By Community-Centric Fundraising Global Council Communications Committee

Rakhi is a nonprofit development consultant and grant writer, educator, community advocate, data scientist, and current CCF organizer. Through CCF, she has combined her experiences as a community organizer and former activist with her wide nonprofit development experience. She has received privileged credentials from schools that uphold systems of white supremacy, and as a queer, fat, brown disabled woman who was born to South Asian immigrants, is dedicated to leveraging her privileges to working towards equity, justice, and liberation for all. She currently lives, connects, and organizes on the land of the Tonkawa and Comanche peoples in Austin, Texas. She has never-ending love for and interest in babies, half-sour dill pickles, and Criminal Minds.

— Rakhi’s Community-Centric Fundraising bio

Close up of a lit candle. In the background are out of focus lights symbolizing other candles

On March 1, 2023, Rakhi became our first Community Centric Fundraising ancestor. It was an unexpected transition, and there was much left unsaid. What does it mean to grasp fruitlessly at the closure we so profoundly yearn for? With the end of the year as a marker to ponder love and loss, the passage of time, and our ancestors, we hope to bring closure to this year and those moments by honoring Rakhi.

An Instagram post by Queerbomb. In the background is Queerbomb's logo and a photograph of Rakhi smiling. Text says Queerbomb Saturday June 4 at Native Hostel doors: 6 pm Rakhi Agrawal Rally Speaker

As much as each of us desires to become human embodiments of our ideals, the work of creating a better world is inherently messy because we are human beings. Rakhi was not superhuman; she sought to be her whole self and cultivate beauty in the world around her. Rakhi was profoundly shaped by her pain and experienced struggles with close relationships. Also, she designed how thousands of us have formed relationships and a sense of belonging in our virtually anchored community, CCF’s Slack space.

Rakhi experienced ongoing challenges in her personal life, including housing and navigation of her mental health. Also, Rakhi understood the need for community and sought deep relationships and connections with others, often connecting via the outdoors. She was someone who deeply yearned for a better place, a better home for BIPOC and Queer people, and helped co-create those spaces in CCF (including helping bring forth the Global Council), Queerbomb, Outdoor Rep!, and every organization she touched.

Rakhi is a CCF ancestor, and as we close out this year, we reflect and carry memories of her with us, and all the complexities that remembrance entails. We ask ourselves, “What does it mean to be in community?” and “How do we love each other well?” as well as my personal favorite, “What does justice require?”

May we release the unsaid and unresolved as we walk into 2024, and meditate on our shared responsibility as those who remain. May Rakhi live on through her legacy, of which we are all inheritors.

— Abigail, on behalf of the CCF Global Council

Three photographs of Rakhi. The first is a headshot of Rakhi wearing a green shirt. The second is a photograph of Rakhi with Founding Council members Vu Le and Rehana Lanewala. The third is Rakhi at a conference wearing a maroon shirt.

In her own words

“So, I want to offer up a few unconventional definitions of confidence. To me, confidence is:

  • Leading with integrity and accountability above all else; owning when my words, actions, and/or existence causes real hurt or harm to others
  • Fiercely grounding myself in my values, while humbly recognizing that I am constantly failing and learning and growing and changing
  • Recognizing how much light and value I can offer to my people
  • Valuing solitude over being around people who aren’t in alignment with me or what I want for the world
  • Being and embodying love, to whatever extent that is possible
  • Knowing that no matter how abnormal I am, I’m incredible and extraordinary
  • Recognizing that my fat body deserves love, regardless of the negative things the world has to say about me
  • Seeking out relationships and spaces where I can be known — seen, valued, and understood, at my best and at my worst
  • Pouring into people who offer me love and attention freely, without me having to work for it; not pouring into others.”

— Rakhi

“I helped build a movement in Chicago to obtain reparations ($$) for victims of police torture—we won.” — Rakhi

You can enjoy more of Rakhi’s words, from her early writing in 2014 about Mental Health Awareness Week at Colombia, her Hub article on fundraising, to her giving circle idea to support “underfunded groups and organizations that are BIPOC-led, LGBTQIA+/queer-led, or otherwise led by folx representative of marginalized communities and/or intersectional identities.” Here’s also Rakhi talking on Summit Sidebars with Jack Schleifer about their organization, Outdoor Rep, work that organizations like Melanin Base Camp continue.

In their own words

Honoring Rakhi Agrawal

“In her work with CCF, Rakhi was instrumental in early efforts to organize a loose affiliation of nonprofit fundraising professionals into what is now a thriving, worldwide movement. I will always remember her fierce, tireless devotion to the work, and her passion for organization.”

— Marisa

Rakhi with a group from CCF

I’m grateful for the fire and passion Rakhi brought to the movement for Community Centric Fundraising. She helped us launch the Slack community, kept the Content Hub running, and helped shape the vision for a global council transition.


Rakhi with CCF folks for dinner

“I met Rakhi when she began supporting the Community Centric Fundraising Founding Council. She came at a time when we were stretched to the breaking point, and her dedicated, passionate, and kind-hearted soul was a huge boost to our morale and ability to keep pushing forward. She had a way of making everyone feel valued through little notes and small, unexpected gifts. Thank you, Rakhi, for all you did for us and everyone in your life.”

— Sean

Rakhi with folks from CCF enjoying drinks

“Rakhi was a force in the effort to take the CCF movement worldwide. She was also a shining example of how to bring it home to her community. I first met her as we started organizing here in Texas. She kept the collective well and also on track, and we were one of the first groups to run regular gatherings and content. Her ability to fearlessly and brilliantly challenge every status quo in this challenging profession will inspire myself and others to do the same for generations to come.

“Her love, though — for others and for this community — is her true legacy, and that is what I will think about first when I think of her. Rakhi was my friend and a brilliant, beautiful soul. I will miss her greatly.”

Marcus Cunningham

Rakhi holding a Texas State Park Ambassadors sign

“Rakhi got involved in CCF because she felt so passionately about the importance of radically transforming the nonprofit sector. She was fearless about tackling injustice wherever she saw it and brought that fearlessness to her social justice work along with a talent for systems and organizing, a brilliant mind, and a clear vision for what an equitable, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, community-centered, pro-Black sector could and should look like.

“Rakhi was wickedly funny but her humor was never unkind. Those who were lucky enough to know her were grateful for her incredibly generous, loving heart. She pushed me and challenged my thinking in so many ways, and I can’t express enough the impact she had on me both personally and professionally. I miss her dearly.”

— Rehana

Rakhi and Rehana on a hike

Before I accepted the post as the editor of the CCF Content Hub, I began my work with Rakhi. Right off the bat, our work together was punctuated with care in a way that I had never experienced in my working life before. She took the time to talk me through my fears and actually talked me into the position, which I was shying away from due to looming self-doubt and negative self-talk.

“Once I had accepted the position, every touchpoint with Rakhi began with a check-in that focused on tending to each other and our personal needs before we even began talking about the work. And every meeting was filled with humor, smiles, and so much laughter.

“Rakhi showed me what a different type of coworking relationship could look like; one where we are people first and coworkers second. This example has changed the way I view and approach my working relationships. And I am forever grateful that I got to experience and learn this new way of coworking from someone who was so gentle, joyful, attentive, and intentional in her approach.”

— Chris Talbot-Heindl

Rakhi’s obituary can be accessed here.

Community-Centric Fundraising Communications Committee

Community-Centric Fundraising Communications Committee