Principle 1: Fundraising must be grounded in Race, Equity, and Social Justice. The conversations around fundraising must move beyond diversifying donors and tapping into marginalized communities to give, toward sometimes uncomfortable discussions regarding race and wealth disparities, etc.

Principle 2: Individual missions are not as important as the collective community. We have all been trained to prioritize our organization’s mission first, to raise as much money as possible for our individual missions. But our missions are interrelated, and the community is best served if we see ourselves as part of a larger ecosystem working collectively to build a just society.

Principle 3: Nonprofits are generous with and mutually supportive of one another: Nonprofits see and treat one another not as competitors (for the most part), but as critical partners with the common mission of strengthening the community.

Principle 4: All elements that strengthen community are equally valued and appreciated: We respect, appreciate, recognize, and build relationship with our donors, and we use those same principles with others in the sector, including staff, board members, volunteers, and clients.

Principle 5: Time is valued equally as money.

Principle 6: We respect our donors’ integrity and treat donors as partners, which means occasionally pushing back: I’ve seen and been in so many conversations where fundraisers indicate a fear of having honest conversations with donors. But I don’t think we can do this work effectively if we can’t have honest, respectful conversations, including strong disagreements as needed, with our donors.

Principle 7: We foster a sense of belonging in our fundraising work; we avoid treating anyone as an “other”: We need to be careful to avoid “othering” the people we serve and reinforcing the savior complex. We use fundraising to ensure everyone feel a sense of belonging.

Principle 8: Getting donors to see they and their families personally benefit from their donations will lead to stronger investment in their community, which will strengthen the community.

Principle 9: We need to get people to see the work as a whole, not reinforce transactional thinking, which focuses on the split between program costs and “overhead,” as well as the division of our clients into discreet units supported by different individual donors. We need to get donors to see and appreciate that many elements are needed to make things run.

Read the full article about community-centric fundraising by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.