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My most respected teacher insisted that we must weed out our negative thoughts, words, and deeds with love. I believe this has never been more true. We must stand with all people who are oppressed while working on any racist or hateful thinking, use loving words of solidarity, and most importantly, take actions that move the world in a loving direction.

During this terrible week, however, I found myself with negative thoughts – feeling that the Heller Group’s small corner of the world, fundraising strategies for nonprofits, was unimportant. 

But that is not a useful perspective, nor is it true. The fundraising skills we teach our clients allow them to build abundance for their missions, and then take action, be it fighting for racial and social justice, or combating food insecurity and poverty. These skills are important to fund their fight, and help them to build a better world. 

I have been reflecting on past leaders who led during turbulent times – leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., whose commitment to nonviolence while fighting for African American civil rights continues to inspire today.

Did you know MLK, Jr. was an excellent and committed fundraiser? (See Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. the Power of Nonviolent Action, p. 145.)

And King was influenced by Gandhi, also a great fundraiser. (See Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for a New Political Age, p. 200.)

I find this deeply inspiring. How often do we peel back the workings of a leader’s movement and realize that they couldn’t have achieved what they did without great fundraising?

Here’s one example of King’s fundraising that I want to share with you. It is a letter to ask for support for six young men fighting deportation to South Africa, where they would face reprisal and persecution. You can read the letter here.



PS. Learn from our “Most Admired Expert of the Week.” This week’s expert is Rev. Mieke Vandersall, Principal Consultant at Vandersall Collective, who knows everything about progressive religious fundraising, especially in a time of crisis. Whether you are a religious or secular organization, I think you’ll find her Crisis Response Toolkit extremely helpful. Check it out here.


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