Ignite Philanthropy and Black Achievers of Cincinnati Forge Strategic Partnership


Black Achievers Inc. is Cincinnati’s rapidly expanding network of Black professionals. Steered by a dedicated group of volunteer leaders, the non-profit startup has attracted 4,000 members and 540 Black business owners in just over two years.

That success has led to a new partnership with Ignite Philanthropy, a leader in shaping our region’s future through strategic capital planning for non-profits and through community grantmaking. In 2020, the Cincinnati-based consultancy firm of 16 individuals helped raise $56 million to fuel critical community projects and investments. Additionally, through its foundation clients, Ignite awarded over $6 million in community grantmaking. Ignite’s clients include Freestore Foodbank, Women Helping Women, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Bethany House, Main Street Ventures, Cincinnati Art Museum, Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Louise Taft Semple Foundation, and the Scripps Howard Foundation.

In additional to an investment from Ignite to underwrite a portion of Black Achievers’ 2021 programming, the two organizations have forged a strategic partnership to connect Black Achievers’ members to the region’s philanthropic community through opportunities to serve on strategic planning committees and fundraising cabinets, as well as appointments to leading non-profit boards.

“The mission of Black Achievers aligns seamlessly with Ignite Philanthropy’s belief that the future of Cincinnati is dependent on our becoming a more inclusive and equitable region,” said Scott Provancher, president and CEO of Ignite Philanthropy. “We appreciate that the organization has taken on one of our greatest talent challenges—attraction and retention of Black professionals. We know in order to best advance the important community work we seek to advance alongside our clients, we must ensure every voice and perspective is at the table to inform our community planning efforts. We are thrilled to have Black Achievers as a strategic partner.”

Black professionals report that a sense of belonging is key to successful retention, yet it is often hard to develop. The non-profit and philanthropic sector, where Ignite concentrates its work, is just one area where improvement is needed. A 2017 BoardSource report found that non-profit boards are no more racially and ethnically diverse today than they were two decades ago and that “current recruitment practices indicate this is unlikely to change.” Furthermore, according to a recent survey on the effort to recruit and retain diverse board leaders which was conducted by New York City-based CariClub, although 95% of non-profits are actively seeking to diversify their governing boards, 87% have struggled in their fundamental attempts to identify the successful recruitment channels.

“Black Achievers is grateful to have the support of committed partners like Ignite Philanthropy, who are passionate about improving the diversity of leadership in the non-profit and philanthropic communities, in particular,” said Michael More, Black Achievers Founder & President. “This commitment to Black Achievers will drive real change.”

Supporting Black Achievers was an easy decision for Ignite Philanthropy. “We feel so fortunate to have a chance to work alongside Black Achievers to advance their vision of diversity in the greater Cincinnati region. We look forward to developing a lasting and strong relationship and doing great things together.” said Teresa Hoelle, Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services at Ignite Philanthropy.

About Black Achievers

Black Achievers, Inc. was founded in 2018 by Michael R. Moore. Black Achievers is now one of the largest Black professional organizations in the state of Ohio, with over 4,000 members in Cincinnati and over 30,000 members nationwide. The organization’s mission is to connect, educate and economically empower African Americans and serve as a pipeline of diverse talent for non-profits and corporations. Black Achievers is uniquely positioned to help organizations with their attraction and retention needs of African Americans. For more information visit: www.blackachievers.com.

About Ignite Philanthropy

Ignite Philanthropy shapes the future of our community by connecting people, ideas, and capital to fuel community solutions. Ignite integrates all aspects of philanthropy under one roof, serving as a strategic partner for the philanthropic and non-profit sector—from non-profits looking for an experienced fundraising partner to raise capital to advance their mission to foundations seeking to strategically guide and manage their charitable giving. In 2020, Ignite raised over $55 million for its nonprofit clients and facilitated $6 million in community grantmaking through its corporate and family foundation clients. For more information visit: https://ignitephilanthropy.com/.