Questioning Diversity in Fundraising

I’m currently on vacation so, the past couple days, I’ve been working my way through Cultivating Diversity in Fundraising by Janice Gow Pettey. As I read her book, several questions keep coming to mind. Anybody that really knows me will appreciate that I tend to ask a lot of questions to challenge my own assumptions. This isn’t to say I disagree with my assumptions, rather I think it’s important to be on a continual quest for knowledge and questioning is one of the ways I learn best. With that said…

One of the underlying themes of Janice’s book is that, by bringing diversity to fundraising we will improve donor experience, fundraiser performance, and organizational sustainability.

If this is true, then:

  • Why don’t I see more AFP or CASE conferences, seminars, or webinars discussing best practices of incorporating diversity into a nonprofit’s organizational culture?
  • Why don’t leading charity evaluation tools (e.g. GiveWell or GuideStar) have measures for diversity as it applies to organizational performance, donor experience, or sustainability?
  • Are we demonstrating an ethical dilemma by not seriously considering diversity in our organizational strategic plans?
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About Benjamin Mohler

Benjamin Mohler, CFRE has a keen interest in understanding the connection between culture and the practice of philanthropy. His experiences working with international nonprofit organizations, extensive international travel, together with his graduate work at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and leadership roles with local nonprofits combine to produce his expertise in this area. He’s also a big baseball fan.

Mohler is the Assistant Vice President for Major and Planned Gifts at Eastern Kentucky University. Prior to his current role, he held key roles with The William States Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Cedarville University, and The Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and serves AFP at an international level, including his current role chairing the publishing committee for the AFP Fund Development Series.

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