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Donor Spotlight: Meet Tiki Copeland and Discover Her “Why”
Tiki Copeland has been a Black Cooperative Impact Fund donor since our inception in 2016. In fact, she was one of the first individuals President Robert Lewis called for an annual commitment of $1,000 a year. She jumped on board immediately.
When considering what compelled her to give, Tiki immediately recalled,“It was the mindset of Garveyism for me… We want to be entrepreneurial, but there are so many roadblocks.” Tiki understood that in order for an organization like BCIF to exist, mission-aligned individuals like herself had to commit to ongoing financial support. She also supports United Way and The Sickle Cell Disease Foundation. Tiki stated, “When I believe in something, I believe it takes money to do it. I believe philanthropy is in me… Recycling dollars that stay in our community is a no-brainer for me.” If she ever won the lottery, Tiki imagines she would “become a philanthropist and invest my financial resources in economic empowerment and education of Black people domestically and internationally.” Further, she would also “work with [criminal] justice programs to assist our folks with the judicial system.”
A former business owner, Tiki believes that BCIF’s microloan concept makes complete sense. She explained, “Microloans foster creativity.” Ten years ago, Tiki and her husband were fortunate enough to use their own revenues to fund a restaurant business. However, she recounted, “We were in a high risk business.” In retrospect, she wonders whether it would not have been more prudent to start with a microloan program like BCIF—had it existed. Why? Tiki explained that when a business is in its nascent stages, too many No’s can break down the spirit of a business owner. Initially, the Copelands received many No’s before they received that one powerful Yes. Consequently, she cares about uplifting those African American business owners who have a vision and a plan for long-term economic growth and sustainability.
The BCIF of 2023 is not the BCIF of 2017, and Tiki loves that. She likes that the organization has allowed itself to grow and evolve. As an example, she cited the recent name change from Black Cooperative Investment Fund to Black Cooperative Impact Fund. Not content to let her donor dollars alone illustrate her commitment, Tiki has served on the loan review committee and she’s open to serving as a volunteer leader.
Noting the recent uptick in engagement posts across BCIF’s platforms, Tiki has been excited about the growing momentum. She’s eager to meet and engage with others in the BCIF donor community who share her passion for the economic empowerment of the African American community.
Make your donation to the Black Cooperative Impact Fund today and help fuel a perpetual source of capital for Southern California’s African American business community.