Navigating Race and Class in Fundraising


This case study looks at the work of Community Coalition, a grassroots organization located in Los Angeles that successfully designed and implemented a fundraising campaign anchored in a membership strategy and geared towards working class donors in their community.

This case study provides great insight into how local organizations can develop an effective fundraising campaign that engages donors from differing socioeconomic backgrounds and racial identities, while taking into account the complex dynamics race and class can play in a community. After asking for input from the organization and the community, the Community Coalition developed a membership model with levels that allow people at various income levels to contribute, and crafted an approach that considered both internal resistance (e.g. staff’s relationship with money) and external reluctance (e.g. community desire to donate). The case study astutely shows that you can successfully fundraise in the working class communities you serve when you invest the time to truly understand your audience and tailor your approach accordingly, while also providing an important lesson on social justice issues.

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