Recently, we read an article about vulnerability and fundraising. It’s focused on fundraisers and their vulnerability - opening up to funders letting them know their weak spots as organizations as a way for them to have more buy-in really find out how they can be of assistance.
While a good point, I challenge the vulnerability on the donor’s side.
Today, most issues of need are within areas of low income and have a high minority population. These areas, often times, are communities that are unlike the communities where major donors and institutional funders live and are circumstances they can’t begin to experience. However, this is where they graciously focus their mission to do good.
As a fundraiser, I am over-the-moon that people of great means want to focus their dollars in areas where it can used. But I would like everyone, donors, fundraisers, and organizations to stop and think, what do those communities need, and what is the good that really needs to be done?
For instance, a student is in an inner city neighborhood and their education isn't properly funded. The academics and resources are not where they should be and are not inline with those in wealthy areas, should we be focusing on funding more and more third party organizations to come to that area with outside enrichments or should we be looking at how to institutionalize those enrichments into the schools? Should our supporters with means and access look at the actual schools funding legislation around them? If they are getting tax breaks, should they deny them or reallocate those dollars?
Let's not fund thinking we know the problems and solutions. Donors, let’s be vulnerable, Let's understand that there are problems and we can help, but first find out the problem from those on the ground, those experiencing them and learn how we can actually get to the root of it.