salem Foundation. The Foundation provides significant administrative and operating support to BPI, allowing the vast majority of the money we raise to be invested directly into the community.

Would you come speak to my group or organization about the Black Philanthropy Initiative?

Yes! We would welcome the opportunity to talk to your group about BPI. Please reach out to us.

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