Two new Giving Groups on our #ChooseYourImpact campaign list Canadian charities providing a range of effective programs for local, national, and international Black communities.
Stats show that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected racialized communities more than others. At the same time, mass public protests against police brutality continue across North America. This sequence of historical events has led many to seek out a better understanding of the causes and effects of racial inequities.
One of our Impact Ambassadors, Anick Silencieux, is guiding donors on how they can offer effective support to the dynamic and diverse Canadian charities focusing on the Black community. In her own experience, Silencieux found that it took some digging to find her own list of such organizations.
Spurred by that realization and noticing how fundraising was shifting online, Silencieux founded the nonprofit Support Black Charities in September 2018 to amplify Black charities, nonprofits, and grassroots organizations in Canada and internationally. While her aim is to help individuals find the full range of charities working for, with, and by the Black community, she also seeks to advance the charities themselves.
Charities listed on the site have to meet a number of criteria — for example, having a social media presence that aligns with an updated website, communicating how fundraised dollars will be spent, and listing calls for volunteers that are clear and specific. She’s currently developing programs to assist charities that haven’t quite met the minimum criteria.
“This is my way of not only helping supporters find a charity, but also helping charities and people that have a cause,” Silencieux said in a phone interview.
#ChooseYourImpact: Supporting the Black community
We are honoured and excited that Silencieux is generously lending her time to lead two Giving Groups on Charitable Impact’s Choose Your Impact campaign. These include charities handpicked for their relevance and impact.
The Black Community Support Fund is built up of locally-focused charities with proven track records. Between them, they offer a wide range of programs for individuals of all ages, such as education, parenting, outreach initiatives, health, mentoring, counselling, family services, and job placement.
The Black Community Housing Fund is built up of charities addressing matters “not talked about enough in Black communities, from mental health, abuse, addiction, racism, poverty, immigration, to transitioning out of the foster care and out of prison system.” The charities in this group help to secure housing, a critical step to establishing wellbeing.
Aligning interest with giving
Very much like the work we do here at Charitable Impact, Silencieux empowers donors to find charities aligning with their own unique and personal passions like the arts, sports, or education. “I decided this is how people should find organizations to give to. They should look at their passions, what they like and then it just feels normal to help in that sense,” she said.
It makes sense to us, too. The more invested in a topic, the more likely a donor is to stick with a cause and better understand the impacts of their giving.
Silencieux also wants to emphasize that donating goes beyond charitable giving. “You can donate money, you can donate time by volunteering, and you can also raise awareness. We are in a world where sharing, retweeting, posting and liking is raising awareness. We have definitely seen it over the last three weeks with what’s going on,” she said, referring to the explosion in awareness of issues and inequities affecting the Black community through social media.
Encouraging exploration while countering stereotypes
Silencieux has encountered false preconceptions about the limitations of organizations on her site. “People always think that the charities are going to be about fighting gun violence. But there are charities around the arts, sports, parenting, entrepreneurship. It’s definitely bigger than the stereotype that’s out there,” she said.
Recent calls for increased scrutiny towards the ways racism infiltrates culture and institutions have brought a swell of attention to Silencieux’s platform. “Right now, the conversations have started, people are curious. I would like them to know that any passion can be aligned with a charity in the Black community. Trust me, the added attention is welcome,” she said.
Through her work, Silencieux herself has discovered, for example, the large number of charities supporting international communities. Many of these organizations provide a link back to home countries for first and second generation immigrants to Canada — like some of those listed in her Giving Groups.
“I think if people want to learn something new about a new culture, Black charities can be a way to do that,” said Silencieux, who is a first-generation immigrant from Haiti.
Charitable Impact is excited to provide another platform and opportunity for exchange and exploration. You can support the charities listed within Silencieux’s Giving Groups by visiting the #ChooseYourImpact movement page on Charitable Impact.
We understand most of us don’t have the time or resources needed to make the most informed giving decisions. That’s why we have launched the #ChooseYourImpact campaign, connecting you to passionate changemakers and thought leaders — called Impact Ambassadors.
We have partnered with the Vancouver Social Value Fund (VSVF), a youth-led fund created in partnership with the Vancouver impact community, and the Social Innovation Academy, a learning initiative led by UBC Sauder Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing (SauderS3i). Today, you can choose to give to a range of causes impacted and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including access to food security, seniors’ wellbeing, reducing violence, Indigenous communities. More Impact Ambassadors are joining as we continue to expand this campaign.