"Fundraising is amazingly powerful - it's how we influence others in power and philanthropy around what is needed.  It's incredibly important to have diversity in this field to change giving trends and cultivate abundance."

- Long-time Fundraising Professional of Color

In 2018, Cause Effective launched a year-long field-learning project to explore questions of racial equity through the lens of the development director. We reached out to development professionals of color from across the country to ask such key questions as:

  • Why is the development role, so critical to an organization’s capacity, sustainability, growth and ability to achieve its mission, often excluded in conversations about leadership?
  • How do issues of race play out in the context of fundraising, which includes discussions about money (as a means of organizational investment) and involves significant relationship-building with people of wealth and privilege?
  • How do issues of race (as well as the intersections of ethnicity and gender) impact the job satisfaction and professional advancement of development directors of color?
  • What should the nonprofit sector, and individual organizations, do to ensure that development directors are supported in navigating issues of race and class that hinder their effectiveness?
  • How might those barriers be permanently erased?

Our goal with this initiative is to start a dialogue that is necessary and urgent in these times, and to use what we learn from these conversations to develop organizational approaches that will result in richer work experiences, increased performance, and stronger retention and advancement of people of color towards organizational leadership.

We invite all reading this report to join us on this journey as part of the team devising, taking responsibility for, and implementing solutions.


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