The Hub

CCF is gonna go global

Earlier this month at CCF’s latest BIPOC Town Hall, CCF Seattle organizers announced that we are working to transition leadership to a global council, which will continue to guide the Community-Centric Fundraising movement.

We want to take this space to explain key decisions we’ve made and how we are envisioning what this rapidly-evolving movement might look like moving forward.

It’s been about nine months since Community-Centric Fundraising launched, (though the seed of CCF was planted several years before that, from conversations that many of us in the sector were having about our frustrations with the way that we fundraise.) We’ve been thrilled beyond our wildest dreams by all y’all’s responses to CCF. It’s been so resonant and incredible to connect with and learn from so many others who have experienced the same frustrations and challenges we were personally experiencing, and to see, hear, and feel how many people across the globe are committed to changing the sector for the better.

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(Mis)Adventures in fundraising: What you can learn from my first failures in community-centric fundraising

On the first episode of Brené Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast, Brené Brown shares her concept of “Effing First Times”or “FFTs” as she calls them. FFTs are a recognition of the difficulty at being new, let alone good, at just about anything.

“When we have no relevant experiences or expertise, the vulnerability, uncertainty and fear of these firsts can be overwhelming,” she said. “Yet, showing up and pushing ourselves past the awkward learner stage is how we get braver.”

I long for 2018-me to have had access to this framing. I had just begun (intentionally) integrating justice, equity, and belonging into my development practice. As the founder of a boutique consultancy, I committed myself to the trials of novelty, knowing that more than once, I would — inevitably — fall on my face. But, I hoped (maybe knew?) the reward would outweigh the risk. I was open to experiencing and learning from failure.

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The Ethical Rainmaker: Bringing Community to Communications with Sarah Durham

There have been so many problematic practices we’ve used in nonprofit communications…so how do we start thinking about communications, differently? Well, in this episode, Michelle talks with Sarah Durham founder of Big Duck, a New York-based nonprofit communications firm, podcaster with The Smart Communications podcast and author of two books including Brandraising and The Nonprofit Communications Engine! We talk about the difference between communications, marketing and branding, how Americans are terrible at research, unnecessary urgency as a characteristic of white supremacy in communications, and what we can start doing differently today!

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How are we supposed to get a leg up on the job hunt if all job interview #hottips are for white people?

Whether you are an emerging professional or a seasoned one in the field, job interviews can take you through a series of emotions. A job interview can often feel extremely judgemental, which can lead to an incredible amount of pressure for some.

When alerted of an incoming job interview, while some folx may feel instant excitement over being one step closer to the job, others can feel anxious.

To ease these feelings of anxiety, many of us rely on research. Cue the endless Google searches on “how to prepare for an interview” and “how to make a good first impression at an interview.” The more detailed of these searches can go as far as including industry-related keywords, which will generate listicles, articles, and so much more to support folx on their journey through the hiring process.

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Why every meeting should mention race and equity

As I write this essay, I’m thinking about Shanice*, a Black woman who joined my course at Cal State University East Bay several years ago.

On the last day of class, Shanice handed me a note. The note said, “I didn’t feel encouraged in this class.”

My first reaction was a defensive one. What is she talking about! I thought to myself. I didn’t intentionally treat Shanice differently than any other student.
That note stung. I put it away for a time and held onto my defensiveness.

But eventually, I picked it up again, looked at it, and thought to myself, what is the truth that this note is holding?

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Does your board need to be more diverse? Here’s how to do it.

After 2020’s wake-up call for everyone to be better at embracing diversity and social equity, has philanthropy finally learned to make this a priority in every area of our work?
From where I stand (as a person of color, female, of Asian ethnicity, and an immigrant from India), while it appears that these issues are gaining in popularity, there is still an uncomfortable gap that needs to be acknowledged and addressed.

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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! ​

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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?

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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).

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“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.

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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. ​

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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.

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