Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Black United Fund Of Oregon?

We are a publicly supported nonprofit organization, which awards grants to nonprofit agencies that address critical issues in low-income communities, designed to foster long-term solutions and support the health and welfare of children and families, promote cultural awareness, protect human rights, and stimulate economic development.

Does The Black United Fund Only Address Issues In The African-American Community?

We address issues facing low-income communities in all ethnic groups. However, we do focus on the African American community because of the disparities in care, especially health and education. Here is just a partial list of the ethnic communities we served last year: African American, African, Asian, Caucasian, European Immigrant, Hispanic, Latino(a), Native American, Somali Immigrant.

What are all of the Black United Fund programs and services?

Grant Program: We proudly support organizations, who improve social and economic conditions and increase opportunities in traditionally under-served communities. More.

College Fairs: The Black United Fund College Fairs introduce middle school and high school students to opportunities for secondary education. There are representatives from public and private institutions, as well as informative breakout sessions covering critical information about financial aid, scholarships, college life and removing the fear from PSAT, SAT and ACT exams. More.

Scholarship Program: We award scholarships to African/African American students, who are selected based on their academic standing, financial need, school participation, community service activities, oral and written performance. We also offer a database of available scholarships, so students can easily find them. More.

Scholarship Writing Workshops: We offer workshops each month to students who need help perfecting scholarship applications and interview techniques. More.

Resource Library: We offer a comfortable space complete with computer lab and a scholarship resource library for students of all ages. The library is open weekdays by request, free of charge.

Why Focus on a Particular Community?

As stated in the Urban League’s State of Black Oregon Report, “at a time when the nation has elected our first Black president, more African American men are losing jobs than at any time since World War II. No single group is being hit harder by the deep recession. The unemployment rate for African American men age 20 to 24 has risen 17 percent since the late 1990s. In our foster care system, today in Oregon, minorities are disproportionately represented. African American children account for 2.3 percent of Oregon’s child population—
yet these children make up 7.3 percent of Oregon’s foster care population.”

The report continues:

38 percent of Black children live in households with incomes below the poverty level; 60 percent live in households with income below 200 percent of the poverty level.
African Americans are overrepresented in services occupations, office administration, production and transport.
African American Oregonians are underrepresented in management professional occupations, sales and retail, construction, extraction, maintenance and forestry.

The social and economic costs of these problems, a life prematurely ended, disabled, or lived out short of its full potential, can have a devastating effect on our state. While this community remains a central focus, as we have grown our mission has expanded to address the needs of all Oregon’s and SW Washington’s low-income communities.

What Are The Goals Of The Black United Fund Of Oregon?
Everything we do is to help stimulate growth in low-income communities, ensuring that all Oregonians are able to live out their full potential.

Our Goals

To encourage greater philanthropic activity in Oregon and SW Washington.
To provide grants to non-profit organizations serving low-income communities.
To teach non-profit organizations to better serve their community through management and resource training sessions, and by offering access to critical information.
To help people build their own legacy by providing financial and estate planning workshops for community members, aiding them in developing skills to live independent, self-sufficient lives.
To provide resources to deserving African/African American students who wish to attend college, including scholarships, scholarship writing workshops and college fairs.

What are the values of the Black United Fund?

Commitment to Excellence
Empowering Individuals and Communities
Educational Equity

How much of my contribution will directly benefit low-income communities?

Eighty-five cents of every dollar donated to the Black United Fund of Oregon directly benefits local agencies working in low-income communities. Our overhead cost is only 15%, which is well below the 30% considered acceptable by the state of Oregon.

How are Black United Fund Agencies Selected?

Support is allocated by experienced staff, board members and community members who review funding requests and occasionally conduct site visits. Grants are awarded based on community needs, program feasibility and commitment to diversity.

How does the Black United Fund ensure that my donation is used properly?

Strict adherence to sound administration and fiscal management policies and ongoing program monitoring of our agency partners ensure that all programs supported by the Black United Fund operate within accepted financial and management guidelines. We request an accountant reviewed financial statement from our partner organizations.

How can I support the important work of the Black United Fund?

Our success depends on the generous contributions we receive from people like you – people who believe in our mission. You can make a tremendous difference by contributing through the annual campaign at your workplace, giving cash or planned gifts directly or by becoming a volunteer.

You can also attend our Annual Scholarship Awards Celebration, held each spring. Help us celebrate education, equity and community! To learn more please contact us by email or phone.