Vu Le, Beverly Mislang, Amira Barger, Elizabeth Seja Min and Elliot Levin.
More than ever before, effective fundraising is an outcome of understanding the unique character of each community and the issues that most evoke passion in that community. At PRG we are witnessing powerful and important forces shaping today’s philanthropic landscape. No where is this more evident than in the long-overdue social, economic and cultural diversification of donor markets and the fundraising profession itself.
Last month, I had the honor of participating on an AFP teaching panel with Vu Le, one of this generation’s leading voices busting traditional myths about fundraising for the “next generation.” For a glimpse at Vu’s perspectives (and to laugh a little too), check out his “9 Principles of Community-Centric Fundraising”
At PRG, we are dedicated to the intrinsic connection between fundraising, social justice, common decency, and “tikkun olam” – repairing our world. We see it every day in the often-heroic work of our client organizations across the mission spectrum who shelter the un-housed, create access to the arts, teach, or preserve our planet. Yet, in the gritty work of fundraising it becomes easy to lose sight of building community across organizational lines. Viewed in this context, it becomes okay to challenge a donor, offering a broader understanding of what’s truly needed to tackle a problem and who else is doing good work that merits their support. We applaud Vu Le and courageous others who advocate to look beyond one’s agency’s annual monetary targets toward a greater good by lowering barriers to resources for others.
The panel discussion reinforced our philosophy that fundraising is not all about the donor nor is it a zero-sum game. Rather, donors want precisely what our agencies strive for – improving lives, a compelling vision for the community and smart use of resources.
When we recognize that when we remember Vu’s Principle # 1 – Fundraising must be grounded in race, equity and social justice – fundraising is stronger and our communities simply better.
AFP Spring Forum panel discussing the evolution of fundraising 4-29-19
AFP Spring Forum exploring the evolution of philanthropy 4-29-19