Why we're donating 1% of our revenue

DeShuna Spencer, kweliTV Founder/CEO (Photo Credit: Kate Araujo)


Recently, I was talking to a potential funder about some of kweliTV's big audacious goals. He seemed very excited about our long-term vision until I mentioned kweliGIVES. He wondered why on earth would we give 1% of our revenue away when we're a new company that still hasn't raised its seed round. 

Typically during the early years of a start-up, valuable dollars are spent on customer growth not philanthropic efforts. So I get it. But for me, one of the hardest adjustments to having a young start-up is my inability to give as I would like. Before I launched kweliTV, I was on a number of volunteer boards. I donated a lot of resources to causes that I cared about. I made a commitment to volunteer my time to a different DC area non-profit once a month. I enjoy giving back. With the day-to-day demands and financial strains of running a new company, the act of giving has taken a back seat. Well, until now.

With so much injustice happening around the world, I believe it is critical that kweliTV serves as a catalyst for change, even as a bootstrapped entertainment company. That's why we launched kweliGIVES, in which 1% of our subscription revenue is donated to a non-profit organization making a positive impact in our community.

Our first recipient is Black Millennials for Flint (BM4F). Their mission is to empower communities to take action and advocate against the crisis of lead exposure specifically in African American & Latino communities. To date, BM4F has donated over 30,000 gallons of water to Flint, Michigan. BM4F also provides support to other black and brown cities experiencing challenges with lead exposure. 

It's mind-boggling and downright infuriating that water is still not 100% safe in Flint, Michigan. While the permanent solution to the city's water crisis is a long, ongoing process, we can still do our part. Through kweliGIVES, BM4F plans to improve the quality of life of communities impacted by lead exposure and deploy more water to Flint residents in need. kweliTV delivered our first check to the organization in early October; and we are committed to giving to BM4F through the end of the year. 

Beginning in 2019, we will be expanding kweliGIVES by selecting a different non-profit recipient every quarter. We will ask our paying members to identify and nominate 501c3 non-profits and/or promising social impact film projects. We will open up nominations in December. Now there's another reason to join kweliTV because 1% of your $5.99 a month or $49.99 a year subscription will go to kweliGIVES.

Hit us up at hello@kweli.tv for any questions, comments or concerns about kweliGIVES or any other initiative or issue.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm tremendously thankful to have you as a part of kweliTV's tribe 💜.

Forever grateful,


DeShuna Spencer
Founder & CEO // kweliTV
@deshuna (twitter)
@deshunaspencer (instagram)