App changes way donations made to FAMU, other HBCUs

Photo courtesy FAMU athletics

HBCU Change put out a press release on July 15 regarding its new app to assist with donations to HBCUs.

HBCU Change was founded by entrepreneur Xavier Peoples as one of his latest projects.

The HBCU Change app is similar to Acorns or Stash. Unlike those apps that take spare change and invest it into a portfolio for you, the HBCU Change app uses your spare change to donate to HBCUs instead.

My first job after undergrad did not pay very well. Of course, Id love to give back to my alma mater but it just doesnt seem feasible. However, with this app, I feel like I can make it work,” said Parris Fields, a graduate of Paul Quinn College in Texas.

The purpose of the app is to develop innovative ways to raise $1 billion over the next five years for historically black colleges and universities,” according to the company’s online mission statement.

There are four main features of the app that allow for seamless use and reliability. There is an option to see your contribution history which will come in handy for tax time. If the contributions become too much at any point, you have the ability to stop them temporarily and restart when youd like.

To provide a competitive streak among people, you can view rankings for donations. The rankings show schools and class years that have raised the most money. Of course, HBCU Change guarantees bank-level security with its encryption and never saves banking information.

 Though most HBCUs have been around for more than a hundred years, they are still severely underfunded and, unfortunately, alumni are also receiving lower salaries in comparison to predominately white institutions’ students. That means as alumni, it makes it more difficult to donate to your alma mater when you have a low income to begin with. This app can be beneficial for some because you dont even realize you are donating when the amounts are just your spare change.

The app allows alumni and supporters to give back at any time, in any place by allowing their spare change to go toward their selected school without even having to think about it. Giving back in this space is critical at this point. Many mainstream institutions have relied on large endowments when the pandemic hit, but many HBCUs just don’t have that financial cushion,” Peoples said.

FAMU Athletics has been the first branch of the university to test out the new app to help with the All In campaign” to raise funds for field house renovations that are taking place.

“Florida A&M athletics is excited to lead the charge and introduce this new platform of giving. This platform is not only about generating resources but it’s about culture and supporting HBCUs like never before,” said athletic director Kortne Gosha.

HBCU Change has the potential to become a significant tool to alleviate the currently limited donations (in comparison to PWIs) from alumni networks.