Baoba Fund creates, in Brazil, the first Giving Circle led by black people

Black philanthropy must mobilize to exercise the donation, aiming to promote projects that work racial equity and social justice for the black population.

By Wagner Prado

 November 30, 2021 is considered a historic mark for the Baoba Fund for Racial Equity. In the year it completed 10 years of activities, Baoba Fund, the only fund dedicated exclusively to the promotion of racial equity for the black population in Brazil, launched its Giving Circle. And why is the brand historic? The Baoba Fund is an organization commanded by black people and engaged in issues related to the Brazilian black people. The Giving Circle created by Baoba is the first in the country and the only one that has blacks in the lead. Baoba Fund is planting a seed so that black philanthropy can be up and strong in Brazil. The mission of the Baoba Fund is to provide financial resources, which provide support so that programs, projects, initiatives of organizations, groups and collectives black or by Baoba itself are implemented. From 2014 to 2021, Baoba invested approximately R$ 15 million in 833 black initiatives, including emergency support in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indirectly, it has impacted more than half a million lives nationwide.

Black Women’s Leadership Development Acceleration Program: Marielle Franco – aims to make collectives and groups of black women strengthened in all their capacities, in addition to developing the potential to strengthen the leadership of black women. The supporting partners are Ford Foundation, Ibirapitanga Institute, Kellogg Foundation and Open Society Foundation.

➜ Program JA É: Education and Racial Equity – aims to provide scholarships in preparatory courses for the entrance exam. The program also offers vocational guidance and psychosocial support, transportation voucher, meal and internet, for black youth, aged between 17 and 25 years, living in the city of São Paulo or Greater São Paulo. The school trajectory of these students has to have been done in a public school. In the first year of support, the partners were Citi Foundation, Demarest Lawyers and Amadi Technology.

➜ Black Lives, Dignity and Justice – is intended to support initiatives of organizations, social movements, black collectives that seek to develop practical actions to combat racism, systemic violence and criminal injustices in Brazil. The three examples of edicts, launched between 2019 and 2021, give an idea of the importance of carrying out the act of donation so that an incalculable number of people can benefit from responsible social actions.


Giving Circle

The Philanthropy for Racial Equity Program is an initiative that aims to promote the values of philanthropy for racial equity and will be based on the following criteria: Consistency, Sustainability, Coherence and Trust. They will be invited to be part of national and international black leaders, influential in their areas of activity. They will be responsible for leading the first Giving Circle for Racial Equity in Brazil. In addition, they will play a fundamental role in raising the prominence of black people in Brazilian philanthropy. It will also be up to these leaders to support the Baoba Fund in expanding the relationship and engagement of individual donors in potential donations between R$ 5,000 and R$ 50,000, according to the level of engagement.  The goal will be to increase the transformative impact of investment in black organizations that work throughout Brazil and that contribute to the fight against racism. Periodic meetings will be held with donors to:– strengthen the culture of donation in favor of combating racism,– promoting black leaders,– inspiring new donors,– sharing stories and celebrating the results achieved from donations. The Philanthropy for Racial Equity Seal will be made available to all black leaders who are part of the Giving Circle.


Synonymous with engagement and big donor

For most people, formula one world champion Lewis Hamilton is a driver who has already put his name into history. At the end of 2021, he received the title of Sir from the Government of England, and was officially recognised as a Knight of the Order of the British Empire, which confers on him a status of nobility. Hamilton was the eighth highest-paid sportsman in the world in 2021, according to a survey by Forbes magazine, having reached $82 million in revenues (nearly $425 million).  Hamilton’s political activism and status as a millionaire sportsman come together in the sense of social co-responsibility. The sports star invests part of what he earns in Education. Lewis Hamilton’s goal is to contribute to structural issues that prevent equal access to educational means, especially with regard to black students. “Any young person on the planet deserves the same right to receive a great education. Families should not consider careers for their children thinking: Well, this career does not serve, because there is no way to mu son enter this area. There’s no one who looks like us in this area. So, the representation is an important achievement”, said the heptacampeão in an interview in November, when he competed and won in São Paulo the Brazilian GP.


An idea that makes greater sense if you’re part of the link

The theme remains philanthropy. First, however, let us resort to etymology: a study that defines the origin and evolution of words. So the origin of philanthropy lies in the junction of two Greek words. Phylums, which means friendship, love, and anthropo, humanity. Love for humanity can be exercised in many ways. The gathering of people aiming for the well-being of others is one of them. And the privilege of this meeting does not involve only people with better purchasing power. Those who cannot contribute financially can do so in other ways. That’s what the donation is called. The donation can be defined as one of the collaboration tools that takes advantage of small, medium and large amounts offered and are directed to social actions. But it’s not just money that makes a donation. It can also occur with hours of volunteer work in the most different ways.


Philanthropy for Social Justice and Racial Equity

The model of economic development that has become entrenched in the world throughout history has weakened people individually. Aspects such as justice, dignity and equality were forgotten so that others, of infinitely lesser value, would take their places. Inequality in various sectors is causing people to reunite seeking a common strengthening. They are even trying to escape official assistance, which directs and directs a help, but does not take people out of the mass grave. That’s changing. Communities are taking science of their power of movement and articulation. They no longer want to receive funds that are used to maintain the status of those who already hold power and see the vulnerable as eternally bordering on exclusion. The masses want power too. What philanthropy for social justice and racial equity aims at is to get power back to these masses and reach the black masses. Through donations, a whole contingent of excluded people will be valued and will achieve well-being in education, well-being at work, well-being in health, well-being in housing. Above all, you will achieve respect and will be respected.


Giving Circles History

One of the ways philanthropists have designed to gather sums that could sponsor the common good are the Giving Circles. From the beginning of the 19th century (1800 to 1899), American society began to move around the formation of associations that aimed at the social good. The father of this is the French thinker and politician Alexis Tocqueville (1805-1859). For him, equality between people was the main feature of democracy and the egalitarian development of society would be a process that could not be stopped. American entrepreneur and author Kevin Eikenberry defined The Giving circles: “Giving circles are voluntary groups that allow individuals to raise their money (and sometimes their time as volunteers) to support organizations of mutual interest. They also offer opportunities for education and engagement among participants about philanthropy and social change, connecting them to charities, their communities, and each other.” When Eikenberry talks about education opportunities, this refers directly to the formation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), which began to be formed in the second half of the 1800s in the United States. They were instituted to lead the African-American population to higher education. Today, there are more than 100, most of them originating from Giving circles.  A fact that illustrates well the action of Giving circles and philanthropists linked to them occurred at Morehouse College (an HBCU) in Atlanta (Georgia) in 2020. Black American billionaire Robert F. Smith, owner of Vista Equit Partnes, who is a technology activist who campaigns for the anti-racist cause and whose personal assets exceed $7 billion, attended morehouse students’ graduation. There, he announced a $40 million donation to pay off the student debts of all graduates.  


Brazilian painting

Although the world has been suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic for two years, some positive aspects should be highlighted. The culture of donation in Brazil has grown in the last five years, according to research published by the Institute of Social Development (IDIS).” The impact of the pandemic, which forced some people to retire in their homes ended up harming mainly those who choose to donate work and not finances. In any case, Brazilian society is more aware of the work of institutions that seek philanthropy to obtain resources and be able to activate their projects.    The Baoba Fund for Racial Equity, working for 10 years seeking to expand the opportunities for individual and collective development for the black Brazilian population in the areas of Education, Labor, Employment and Income, Health, Access to Justice, believes that its contribution is fundamental so that we can transform mentalities and generate fair opportunities. The investments made through programs and projects by the Baobá Fund, its results and the way to donate for this social transformation to continue being carried out are on the


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