From the data collected, we’ve identified three key stages in development professionals of color’s career trajectories:

  • Early Career: development staff from first hire to those with 3-4 years’ experience are making their way through finding one’s place within the fundraising field’s many hierarchies and figuring out if one has the skill set, aptitude, and temperament for development as a career
  • Mid-Career: as development staff move up, the primary work of fundraising shifts from a series of tasks to actual relationship-building, which carries with it a multitude of charged racial dynamics (as well as generational and cross-class currents)
  • Seasoned Professional: these senior fundraising leaders have made their peace with the accommodations necessary to navigate through the white-dominated nonprofit world, and are eager to help the next generation find its way into fundraising and up the leadership ladder

Cause Effective is committed to programming that supports and engages all three levels of fundraising professionals. We recognize that it will also be necessary to address the systems (i.e., organizational policies, culture and mindset) to create more meaningful career opportunities for people of color in development. However, our immediate focus and priority is to launch pilot programs that provide direct support for people currently in the field.

We invite leaders from the philanthropic and nonprofit fundraising sectors, and those adjacent to or outside of it, who feel encouraged, inspired or enlightened, to join with Cause Effective and others to:

  • Strengthen a cadre of nonprofit fundraising specialists of color who are able to advance within their own organizations and remain in the profession over the long haul; 
  • Build a leadership pipeline of professionals of color with the fundraising skills to succeed as top organizational leaders; and
  • Create momentum for the industry as a whole to advance progress in all aspects of equity (racial, ethnic, gender and/or sexual identity and ability).

See the Preparing The Next Generation: Addressing the Racial Leadership Gap in Nonprofit Fundraising Theory of Change Program Model


To join the conversation, contact Cause Effective at

  • JP Morgan
    JP Morgan
  • NYC 276
    NYC 276
  • Altman
  • Kramer Levin
  • WID Logo

Powered by Firespring