Oregon Black Pioneers is humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support this past month. Thanks to our community, OBP’s #BlackHistoryMonth campaign was successful beyond our wildest imaginations!
This year, OBP’s strategy was to show audiences all the projects our organization is involved in. We engaged with our audiences virtually through new digital storytelling tools, like the Strides for Social Justice App and a collaborative video presentation on the Blacks buried in the Salem Pioneer Cemetery. As well, our staff and Board led 12 speaking engagements in February alone for churches, civic groups, workplaces, universities, community nonprofits, and museums. In all, 1200 people attended events led by OBP during Black History Month!
OBP also took on a social media campaign featuring History Snapshots of significant figures. We were amazed by the level of community response to the stories of people who have helped shape the Black Oregonian experience. Several History Snapshots represent the most engagement we have ever had on Facebook, and audience comments expressed overwhelming gratitude.
Black History Month is a crucial time of year for all African American organizations. We made a specific ask for support with each History Snapshot post and newsletter in February. Our goal was to raise $100 in donations a day for every day in February, for a total monthly goal of $2800. This was an ambitious target for OBP, as our average monthly donations amount to less than $500. We were therefore amazed to see how many people contributed to this campaign with gifts of $50, $100, or even $500. In the end, we earned over $5500 just from individual contributors!
OBP was also extremely grateful to have received the support of three corporate sponsors. Lifesource Natural Foods in Salem ran a token donation campaign on OBP’s behalf which returned over $550. Fort George Brewery in Astoria donated 10% of nightly proceeds on 2/23 and the amount of their recycled aluminum for a total of $1575. And Ron Tonkin Kia of Gladstone donated $15 to OBP for every car sold in February, totaling over $1800. Altogether, OBP’s community of supporters helped us raise over $7400 this Black History Month!
As a small, hardworking nonprofit, the support of our community means everything to us. Not only do donations allow us to conduct research, participate in events, and develop new exhibits, it also affirms that our stories matter. We cannot wait to show you all the amazing projects that your support will make possible. On behalf of everyone at OBP, thank you so much.
Oregon Black Pioneers is Oregon’s only historical society dedicated to preserving and presenting the experiences of African Americans statewide. Since 1993, our organization has illuminated the seldom-told history of people of African descent in Oregon. We are inspired by the tenacity of Black Oregonians who have faced discrimination and hardship to make a life for themselves here over the past 400 years. We honor their sacrifices by remembering their stories and by sharing them with the public.
Please consider making a donation to help us preserve and promote Oregon’s African American history and culture.