Ethical fundraising

Facilitated by Ian MacQuillin

Are you serious – really serious – about reinventing fundraising?

You’ve probably heard of the concept decolonisation as it relates to fundraising and philanthropy. You may be aware of discussions about saviourism, the othering of beneficiaries, and the power and privilege of donors. And you might be familiar with the community-centric fundraising movement, which has challenged donor-centric orthodoxy to rethink its entire approach.

But do you consider these niche concerns that have nothing to do with your day-to-day role as a fundraiser? And does that mean you haven’t seriously considered these issues in relation to your work? There is a revolution sweeping the social order which is forcing us all to rethink many things we once took for granted – and fundraising is not exempt. The challenge to our thinking and practice relates to the way we interact with our wealthiest donors, yes, but also to how we speak to our monthly givers and sustainers, and to how we think about our role as a whole.

Or maybe you’re on the other side entirely and believe that donor-centric fundraising has no redeeming features and should be done away with entirely. Whatever side of the coin you fall on, we want you to join us for an open, honest, and frank discussion in which we will critically reflect on our place in this big picture conversation.

Is there anything we can salvage from 30 years of fundraising? Can we merge our old ways with new and better ones, or do we need a fresh start entirely? This will be a highly engaged discussion that will welcome all points of view and constructive ideas as well as contemplation from the sidelines.

You will be encouraged to:

  • Critically reflect on your own thinking around these important issues and why you hold the views you do
  • Consider different points of view and contrast them with your own
  • Come up with new ways of bringing different viewpoints together

The ultimate goal of the session is an ambitious one: the complete reinvention of how we do fundraising! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? You might not come away with a list of five things you can implement tomorrow, but you may leave the session with things you will now think differently about, which will lead you to changes in your practice in the future.