A Response to Community-Centric Fundraising: It’s Worth Your Time

3 min read
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Recently, we discovered Community Centric Fundraising (CCF) and cannot unsee it or 'unhear' other nonprofit folks talking about it, and that's for good reasons.

What is Community Centric Fundraising (CCF)

CCF isn't just another fundraising strategy; it's a shift. The meaning of community-centric fundraising is rooted in equity and social justice, prioritizing the community over individual, organizational missions.

This model focuses on the community first, promoting a feeling of togetherness and mutual help among nonprofits. It's all about looking at the bigger picture and working together for the greater good.

10 Community-Centric Fundraising Principals

  1. Fundraising must be grounded in race, equity, and social justice.
  2. Individual, organizational missions are not as important as the collective community.
  3. Nonprofits are generous with and mutually supportive of one another.
  4. All who engage in strengthening the community are equally valued, whether volunteers, staff, donors, or board members.
  5. Time is valued equally as money.
  6. Nonprofits treat donors as partners, meaning we are transparent and occasionally have difficult conversations.
  7. Nonprofits foster a sense of belonging, not othering.
  8. Nonprofits promote the understanding that everyone (donors, staff, funders, board members, volunteers) personally benefits from engaging in the work of social justice – it's not just charity and compassion.
  9. Nonprofits see social justice work as holistic and transformative, not transactional.
  10. Nonprofits recognize that healing and liberation require a commitment to economic justice.

What Resonated With Us

Although we're still wrapping our heads around how our work in storytelling aligns with all these principles, three principles resonated with us.

  1. Fundraising must be grounded in race, equity, and social justice.
  2. Nonprofits treat donors as partners, meaning we are transparent and occasionally have difficult conversations.
  3. Nonprofits promote the understanding that everyone (donors, staff, funders, board members, volunteers) personally benefits from engaging in the work of social justice – it's not just charity and compassion.

How We're Implementing Community-Centric Fundraising Principles

There are limitations regarding our influence on our nonprofit clients to embrace CCF. Nonprofit leaders within organizations substantially influence change and adoption of the CCF approach.

However, we are committed to elevating our storytelling approach by:

  • Advising our clients on the importance of grounding fundraising in social justice principles.
  • Recommending personalized storytelling methods that treat donors as partners, not just ATMs.
  • Advocating for transparency and encouraging difficult but necessary conversations.

Nicole Hoffman suggests these 7 tips to operationalize CCF at your organization.

1. Commit to a cultural shift in how you and your organization think about fundraising.

2. Continued personal learning and unlearning are critical to understanding why change is necessary.

3. For all of my white colleagues, listen to people of color.

4. Be willing to take risks, especially financial risks, for the greater good.

5. Lean into your values.

6. Plan to make a change, and then plan to make a change again.

7. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Conclusion

In wrapping up, it's evident that Community-Centric Fundraising Principles are more than just guidelines; they're a transformative ethos for the nonprofit world. By deeply embedding these principles in our storytelling strategies, we're amplifying the voices of those we serve and fostering a genuine, empathetic connection with our audience. It's about creating a narrative that resonates with the community-first spirit, ensuring every story we tell reinforces the power of unity and shared responsibility.

As you move forward, embrace these principles not as mere concepts but as actionable steps toward a more equitable, inclusive, and connected world of social justice. Remember, the community's heartbeat is your rhythm in impactful storytelling and fundraising.

We're stepping into this new approach with an open heart and mind. We invite you to join us on this transformative journey.

Tagged: Community · Fundraising · Nonprofits

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