A new crowdfunding social enterprise which provides support for Black-led charities raised almost £30,000 at its first event yesterday.
The Black Funding Network (BFN) organises live crowdfunders for Black-led charities and non-profits, aiming to address their underfunding issues by putting them in touch with donors.
Grassroot charities led by and supporting diverse communities have historically found it difficult to access funding, and have been strongly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. A survey carried out in April by infrastructure organisation The Ubele Initiative found that nine in 10 of them had less than three months’ worth of reserves and were at risk of closure.
BFN’s model is based on The Funding Network’s, a charity that similarly supports small organisations through live crowdfunding events. The Funding Network has raised £14m for more than 2,000 small charities since its launch in 2002.
BFN held its first event yesterday and raised almost £30,000 in total for organisations Sister System, With Insight and Elevated Minds. Sister System supports young women and girls in the care system, With Insight helps Black-heritage pupils to apply to top universities, and Elevated Minds works to improve young people’s mental health.
BFN was founded by four Black female business leaders: Patricia Hamzahee, Yvette Griffith, Erika Brodnock and Angela Ferreira. It said it will support a range of causes, including racial justice, social mobility, alleviation of economic hardship and education. It aims to organise at least two events a year.
Patricia Hamzahee, co-founder of Black Funding Network, said: “As we confront calls for racial justice in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in the US and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the Black community here in the UK, philanthropists are being asked to support catalytic change before the headlines fade and attention moves on.
“We hope to leverage the collective resources of Britain’s Black communities and our allies to create the change we all want to see.”