Vu Le and Community-Centric Fundraising



If you haven’t been following Vu Le’s irresistible blog Nonprofit AF (formerly known as Nonprofit with Balls), you’re missing something. Subtitle of the blog: “Make Mondays suck a little less.” Vu is one of the cleverest, most insightful thinkers about nonprofit work I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. For those of you who don’t know Vu, he’s the executive director of Rainier Valley Corps, an organization promoting social justice by cultivating leaders of color. Recently, Vu has become interested in a fundraising model which challenges the traditional “donor-centric” approach. He calls it “community-centric fundraising.” As Vu sees it, it’s great to be thoughtful and caring about donors, but not to the point where we unintentionally allow donors undue influence over mission or programs, simply to retain their goodwill (and their money). The organizational mission must take priority. And since almost all nonprofits serve a community, geographic or not, raising money through community involvement is more inclusive and more impactful. The community has a greater stake in the organization’s outcomes; all can contribute according to their means. I find this approach so refreshing! It merits serious consideration. Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think. While you’re at it, check out Vu’s Nonprofit AF posts on the subject!