by Cheryl Oestreicher, Project Archivist, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
For more information about the collection described in this post, please contact the Archives at Auburn Avenue Research Library, aarl [dot] archives [at] fultoncountyga [dot] gov
“Working for Freedom: Documenting Civil Rights Organizations” is a collaborative project between Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, The Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, and The Robert W. Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center to uncover and make available previously hidden collections documenting the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta and New Orleans. The project is administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Each organization regularly contributes blog posts about their progress.
As a nonprofit organization, the Center for Democratic Renewal relied on donations and grants to fund its staff, programs, publications, and initiatives. Though the CDR accepted individual donations, it did not function as a membership organization. Instead, they placed much time and effort into fundraising and development.
These efforts are well-represented in the CDR Records. Staff and/or volunteers continually looked for opportunities and they collected information about numerous local, state, national, and international philanthropic organizations. Some of these foundations include the Ford Foundation, Fund for Southern Communities, Pew Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Network of Grantmakers, Jewish Fund for Justice, FREESA Development Fund for South Africa, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, and the National Black United Fund.
The material represented in this part of the collection is a rich resource about philanthropic endeavors, particularly from African-Americans but also women, South Africa, religion, and corporations. The collection contains reports, brochures, correspondence, meeting minutes, proposals, budgets, and other documents about CDR’s fundraising efforts but also about the organizations themselves. The foundations offered grants for agriculture, housing, education, economic development, and other aspects of social change.
The fundraising and development series of the CDR collection will provide insight not just into black philanthropy, but also the programs and services created to address contemporaneous social issues between 1979 and 2008.
[Note: The Center for Democratic Renewal Records are currently closed for processing and will be available in Summer 2012.]