Rachel D’Souza-Siebert Archive

7 must-do activities in order to actualize a practice centered around community-centric fundraising

Over the summer of 2015, I found myself at a crossroads in my career. I was on maternity leave with my daughter and home with my 4-year-old son. It was during this personal transition period that my business, Gladiator Consulting, was born.

I wanted to find a way to infuse my personal commitment to racial justice and equity into my new role as a nonprofit consultant. I knew my point of view and skills could help justice-oriented organizations reach their full potential through fund development. I quickly found my niche working with grassroots and grasstops organizations in the start-up or initial capacity-building phase of their lifecycle.

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“What are you again?” (Not your token Brown friend, that’s for sure!)

My parents immigrated to the United States from India in the 1970s and chose to purchase their first home in a suburban municipality west of St. Louis, Missouri. To both the south and west of our subdivision were mostly white communities — to the north and east, mostly Black and immigrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities. If you’ve learned anything about St. Louis in the six years since Mike Brown’s murder, you are familiar with the deep segregation of our region and its toxic, implicit commitment to the Black-white binary.

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