Editor’s note: Give Black and Kansas City GIFT are non-financial partners of Startland, the parent organization of Startland News. This story was produced independently by Startland News’ non-profit newsroom.
A campaign to boost eight Black-owned businesses and organizations in Kansas City during the week of Juneteenth surpassed its goal this month, but the work is far from complete, said Brandon Calloway.
The Give Black campaign brought in $97,000 — well above its $80,000 goal, confirmed Calloway, one of the campaign’s organizers and the co-founder of Generating Income for Tomorrow (Kansas City GIFT).
“Honestly, this amount of money split between eight organizations won’t sustain any of them long term, but it is a tremendous starting point to kick off the ability to be independently financially sustainable, which means more focus on the work we can do in the community,” Calloway said.
Organizers on Monday thanked donors and community partners for helping push the June drive to success in its second year.
The campaign aimed to raise funds to benefit GIFT’s year-round grant-making operation, as well as the efforts of such high-impact organizations and businesses as The Greenline Initiative, Soulcentricitea, Life’s Work Counseling and Consulting, Raytown Reap, The Nia Project, UrbnHub, and WeCode KC. Alive & Well Communities was the major convener of the campaign, but not among those receiving funding, Calloway said.
Click here to read more about The Greenline Initiative.
The Give Black campaign total is separate from a donation recently announced by C2FO, one of Kansas City largest and most successful startups. That gift sees one-third of the Leawood fintech company’s June 18 marketplace revenue donated to GIFT in commemoration of Juneteenth, which marks the June 19 emancipation of slaves in the United States following the Civil War.
Click here to read more about the C2FO donation, which also benefited The Porter House KC and Determination, Incorporated.
“I am honored that they chose us and I have an immense amount of respect for them; because on a day where it was really easy to provide lip service, they took action,” Calloway said. “There are so many amazing organizations that they could have supported for Juneteenth, so the fact that they chose us as one of the three is a real honor.”
GIFT already is preparing to give out a $50,000 grant and a $10,000 grant in July, he said, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to supporting Black entrepreneurs. It has granted more than $200,000 to Black-owned businesses since August 2020.
Click here to read about GIFT’s April $50,000 grant recipient, The Next Paige Agency, a newly launched, Black-run, woman-owned talent agency that also was honored last week with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Equity Award.
“We are always on the move and right now is no different,” Calloway said. “Our target is still Black business owners on the east side of Troost, but we are creeping further into South KC, Grandview, and Raytown.”
Click here to apply for a grant from GIFT — or to donate to the organization.
“No matter the corporate support that comes in, it still remains true that over 60 percent of our support comes from individuals giving smaller amounts, so we definitely still need the people of the city, Calloway said.
Donations also can be made by texting GIFTKC to 44-321.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation works to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity.
For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with us at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.