The COVID-19 pandemic caught all of us off guard. In addition to tragic and unnecessary deaths, the pandemic caused massive disruption to businesses and nonprofits. Although Oregon Black Pioneers does not have a physical location that had to close, we were not immune to having our work upended. OBP was forced to half it public program and consultation work while figuring out which of its ambitious plans for 2021 could be continued and which would have to be eliminated.
Thankfully, we were able to continue our work because of tremendous grant support from Oregon Cultural Trust, the Oregon Black CARES Fund/The Contingent, and The Collins Foundation. These grants allowed OBP to continue our in-progress work and take steps to ensure our long term plans could remain possible. But our organization still needed support to make up for our lost program revenue. We put out a call to you, our supporters, and you answered.
We launched a Year End Campaign in November with a mailed letter and three emails asking for support before December 31st. Thanks to our generous supporters, this campaign was a tremendous success! At the beginning, our internal goal was to raise $8000. Your gifts help us get more than 90% there in just the first 30 days. We quickly adjusted to aim for $10,000. When all checks were accounted for, our donors had contributed $9750 during the campaign!
This incredible campaign result is far and away the largest single campaign response Oregon Black Pioneers has ever seen. It is incredibly reassuring to see how much our work matters to our community. Your belief in preserving and presenting the Black Oregonian experience inspires the work that we do, and your donations allow us to continue to push for innovative new ways to tell those unique stories. Because of you, OBP is poised to bring you exciting new projects this year which I look forward to sharing with you in future posts. On behalf of the whole Oregon Black Pioneers team, thank you so, 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.