The CCF Rewind

We hope you are doing well. We’re back to work at CCF, and this week, we bring you two badass essays themed around programming.


7 ways to tell stories ethically: the journey from exploited program participant to empowered storyteller
By Nel Taylor, major gifts officer

Nel spent a number of years being the face of communication campaigns. Their story as a program participant of an arts nonprofit, detailing their transition out of homelessness, was exploited and used to solicit donations for years. As Nel says in their essay, they were praised for their difficulties instead of celebrated for their real attributes and hard work.

That truly crappy experience has inspired Nel to become an especially conscientious storyteller. They’ve done the awesome and much needed work of putting together a list of 7 ways for all of us to start telling stories more ethically. (The list is pretty easy to adopt so there are no excuses not to do these things!)

We’ve got to stop pretending program workers don’t exist
By Nate Levin-Aspenson, grants manager

Nate brings up a really important point: That in donor-centric communications narratives, when we make the donor the hero of the story, when we craft messaging that says, “Your donation fed 100 hungry people” — we completely erase the many operational layers that actually are in between the donor and the people that are helped by nonprofit programming. We erase the nonprofit workers — and all the work it takes to actually make donations impactful.

In his essay, Nate calls on everyone to remember us program workers, because beyond the ethical implications of this, the erasure of program workers also contributes to a culture that devalues nonprofit work — and that ultimately makes our jobs harder.


We are always looking for new voices and new perspectives for our Content Hub! Check out our editorial guidelines if you’re interested in contributing! Also, FYI, we have a bit of a backlog, so we apologize in advance for the delay in responding to your amazing emails!


What: “SELF” — a CCF BIPOC Town Hall Series
(CORRECTED TIME!) When: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time / 4 p.m. Central Time / 5 p.m. Eastern Time

Join us on Thursday, Jan 14 for cafe-style conversations with fundraisers of color across the country. We’ll explore our relationship with philanthropy, share origin stories, and imagine a world where communities are centered. This event series is EXCLUSIVELY for Black, Indigenous, and persons of color and is hosted by Community-Centric Fundraising, featuring co-chairs Vu Le and Michelle Muri.

This will be the first of a three-part monthly series.

Save the dates for CCF Town Halls:

January 14, 2021: “SELF”
February 11, 2021: “COLLECTIVE”
March 11, 2021: “MOVEMENT”

Talk to us about your progress!

Let us know how the CCF movement has affected you, your organization, or your work! Since the launch in July, we’ve been hearing stories of how folks have been changing the way they think about or do fundraising. Maybe your org stopped listing donors by donation amount in the annual report. Maybe you are highlighting the work of other organizations. We’d love to hear about it! Please fill out this form by Dec 31.

FYI, we may share your comments, attributed to you, in a future Rewind or on social media.

Join CCF’s Slack

For those of you who are interested in starting up a CCF group in your own city or just meeting cool new folx, hit up our CCF Slack!

Follow Us

Follow CCF on social media, get edutained! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Donate to CCF

CCF is a movement that relies heavily on BIPOC leaders. We strive to pay equitably, understanding the history of uncompensated labor. Your donations go toward paying amazing content creators as well as for the maintenance of our website, virtual events we’re putting on, and more. Support the movement by donating!