Best of Kansas City 2021: The G.I.F.T. that keeps on giving

A group of eight people on stage at the G.I.F.T Gala

A photo from the G.I.F.T Gala. // Photo by Stacy Artis

When G.I.F.T. was featured in our 2020 Best of KC issue, they had recently given their first grant of $10,000 to Ruby Jean’s Juicery to save it from closing. On Oct. 15, they hosted their first annual gala to pop the bubbly in honor of their many successes.

G.I.F.T. has been combatting redlining and systemic racism by giving grants and professional development opportunities to Black-owned businesses in KC’s Urban Core since 2020.

In their first year, they gave $227,000 in grants to 14 Black-owned businesses, and are projected to give $520,000 to at least 24 businesses in year two.

They are almost restless in their work, continually adding new programming and business opportunities for their grantees. Their team also led the Give Black fundraising initiative this June to support BIPOC-run nonprofits, blowing their $80,000 goal out of the water with a whopping of $125,000. Just head to Hy-Vee, where you can find products from two of their grantee businesses. 

As co-founder and COO Brandon Calloway puts it, G.I.F.T. has gone “from a pure idea to full out impact.” He adds: “We rely heavily on community support.”

To donate or volunteer, check out the organization’s website.

Categories: Culture