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October 16, 2023

BPI Announces $300,000 Gift from Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

The Black Philanthropy Initiative of Winston-Salem (BPI) announces a $300,000 gift from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation toward its 3-year, $2 million campaign to support local Black communities.

In the fall of 2022, BPI announced the goal of raising at least $2 million over three years—funds will be largely directed toward increasing its annual grantmaking funding, with the remaining added to its endowment to ensure that dollars are available to support grantmaking for years to come. To-date, BPI has raised more than $1.5 million toward its $2 million fundraising goal. Since its founding in 2003, BPI has awarded more than $800,000 to local organizations that are building a better future and transforming lives for Black residents.

“BPI is a 100% Black-led initiative that is explicitly focused on grantmaking and programming that strengthens our local Black communities,” said Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Executive Director Joy Vermillion Heinsohn.The initiative is a great example of participatory grantmaking and one way that philanthropy can help shift power, so that grant decisions are made by those who are most proximate to the needs of their communities.”

Tiffany Waddell Tate, BPI’s Advisory Committee Chair, notes, “This extraordinary gift from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation will significantly boost our ability to positively impact even more lives in our local Black communities.  We are extremely grateful for their support.”

As the only local funding initiative that is 100% Black-led, BPI is uniquely positioned to address the most pressing issues that Black residents face because of deliberate and systematic underinvestment.  BPI currently offers three grant programs: Impact Grants, Building an Inclusive Economy Grants, and Advancing Equity in Education Grants.  

Vermillion Heinsohn adds, “BPI also shows what can happen when people in our hometown of Winston-Salem come together to tackle the most pressing issues in our community. We are thrilled to support this important work.”