Vast amounts of donations have poured into organizations supportive of anti-racism efforts in the wake of George Floyd’s death, a push that one nonprofit executive called on companies and citizens to sustain for the long-term.
Like many charities dedicated to racial equality, Higher Heights for America has seen a surge in funding. In the last two weeks, the organization dedicated to expanding and supporting Black female leadership in public offices saw a spike of 15,000 donations — about 10 times more than usual, the group told Yahoo Finance recently.
“We've seen an overwhelming interest from Americans to imagine a democracy that we can all believe in,” Higher Heights for America CEO & President Glynda C. Carr told “The Ticker” recently.
Although Higher Heights hasn’t done a complete analysis of the donation demographics, Carr stated the contributions are coming from “a diverse pool of individuals.”
She said Higher Heights’ goal is “to help ensure that we have more black women sitting at decision making tables across this country. We need to continue to support candidates that hold our values and ensue that we are electing a reflective democracy," she added.
Despite lingering economic concerns and 44 million people in the U.S. currently unemployed due to COVID-19, American citizens and companies are reaching deep into their pockets to fight against racial inequality and decades of systemic oppression in communities of color.
The rise in financial action is in large part due to social media, with the “Black Lives Matter” movement going viral as protests in U.S. cities gained steam. Millions have been sharing the message while advocating for systemic change.
“Everyday people are also inspiring their networks to fuel the movement in a way that we hope is not just a one time spike in support, but that this is the investment in the work that we need to do,” Carr said.
For many non-profits, the yearly donations received are linked to how effective they are at implementing change. At least for now, money isn’t an issue with funds flooding into these groups at a staggering pace.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford it, has received over $30 million in donations after George Floyd’s killing. Since then, the organization has encouraged people to donate to other like-minded funds, and recently announced that it has used more than $200,000 for bail in the weeks since the protests began.
Carr believes Americans are taking what she called their “political budget,” and moving those resources to multiple local groups focused on combatting racial-inequality.
“What we've seen is obviously an increase of people understanding the connectivity around creating an America that centers on black lives and the diverse constituencies,” Carr said.
A-list celebrities, tech giants and big brands have also used their platforms and paychecks to support. Last week, Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings and his wife donated $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College. The record-setting donation is the largest-ever individual gift to support scholarships at historically black colleges and universities.
Sarah Smith is a Segment Producer/Booker at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahasmith