If things are not broken, why change?
But what are some fundamental assumptions and myths that we believe in working in the charitable sector that hinder us from enabling changes and delivering impact? On today’s podcast episode, Rickesh Lakhani, Executive Director of Future Possibilities for Kids and a passionate champion of grassroots organizations, joins us to bust these myths and question status-quo that does more harm than good.
Big questions about the sector we tackle on this episode
Is it ethical to invest in our staff? Investing in our staff and our team is key to the long term sustainability of our organizations. Moreover, investing in the organization’s infrastructure, system and process is equally important.
Do we have to choose between being donor-centred and being community centred? Fundraising is supposed to enable us to do our work for our communities, not hinder it. Donor-centricity doesn’t mean to please donors at all cost. Do not be afraid to have difficult conversations with donors when their approach of philanthropy does not align with your values and might cause harm to the communuty.
Who can give? We often make assumptions about who has the capacity to give and who doesn’t. We also often normalize the practice of 100% staff and board giving but don’t customize the strategy and approach for the organization. There are many ways people can contribute to the organization, and there are also donors that can and will give but the organization precludes them right from the prospecting stage.
Can charities do harm? Just because charities set out to do good, it doesn’t mean they can’t do harm. Doing good and doing harm can co-exist. If we let people in the sector get off the hook just because they intend to do good, we are reinforcing racism, seixsm, and other systemic issues.
Is our work political? By law, charities’ work needs to be bipartisan, but it doesn’t mean our work is apolitical. By nature, our work is political as we push for social changes. Charities can add values to enabling social changes and responding to societal crises like the pandemic by being nimble innovators and community connectors.
Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode
Post your favourite quote on social to share with us!
“If we are not investing in our infrastructure, our system, our process, our people - our future, how are we going to tackle the magnitude of the work that we set out to do?”
“I don’t want the kind of fundraising that donors can have so much power that they can harass a staff member and walk away. I don’t want the kind of fundraising that reinforces the stereotypes of communities. I don’t want growth that is at the expense of our employees.”
“People who do community work are some of the most resourceful people I know. Imagine giving them enough funding and resources - what might be the impact and changes they bring?”
Resources from this Episode