1. What is the Black Resilience Fund?
The Black Resilience Fund (“BRF” or “The Fund”) is an emergency fund dedicated to fostering healing and resilience in our community by providing immediate resources to Black Portlanders.
2. Why was the Black Resilience Fund started?
The Black Resilience Fund was created as a response to the continual and preventable suffering endured by Black communities due to systemic oppression. Together, we can make an immediate positive impact for frontline communities—which is why we created the Black Resilience Fund.
We need healing. We need justice. And that requires action.
3. Who operates the Black Resilience Fund?
The Black Resilience Fund was co-founded by Cameron Whitten and Salomé Chimuku, who both served unpaid alongside over 400 additional volunteers from June until August 2020. Once funding was secured for staffing, cameron was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Brown Hope, the nonprofit parent organization of the Black Resilience Fund. Brown Hope is currently in the process of hiring a full-time BRF Program Manager. Salomé continues to be an active member of BRF, but has transitioned from leadership.
4. How long has the Black Resilience Fund been in operation?
The Black Resilience Fund was founded on June 1st, 2020 as an emergency fundraiser on GoFundMe. Since then, our volunteers have been diligently at work to build a consistent and transparent structure for the Fund.
5. How is the Black Resilience Fund being transparent/accountable with its funds?
We are committed to transparency and accountability. We’ve developed a team of 20 volunteers who comb through data and actively engage recipients to ensure applications are reviewed and funds are disbursed.
Weekly reports and monthly Impact Reports are issued to show where funds have been allocated and to summarize the latest activities of our movement. We frequently share testimonials of Black Portlanders who have already benefited from the Black Resilience Fund.
6. Is my contribution to the Black Resilience Fund tax deductible?
Donations made on BlackResilienceFund.com or via check (write the check to Black Resilience Fund and please send to P.O. Box 6807 Portland, Oregon 97228) are tax deductible. Contributions to any campaign on the GoFundMe website are not tax deductible, which is one of the reasons we transitioned The Fund from that platform to a nonprofit program operated by Brown Hope.
7. Who qualifies for funding?
In order to qualify for support through the Black Resilience Fund, applicants must meet this eligibility criteria:
Identify as Black, African American, or African; and
Currently reside in the Portland metropolitan area (Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah, and Washington Counties).
8. What can funds be used for?
This fund was intended to provide immediate relief from financial burdens for basic living expenses and life emergencies. Our primary categories are: A Warm, Delivered Meal; Groceries; Small Business Support; Education / Student Loans; Electric/Light & Water Bill; Phone & Internet Bill; Rent; Credit Card Debt; Medical; Transportation; and Moving Costs. The Fund explicitly does not provide support for startup businesses.
9. How long does it take for an applicant to find out if they’re approved for funds?
After applying, a 15-minute video interview is required to be eligible for funds. A volunteer reaches out to applicants in order of when they applied to schedule video interviews. In order to provide a culturally inclusive experience, all interviewers are Black Portlanders. At this time, it takes 6 weeks to complete this process.
10. How long does it take to receive funds after being approved?
After approval, funds will be delivered up to 10 days after the intake interview by check, PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App.
11. How much funding can a recipient receive?
The mission of the Black Resilience Fund is to support Portland’s entire Black community. Our theory of change is to make a collective impact by supporting as many Black Portlanders as possible. With over 10,000 requests received, most funding awards are capped at $300. Rare exceptions are based on need, and primarily prioritize domestic violence survivors, death in the family, and survivors of house fires.
12. Can applicants receive more than one round of funding?
Applicants can receive more funds as long as they have not hit the funding cap. Most applicants receive their maximum funding from the initial award.
13. How can I or my organization get involved in the BRF?
We welcome partnership with businesses and other organizations. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
14. Can you help from home/maintain social distance?
Yes, we have plenty of volunteer opportunities you can complete from your home, including social media, responding to email inquiries, and grant writing. Please sign up to volunteer through this link.
15. How can I talk to my employer about matching my donation?
Yes! Donor matching contributions can only be made through this link. You can also donate via check to P.O. Box 6807 Portland, Oregon 97228. If your company uses Benevity.com for matching gifts, look up and donate to BRF through our operating nonprofit, Brown Hope.
16. What are the long term plans for the Black Resilience Fund?
The Black Resilience Fund was created with the intention of being a one-time emergency fund, but in the past weeks, we have seen the transformative impact the Fund has had in the lives of people from all backgrounds in this community. Thanks to hundreds of volunteers, we have built an organizational structure that can serve a long-time purpose.
We’re proud of everything the BRF team has accomplished with 100% volunteer energy. Through passion, grit, and collaboration, we’ve established a solid infrastructure that can benefit our entire community over the long term. In order to make this lasting impact, we know we’ll need stable leadership that we can’t attain with volunteer time alone. Because of this, a portion of all new donations made to BRF during the month of July will be dedicated to the Black Resilient Futures Fund, with a goal of bringing paid staff to help sustain the work. Help sustain our movement by donating today.