What does your boss have to say about fundraising’s competing ideologies?

We have had a number conversations of the sort that Ben and I had today; and, admirably, all of our guests are generally very forthright about where they stand amidst debates about competing fundraising ideologies. Ben believes that too few individuals like him and me, white men of privilege, are doing their part in these conversations and that we all need to collectively acknowledge the inherent racism baked into our system. As someone who insists he’s in this for the long-haul, Ben wants to see a greater tolerance of risk, an inclination to lean into more than just what makes us comfortable, and the pursuit of more than job security. 

As I shared with Ben today, he and I are on the same page; and I admit to wrestling with some of the same questions that he is. I too want to ensure that I’m using my platform to do more than merely make life more comfortable for myself. That said, there are some questions that I don’t believe enough fundraisers are asking themselves when it comes to competing ideologies. With all the talk about community-centered versus donor-centered fundraising, I’m curious whether the boards and bosses even give a damn. Are those of us in the fundraising community content to fight amongst ourselves, or are we doing the difficult work of ensuring that our organizations know what these frameworks actually mean? And if our organization were to fully understand them, would we unplug the fundraising practices that don’t align with them?

As always, we are grateful to our friends at CueBack for sponsoring The Fundraising Talent Podcast. 

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