The Hub

The Ethical Rainmaker: Collecting Courage with Nneka Allen

“…it’s really hard to promote the history of Black people and not address the inequities being experienced by Black people…it just felt disingenuous to not find a way to bring these things together.” Nneka Allen joins Michelle, to talk about her essay in the newly released book Collecting Courage for which she is co-author and co-editor. In this episode, Nneka shares the deep and meaningful work of saving one of the Underground Railroad sites – the Nazary AME Church (part of the Amherstburg Freedom Museum) learning her ancestors were leaders in that movement, and the failure of a Board of Directors, to center the current-day struggles of their community. We talk about aligning ourselves with the demands of love, forgiveness, the power of storytelling, and attachment styles! ​


How to become a Pokémon master … at organizational capacity building!

You know how in “Jurassic Park,” Jeff Goldblum was like, this ain’t gonna end well? He was one of the few characters who tried to articulate that resurrecting apex predators that see humans as tasty walking lunchables may not be the brightest of ideas. But then overconfident white people did it anyway and death and dismemberment ensued.

And then do you remember how Goldblum — beautiful, dark haired zaddy Jeff Goldblum — became an integral part of the cleanup and ultimate containment of the very, very bad science experiment?


Take a lesson from Legos: Donor-centric fundraising doesn’t have to be in opposition to community-centric fundraising

When I was a kid, my mom (shoutout to my mom), found this catalog in the back of a Lego instruction booklet that let us call the Lego company and order little packages of specific Lego pieces.

This was a game-changer in our house.

Because whenever we got that big blue Lego bucket out, we were always on the hunt for those little fiddly pieces that were so hard to find. Joints. Hinges. Those little toggles that make the Lego people look like they’re using a joystick. All of them worth their weight in gold if you wanted to build a cool robot or a spaceship with a working hatch (which, as it happens, I often did).


“Institutionalized,” a spoken word performance

This piece was written as a response to feeling that, most of my life in the arts, I’ve been made to feel that arts organizations and their products were not made for me and that it was an honor, a luxury, to even experience them. As a queer Mexican-Statesian who earned a Bachelor of Music, a Master of Arts in Arts Administration, and who now works in fundraising for an opera company, it seemed that no matter what art form I consumed or participated in, there was always this weird dichotomy that they wanted me because of the fact that I was queer, and/or brown, and/or young — but then they never made the effort to continue that relationship beyond that first visit or even because of that.


The Ethical Rainmaker: Spilling the Tea on UK Fundraising with Fixing Fundraising’s Andy & Tom

The UK has had a foundational influence in building the problematic philanthropic and nonprofit sectors (Third Sector) in the US and other countries, which is why we are so happy to go straight to the source! Host Michelle Muri talks with Andy King and Tom DeFraine of UK podcast Fixing Fundraising! From topics like Captain Tom and the injustice of fundraising for government programs that should be funded by taxation, Brexit, the political nature of any nonprofit, dog whistles, the role of patronage in the UK, Prince Andrew’s fall from patronage, Prince Williams, a brief word about drones and fireworks, to the terrible practices the UK is adopting from the US…we promise you’ll chuckle or even laugh out loud! Yes, even in a pandemic. ​


6 steps to making metrics an ally of your diversity plan

Hey, you’re still here! Usually, I say “metrics” and the room clears out. We’re already off to a great start.

After my previous article was published in December, about common pitfalls to avoid when implementing a diversity plan, I started to get questions about metrics. Specifically: How do we design metrics that are actually meaningful to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plans? The answer is too long and complicated for the comments section, so here we are.


6 lessons for broadening your mental horizons, from the perspective of a Gen Z student

Despite the never-ending deadlines and the new and glorious challenges of adult life, Gen Z are some of the most political and active members of our society. The police brutality that resulted in the death of George Floyd sparked mass protests across the world for the Black Lives Matter movement with Gen Z at the forefront. Similarly, around a month ago, university students across the UK took to the streets demanding for improved student well-being.


Fundraisers, your community needs your talents beyond your 9-to-5 office job

As a development director who loathes capitalism, I often feel very conflicted about my job. When I was young, I had big visions of making a positive impact on the communities I loved, and they certainly didn’t include asking those who hoard wealth to give back (what is often) an insignificant amount to marginalized communities in exchange for a tax deduction and a sense of superiority and white saviorism.


I wrote a CCF essay about racial gaslighting — and then white fragility blew up in my face!

In the throes of the holiday season last December, the careful balance between read and unread emails in my inbox was starting to take a turn. As I conducted my daily reckoning of my inbox, one message jumped out at me, demanding my immediate attention. It didn’t have a subject.

I recognized the handle right away though; I knew who it was. A riff on her name, she always used the same version of that handle for her social media accounts.

I took a deep breath and rolled my eyes.


The untold dress code in philanthropy: how and when we choose to police gender expression

In a previous job, my development supervisor bought me nail polish since she knew I enjoy wearing it. This was evident, as I had done so in the office previously.

However, this supervisor was also the one to tell me to remove the nail polish before I went to
any donor event or donor meeting. 

The message was clear: You can be whoever you want to be, as long as it doesn’t interfere
with or inconvenience our revenue streams.


Discomfort is the new black: 7 ways to prioritize discomfort so that you can learn to be a better human — for yourself and for the world!

In 2018 I started training with Coach Tricia Arcaro Turton at her boxing gym, Arcaro Boxing. It’s located at 1208 E. Jefferson St., in that weird zone where Seattle’s very white, used-to-be-hella-queer Capitol Hill neighborhood bleeds into the once-upon-a-time-hella-Black (historically speaking) and used-to-be-affordable Central District neighborhood.

Coach Tricia, or just “Coach” as many of us call her, is a powerhouse. If you look up Unrelenting Badass Witch on Wikipedia, her smug beautiful mug will be staring right back at you.