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Article Published: 10 May 2022

Community-Centric Fundraising: Action Steps

Community-centric fundraising will not manifest overnight. So how do you get started? The following list, long and incomplete, offers a variety of ideas and approaches — ranging from line edits in your thank-you notes to redefining board member expectations.

Not every action will make sense for your company. Some companies may be ready to jump in and make swift changes. Others may find it more prudent to start from a point of examination: E.g., does this event make us appear elitist? Should we accept this gift from a donor who doesn’t agree with us?

The action items in this list are focused on fundraising. That does not ignore the important organizational work that should precede this activity: anti-bias, anti-racism, diversity, and equity training; establishment of organizational values; revising mission statements; defining key community participants; charting strategic goals for equity, diversity, and inclusion; and more. That work lays the foundation and establishes buy-in for community-centric fundraising. It provides a roadmap for fundraisers to contribute to the changes our companies wish to see.

This article is part of the report, Community-Centric Fundraising for Opera Companies, published by OPERA America. The report builds on the national Community-Centric Fundraising movement and was developed by a working group of fundraisers from the opera field.