Hi everyone. Quick reminder before we get started. This Wednesday, August 25th, 11am PT, Community-Centric Fundraising is having a one-year celebration/reflection. I hope to see you there. Meanwhile, if you’ve benefited from the CCF movement or your org has made changes because of it, please share.
There are only a few things we all agree on in this work. One of those things is that mission creep is no good, very bad. Mission creep is like mixing trash and recycling together. It’s like not tipping a hairstylist or restaurant server. It’s like soaking a cast-iron pan in water overnight. It’s bad.
The term originated in 1993 and concerned the United Nations’s peacekeeping efforts during the Somali Civil War, and now it’s used a lot in our sector to talk about when organizations start doing things outside their stated mission, which causes organizations to waste resources on stuff they’re not good at, or that another org is already doing more effectively. When orgs don’t stick to their missions, it often leads to confused constituents, annoyed partner orgs, irritated funders, and a less effective field.
Hi everyone, this week a bunch of groups are having PEEP (Party to Enhance Equity in Philanthropy) gatherings. I’ll have an updated list at the end of the post, so check it out. Also, if you’re in King County, please take some time to fill out the Wages and Benefit Survey and the Employee Engagement Survey; they’ll take a little time to do, but we need good information to ensure people are paid and treated fairly.
My friend and colleague Allison Carney, who coined the immortal term “bizsplaining,” wrote this blog post about how introverts can speak out against racism. It’s made me think about how so many of our strategies for fighting injustice are geared towards extroverts, people who are naturally more comfortable speaking up. For those who are quieter and who need time to reflect, it can be more challenging to push back in the moment when we see or hear problematic things, or when someone needs support.
Quick note before we start: Join me for “Friends with Money: A Fireside Chat for 501c3s & Philanthropists” on Wed, June 9th, 5pm to 6pm EDT. Free via Zoom. We’ll be discussing philanthropy, equity, power dynamics, etc. Also, several groups across the country are putting on a PEEP (Party to Enhance Equity in Philanthropy) event around the summer solstice. I’ll list the ones I have information about at the end of this post. If you’re planning something, please fill out this form, and I’ll mention it next week.
Over the past few years, I keep hearing horror stories from people applying for jobs. Someone had to go through eight rounds of interviews. A friend had a four-hour interview that included an essay followed by a one-hour PowerPoint presentation. A colleague had to come up with a marketing plan for an organization, didn’t get the job, but found that the org had used their ideas without asking for permission. Another person mentioned having a personality test and six interviews that culminated with them writing and performing a one-act puppet show to demonstrate their creativity.
Hi everyone, this post may be less coherent and more serious than normal. I can’t stop thinking about the news regarding the remains of 215 Native children found at the site of a residential school in Kamloops, Canada. White Canadians – teachers, administrators, the church, the government – murdered them. It is deeply sad and horrifying. I can only imagine the pain and trauma these children endured, and what Indigenous families and communities have been going through.
Meanwhile, this week marks the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, where in the span of hours a mob of white people murdered hundreds of Black people, left thousands homeless, and burned Black Wall Street to the ground. It is profoundly horrendous, and something I don’t think our white-centric education system taught many of us.
Over the weekend I listened to this episode of The Ethical Rainmaker, where my friend (and fellow co-chair of Community-Centric Fundraising) Michelle Muri talks with journalist Teddy Schleifer about billionaires and what they’re doing with all that money. Apparently, during the pandemic, the number of billionaires increased by 30%, and 86% of them got even more wealthy than before the pandemic. According to Teddy, Silicon Valley billionaires will in the next couple of decades overshadow large established foundations in terms of assets and influence.
However, there is significant angst about what to do philanthropically with this newfound wealth. There are so many factors to consider: which issues to choose, how to deploy it effectively to bring about the most societal good, how to avoid current ineffective practices. This causes many billionaires to just set money aside in Donor-Advised Funds and other vehicles while they try to figure things out. Some of them literally send tweets asking for suggestions on what to do, what issues they should work on. And because so many of these billionaires are men, they often ask their wives or partner to handle the philanthropy.