Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 32

Community and Diversity
donors and colleagues. And while women make up a
majority of the sector at the entry and management
levels, they do not dominate senior leadership positions.
The nonprofit community has an opportunity to address
some of these issues and implement changes. Proactively
examining our practices, and listening to understand and
do better, have the potential to truly make our industry the
beacon of hope it is meant to be.

RE-THINKING FUNDRAISING PROGRAMS
How many of us have been tasked with developing a
plan to grow revenue with existing resources? While
developing this plan at my organization, we took the
time to complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats) analysis for all our programs.
We identified that one particular event had a low or
non-existent return on investment. Even after we
acknowledge that it could serve as a vehicle for donor

PROTECTING THE SAFETY OF
FUNDRAISERS
When it comes to individual fundraising programs, the
tendency is to meet donors during business hours in
the setting they are most comfortable. These include
corporate offices, at their home or a restaurant. Naturally,
as fundraisers, we should be donor-centric. However,
what about upholding and protecting fundraising staff's
safety when meeting one-on-one with donors? This
model leaves staff vulnerable to micro-aggressions, as
well as racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia,
anti-Semitism and other discriminatory practices.
For example, I have heard from more than one donor
that they were not expecting me to be Black from the sound
of my voice on the phone. Another colleague, who identifies
as non-binary, was ignored in a meeting with one of their
direct reports and a donor who directed all eye contact and
discussion to the more junior male fundraiser in the room.

Proactively examining our practices, and listening
to understand and do better, have the potential to truly make
our industry the beacon of hope it is meant to be.
cultivation and friend-raising, we were still unable
to justify the continuation of the event. The cost of
fundraising, not including human resources, was nearly
75%; it catered to a very small and homogenous group
of donors; many of the mid-level fundraising staff were
unable to participate (lest we unpack the reasons why,
chiefly relating to privilege and access); it had done little
to cultivate new relationships or major gifts; it offered
few opportunities to deepen the connection between
attendees and the mission of the charity, and so on.
In presenting our plan to senior leadership to sunset
this event, we were reminded that a past board chair
started it, and since it is a favorite event of many board
members, it couldn't realistically be canceled. Now,
replace this situation with any event at your organization
with the same circumstances. We posit that most of
you have made the same case to cancel the event, and
was reminded of its non-financial objectives, legacy and
importance to a small group of privileged stakeholders.
Thus, cancellation is not an option.
We need fervent leadership in our sector to address
how we can achieve these event objectives with more
inclusive and less resource-intensive tactics.

32	

Advancing Philanthropy	

These are far from isolated experiences. There's also
the potential for sexual abuse and harassment. Our sector
was not spared from the #MeToo movement revelations,
which was documented by AFP in various forums. Meeting
privately in an environment controlled by the donor leaves
fundraisers particularly vulnerable to this type of abuse.

CREATE PIPELINES, ELIMINATE BIAS
The challenges within our organizations and sector are only
amplified by the tremendous talent shortage, especially
in leadership positions and front-line fundraising. It is
safe to say that skilled fundraisers will have their pick of
fundraising roles for the foreseeable future. Simultaneously,
many talented fundraisers are struggling to get promoted
or even get their first job in a nonprofit. The talent pipeline
for diverse candidates is hard to address at the hiring stage,
particularly for senior roles. The reality is our industry has
not consistently provided advancement opportunities for
emerging, diverse leaders that create a talent pipeline for
the next decade. Additionally, many of our hiring practices
come with inherent biases that make it difficult for diverse
candidates to compete.
October 2020 / www.afpglobal.org


http://www.afpglobal.org

Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover1
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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 1
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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover3
Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/advancing-philanthropy-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AFP_Jan2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AFP_Oct2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/AP_July2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/p26198_afp_2012techknowbrochure
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g24762afp_con2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g24195afp_12confbroc
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AFP/g18184_afp_chicago2011
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com