In 2020, the world slowed down and witnessed the Coronavirus pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black and Asian communities. Then, after the brutal murder of George Floyd in May 2020, the world connected for a moment to their humanity and acknowledged the disparity of treatment of Black people globally. Both moments sparked soul searching by many groups and individuals.
The Ubele Initiative’s own Impact of Covid-19 on the Black, Asian and ethnic minority community and voluntary sector showing 9 out of 10 organisations facing closure was another pivotal ‘a-ha’ moment.
I joined with three phenomenal business women -- Angela Ferreira, Managing Director of Sir Lenny Henry’s Douglas Road Productions; Yvette Griffith, co-CEO of Jazz re:freshed and Erika Brodnock, Founder and CEO of Kami – after being constantly asked “how can we help, who can we help and where is the help needed”.
We agreed that now was the time for action and Black Funding Network was born.
Black Funding Network (BFN) is an asset-locked community interest company where individuals and institutions come together to support small Black-led charities and non-profit community organisations. We collectively raise funds in a (virtual for now) room full of people passionate about supporting Black non-profits - think live crowd-funder with no donation too small. We showcase three grassroots organisations at a time with a minimum funding target of £5,000 for each. Time and talent can be donated as well as Treasure.
Following our launch in November 2020 and our successful Spring funding event, we have raised over £46,000 for 6 inspiring charities in less than 3 hours of pledging.
We support organisations tackling social mobility, poverty alleviation, racial equity, education and youth services, community development, arts and cultural advancement, history and heritage and social enterprise.
One of the most impactful aspects of the Black Funding Network is not only introducing the specific organisations we fund, but to inform a broad and diverse audience of the societal challenges our communities face that need solutions:
Sister System supports care-affected girls to have the same opportunities as everyone else to fulfil their potential
With Insight mentors Black-heritage pupils to successfully apply to top universities
Elevated Minds gives young people excluded from school alternative strategies so they can have a better future
Make a Difference relieves the needs of people suffering from a variety of mental ill health issues through counselling and psychotherapy
Alfred Fagon Award works towards creating opportunities for Black British playwrights to be seen as part of the UK’s cultural mainstream
A2I Dyslexia builds awareness of Dyslexia within the community, providing assessments and empowerment
If you want to join our Network, please head to the membership section of our website which can be found here: https://www.blackfundingnetwork.org/become-a-member/
by Patricia Hamzahee, Co-Founder and Trustee of Black Funding Network