The concept of mindful spending, juicy living, and philanthropy are inextricably linked. When you invest your resources—both time and money—Into experiences, causes, and projects that you believe you, you positively impact and change the world.
Ebonie Johnson Cooper, the founder of Friends of Ebonie, a marketing communication agency with “an edge in social responsibility for African-American millenials” is helping change how young, professional African-Americans born between 1982-1994, view the world of philanthropy— which still carries the stigma has being a sphere exclusively for the wealthy, white, and older.
Friends of Ebonie serves as a leading leader in calling black millenials to action through engaging them in “compelling and relevant thought leadership” and hosting their signature panel series Defining Young Black Philanthropy. This agency also strategically plans with non-profits, networks, and organizations struggling to successfully engage this diverse demographic.
Friends of Ebonie, started in 2010, was initially an informal outlet for her to update her friends about what she was doing with respect to fundraising and civic engagement. Despite its success, Ms. Cooper, as a budding entrepreneur, choses to hold a part-time job while the business continues to expand. “ I can’t make good on my promises if I can’t take care of myself” she reasons. To deepen her skill-set, meet people in her sector, and to ensure the sustainability of her vision, she serves as a marketing writer for a Brooklyn non-profit.
Cooper poses,“In 10 or 20 years, the traditional philanthropist will die off what kind of philanthropists will be there to replace them?”
To be prepared for this hand-off, she believes that millenials-of-color have to begin to shift their mindset around giving in order to have more collective power. In particular, these millenials, typically with small giving budgets, need to learn how to graciously say “no” to many organizations in order to give strategically support a few. For a millennial with a $200 annual giving budget, there is more opportunity for leadership when giving two $100 contributions to one organization than $25 contributions to eight different organizations.
Ebonie is moving and making things happen. If you want to catch-up with her, check out her site: www.friendsofebonie.com