Shining a Light on Black Philanthropy

For Jacqueline “JaQ” Campbell, founder of Alexander Legacy Private Wealth Management, philanthropy isn’t something you think about after the fact, years after amassing a fortune. Rather, it’s the key to generating wealth in the first place.

She counsels her clients to “give, save and spend in that order” while living by that same ethos. Before launching her wealth management firm in April, Campbell donated $100,000 to the T.D. Jakes Foundation. She paired that generous gift with $75,000 in grants to several other nonprofits and fledgling businesses.

“Once we launched, I wanted to take that vision of being one of very few Black female-run firms and give to this foundation so that we help launch careers and give disadvantaged students access to tools and careers,” Campbell said. “Bishop and his teachings and ministry have impacted me personally and professionally. This is, for us, part of who we are as an organization, and we’re not just talking the talk, we’re walking the walk.”

When it comes to Black philanthropy, Campbell has a lot of company. According to a report by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, African American families have—more than any other racial group—contributed the largest portion of their wealth to charity. Black households give 25% more of their income annually than white households.

But despite these statistics, most people think of the typical philanthropist in the mold of an older white man like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. Campbell is hoping to change that misperception, shining a light on communities that have always given but not gotten much credit for it.

“Going way back in history, we’ve been taught to sow the seed,” she said. “Black people are one of the largest demographics of givers, but they’re hidden. People see that they need philanthropy, not how they’re donating their time and money. I want to show them as givers as opposed to receivers.”

Campbell has always had a mindset for giving. Growing up, her family spent every Thanksgiving handing out turkey dinners to people living in housing projects, and she saw her parents give money and other necessities to those in need through their church. When she founded her wealth management firm earlier this year, she put giving at the centerpiece of her wealth strategies.

“We believe philanthropy is the key and foundation to wealth,” Campbell said. “Without philanthropy at the core, your wealth-building strategy will not work. So many of us are taught to squeeze, taught that it’s not enough. You have to change the mindset of clients to make them see that they have more than enough and we want you to watch it prosper through philanthropy.”

As a 16-year-old, Campbell got her first taste of the financial services industry, snagging an internship at Comerica’s Private Bank. She immediately took to the work and quickly rose through the ranks, going on to run a $1.8 billion investment team for Chase Wealth Management before founding her own firm.

Grateful for these opportunities, Campbell is giving back to organizations like the T.D. Jakes Foundation that focus on equipping young people with the skills and tools to have successful careers. In the wake of the twin crises of COVID-19 and racial reckoning, Campbell has ramped up her philanthropic efforts even further, giving, in addition to the T.D. Jakes Foundation, to organizations like Year Up, which caters to at-risk youth, and the Association of African American Financial Advisors Foundation, which prepares African Americans to succeed in financial services.

“Last year hit us in a unique way, with the pandemic and George Floyd,” Campbell said. “There were lots of things causing despair and we thought: How do we bring light to a dark situation? How do we make a positive contribution to society? We have a mission to help advance careers and launch the next generation of advisors to have six-figure careers and a seven-figure net worth. We want to put an end to the wealth gap and create careers that are lasting.”

Back to News & Insights