The fundraisers in our sector, of whom I am proud to be one, are dedicated, hardworking, and endlessly creative. We have to be. We know that if we stop, if funding stops flowing, real people’s lives are affected. Thank you to the amazing development professionals in the field, without whom our programs and services would not be possible.

However, more and more people in our sector are starting to recognize that the way we do fundraising may be furthering the injustice we are trying to fight. As I wrote earlier (“Have nonprofit and philanthropy become the white moderate that Dr. King warned us about?“) by centering the comfort of donors, most of whom are white, we perpetuate white saviorism, poverty tourism, and inequity while allowing our donors to avoid confronting difficult realizations like the fact that wealth is built on colonization, slavery, and other forms of injustice. In order for our sector to achieve its mission of creating the world we want, we must ground our fundraising practices in equity, anti-racism, and racial and economic justice.

This is the future of fundraising. It includes reexamining our philosophies and practices, having meaningful and thus challenging conversations, understanding our complicity in perpetuating the problems we are trying to solve, helping to end the Nonprofit Hunger Games, and embracing the messy and difficult yet wonderful role we each play in bending the arc towards justice. It includes wrestling with the fact that our current development model is a form of white-moderation designed to help white people feel good about themselves and thus maintain the status quo. It includes a necessary evolution of our thinking and practices.

Read the full article about deconstructing the white supremacist model of fundraising by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.