Us Companies, Nudged by Black Employees, Have Stepped Up Donations to Hbcus


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Black colleges and universities, which had seen giving from foundations decline in recent decades, lately are benefiting from an increase in gifts, particularly from corporations and corporate foundations.

Some have received a new look from companies amid the reckoning over racial injustice spurred by the killing of George Floyd.

But the colleges also have been pitching themselves, emphasizing their ability to deliver returns on the investment in student mobility.

Another factor in the giving by corporations has been the influence of their Black employees.

At the beverage company Diageo North America, the employee resource group for African Americans shaped a program that has provided almost $12 million to HBCUs, said Danielle Robinson, head of community engagement and partnerships for Diageo.

The money has gone toward scholarships at 29 schools to lessen the debt burden on Black graduates.Historically Black colleges and universities, which had seen giving from foundations decline in recent decades, lately are benefiting from an increase in gifts, particularly from corporations and corporate foundations.

Data is incomplete for more recent years, but HBCUs have been reporting a sustained increase lately in donations from corporations as well as philanthropic foundations.

Delaware State University received $20 million from MacKenzie Scott in 2020, part of the $560 million that the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos gave to HBCUs.

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