Although there has been an outpour of fiscal support for historically Black colleges and universities throughout the country, funding disparities between HBCUs and PWIs persist. Entrepreneur Dominique King is tapping into the power of technology to empower HBCU alumni to pay it forward by giving back to their alma maters, Forbes reported.
The Howard University alumna is the founder of a digital platform dubbed I Heart My HBCU. Through the app founded in 2017, users can round up debit or credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and donate the change to their top five historically Black colleges and universities. The tax-deductible donations are allocated towards the creation of scholarships, the advancement of academic and sports programs, campus revitalization projects and other endowments.
The platform recently fostered a two-year partnership with Xavier University of Louisiana, further advancing its mission of making HBCU giving more accessible. Through the pact, the New Orleans-based university is setting out to have upwards of 10,000 individuals join the XULA donor community on the platform. I Heart My HBCU will donate $1 for up to $10,000 raised. King says she created the app to preserve the rich legacies of historically Black colleges and universities and ensure they are around for generations to come.
“While HBCU alumni are large in numbers, preserving our HBCUs will take a community effort,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “I Heart My HBCU’s chat integration takes the app from just being a donor marketplace to a donor community for HBCU alumni and friends of HBCUs to network, exchange ideas, support other Black-owned businesses and, most importantly, support HBCUs.”
HBCU alumni are stepping up for their alma maters in transformative ways. In August, Alabama A&M University received a $2.2 million donation from an anonymous alum, the largest individual gift the school has received in its 146-year history.