Essay Archives

#NonprofitKarens: What they look like and how you can spot one!



By now, most, if not all of us, are aware of the many Karens of the world. If you are unsure about your neighborhood Karen she is the lady who is the first person to insert herself in a situation that has nothing to do with her. She can be seen calling the manager — (cue the infamous Karen meme). We have seen Karens show up in many spaces and continue to be problematic.

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5 reasons your development planning sucks



When I first read about community-centric fundraising via Vu Le’s Nonprofit AF blog, a lightbulb went off in my head. Everything that felt icky to me about donor-centric practices was articulated. Once I started seeing more articles like this, I knew I was on the right track with shifting the narrative at my own organizations.

So, why does your development planning suck?

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White supremacy culture in professional spaces is toxic — to dismantle it, we must first be willing to name it!



Now, most workplaces, especially in the nonprofit sector, exhibit and practice white supremacy culture. It is a group of characteristics that, “are used as norms and standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group.” Characteristics such as perfectionism, quantity over quality, paternalism, and individualism uphold white supremacy culture in our work environments.

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Six reasons why tiered event sponsorship needs to go!



Recently, I was included in conversations about fundraising for an annual conference. My colleagues and I discussed sponsorship levels and benefits.

Subsequently, I was invited to a prospect call with a funder for a $5,000 sponsorship. On the call, my team answered all possible questions about why we do what we do, what every line item in our budget means, and how we can help amplify the funder’s brand visibility.

After an hour, the answer to the $5,000 sponsorship was a disappointing “no.”

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Why being gaslit by white people isn’t just emotionally violent, it’s racist



“Well actually …”

This is how gaslighting always begins.

I was meeting with my ED to tell her that I was quitting my position at Mesa Arts Center. Even though I came prepared to explicitly detail the reasons I was leaving, I was still surprised she bothered to ask why. If she’d been half cognizant of the chaos erupting in our department over the past 22 months, it should have been obvious to her. She hadn’t earned my honesty, but I was honest with her anyway.

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As a white woman, do I have a responsibility to disrupt philanthropy?



Recently, I was given a task by a mentor. My assignment was to ask others to describe me. (Super cringy exercise, but personal growth is uncomfortable, right?) Of all of the many ways I was described by old friends, co-workers, and acquaintances, no one — not a single soul — called me a quitter … But this is the third time that I have taken — and then quit — a fundraising job.

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Radical transparency: Confronting nonprofit governance to truly eliminate discrimination and harassment



In Canada, the pre-pandemic nonprofit sector is a multi-billion-dollar-per-year sector that
employs 2 million Canadians. However, the pandemic has laid bare the number of
structural and systemic inequities within our sector. Knowing this, can we confidently
expect the nonprofit sector to lead on issues of racism and other deeply rooted forms of
systemic discrimination?

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My love of Ori’ dance, as seen through a community-centric lens



Ori’ dance was an important part of life in ancient Tahiti and was often performed in religious ceremonies, social gatherings, and everyday life. It was used by the Tahitian people to pass down traditions to younger generations so that they can tell the stories of their ancestors. Each individual dance tells a story through hip movements and hand motions.

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