The Hub

Current Fundraising Practices & Philosophies are Harmful

A group of BIPOC* fundraisers and nonprofit professionals began a collaboration to build a movement for racial and economic justice, sharing dreams of a world beyond capitalism and the nonprofit industrial complex. To gauge perceptions of nonprofit fundraising, this group distributed a survey in May 2019. Intended to highlight the thoughts and experiences of fundraisers and presented through a series of infographics, here are some findings from over 2,000 fundraisers and nonprofit professionals surveyed.

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The Ethical Rainmaker: Decolonizing Data with Anna Rebecca Lopez & Vu Le

In this season finale, Michelle talks with Anna Rebecca Lopez and Vu Le about how the traditional ways that data has been collected and used can be harmful – causing misrepresentation, oppression and erasure. Anna Rebecca shares her personal journey with deep academic cred as a data nerd and disruptor and the three talk about what questions we must ask to truly center our communities. ​​

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White people: We need to do more than just ‘leverage whiteness’ to dismantle white supremacy!

I have been working to raise funds for nonprofits for almost twelve years. The majority of that time has been spent raising money for public schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ve bounced around to several organizations over the years, never spending more than three years at any one place because I couldn’t put up with staying longer than that.

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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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Nonprofits can’t engage in political advocacy at all, you say? Wrong. We can and we must.

When Trump was elected in 2016, I was a director of development in New York City. The day after the election, as I sat on my couch at home in a shroud of depression, I sent a communique out to my organization’s full email list, calling for cohesion, mutual support, and compassionate attention to the Black, Brown, and immigrant youth that the organization worked to support.

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We’re breaking up: And it’s not me, Philanthropy — it’s you.

Hi, Philanthropy! You don’t recognize me, because you never see me, but I write a lot of the proposals you read. I don’t normally call attention to myself, but I’m here, and I need to tell you that I’m exhausted. In truth, I’ve been burnt out for years. While I find satisfaction in working for great causes, organizations, and communities, working with you wears me down bit by bit.

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Looking behind the curtain: How anonymous giving can uphold white supremacy

In annual reports and donor lists around the country, there’s always a section for anonymous giving. It’s accepted as a norm in the fundraising world that some donors elect to be anonymous for one reason or another. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) outlines confidentiality as a right in The Donor Bill of Rights. However, recent scandals in the past year surrounding anonymous gifts raises the question whether anonymous giving helps or hurts the work of philanthropy to create a more equitable and just world.

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Curb cuts and universal design: How I use my invisible disability to advocate for arts accessibility

My journey to accessibility in the arts started more than 20 years ago, when I first moved to Seattle from the East Coast. While in Los Angeles on vacation, I went to see “Titanic,” which had just come out in movie theaters. For the first time, I used a captioning device that fit into the cup holder of my seat, allowing me to read the words being spoken onscreen. It was exhilarating: I was finally able to fully understand the dialogue on the big screen.

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