As we navigate the health, economic, and racial pandemics, we’re fortunate to have you, our committed donors and funders. You deeply understand how the pandemic increases inequities. Now, more than ever, it is time to invest in sustaining our capacity building for community-based organizations and developing representative leadership in the sector.
Thank you for continuing to support RVC this holiday giving season. We will achieve our collective vision for systemic change with small and consistent actions. If you haven’t already, we ask you to take action today towards championing change. Donate to the RVC Holiday Giving Campaign at the button below.
In this community update, we discuss what our leaders are learning about fundraising for communities of color, including a call to action for nonprofit professionals of color. And check out the interview featuring the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition Youth Program team’s reflection on recognizing young people and the importance of their leadership.
We’re Hiring for a Development Associate!
Apply by the priority date of December 18th, 2020
Know someone who thrives in cultivating relationships, leading community-centered fundraising campaigns, and creating alongside dynamic leaders? We want to hear from them.
Please encourage them to apply for the Development Associate.
Friends don’t let friends miss an opportunity at a cool, self-managing, community-based organization!
Why Should You Cultivate a Representative Donor Pool?
Including a reflection from RVC Development Director Chris Rhodes
Why is it important to hire a fundraiser that represents your community? How do you find fundraisers of color? And when you find them, how do you support them? For more reflections on these questions, please check out the article series from 2017 by RVC leaders. It’s a throwback that’s still on point and relevant:
- Hiring fundraisers to serve communities of color Part 1: Where are fundraisers of color?
- Hiring fundraisers to serve communities of color Part 2: How to support your development director
For this piece, our Development Director Chris Rhodes lets us into the world of being a fundraiser of color for a community-based organization.
As an organization invested in the leadership development of people of color in the nonprofit sector, we’re very fortunate to have a Development Director who is from the communities we serve and has decades of experience in the field. Chris grew up in the Central District and worked in Chicago for over a decade before returning home to Seattle for his role at RVC.
Chris shares his experience and connection to the communities we serve, “has allowed me to bring a certain level of authenticity to fundraising asks as we make our case and share our story. Having a core knowledge of our history and how communities of color have been affected allow me to speak directly to the impact of community organizations and what each dollar can truly mean for them.”
There is much to celebrate about the overall alignment of talent and responsiveness that we find in our work. However, the intersection between our personal and professional lives create increased concerns of burnout.
“We live this fight, and it does not turn off when we leave the office,” Chris says. “A common thread of the RVC staff is that we are community champions, regardless of where we are from. When you do that 24 hours / 7 days a week, it can easily burn you out.”
Giving to good causes is always good. And if you ask Chris what’s the best kind of gift to an organization like RVC and from whom it should come, he’ll tell you it’s one from within the community. The most powerful gift comes from someone to whom the gift means a lot, no matter how small.
What are the ways that community-based giving can propel us forward?
Shifting the mindset:
All of our donors inspire us. We are moved by your commitment to justice and equity, and your deep understanding of the importance to give meaningfully and often. This understanding comes from a place of seeing, sometimes firsthand, the inequities in our sector. One of the most dangerous is the assumption that communities of color don’t have enough money to support causes important to them.
As we know, the fact that most of our donors are white isn’t accidental. It’s a systemic reality created by centuries of injustices. To continue shifting that mindset alongside the systemic changes we collectively work towards, we have to operate differently, even if it’s one small change at a time. Build relationships with directly-impacted communities. Identify donors among the communities you serve. Support your development director in their growth and wellbeing.
When a gift comes from within the communities an organization serves, it holds a distinct meaning.
It is a priority for RVC to establish a community-based donor pool. We have begun that process by creating POC-based giving circles and sharing with our community partners and stakeholders the history of giving throughout many communities and what direct impact means coming from within.”Chris Rhodes
If you are a fundraiser of a color serving community-based organization, you are already winning. We will all continue to succeed together the more we invest in community-centered approaches.
Want to help Chris towards his vision of cultivating a diverse donor pool? Champion community-based giving by donating to RVC’s holiday giving campaign. It’s about the impact, never the amount. Please give at your capacity.
RVC Fellows & Partner Updates
RVC is powered by our partners and fellows, who tailor their work to the strengths and needs of the communities they serve. Every month, we highlight their amazing work.
Duwamish Valley Youth Corps (DVYC) Receives Puget Soundkeeper Youth Award
The Duwamish Youth Corps received this year’s Puget Soundkeeper Youth Award! The award is given to a youth-led organization that involves and inspires youth in clean water stewardship.
The Duwamish Youth Corps, a program by Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and other community groups, is based out of South Park and provides youth engagement programming with a focus on environmental justice and job skills.
RVC Green Pathways Fellow Maggie Angel Cano works with the youth program as DRCC’s Community Engagement and Communications Specialist. Maggie and Youth Corps leader Ruby Vigo speak to their passion for youth work and their delight in seeing the Youth Corp recognized as an environmental and clean water leader in the community.
We’re proud of our youth and the work they have been doing, Many of them for several years. After they finish one cohort, they become mentors and eventually interns. We like to celebrate every accomplishment… Seeing them grow and speak up is so empowering. It’s great to be recognized because it empowers our youth. It makes them feel their voices are being heard for once and that their work is not taken for granted.”RVC Green Pathways Fellow Maggie Angel Cano
Congrats to the young people of Duwamish Valley Youth Corps and all its amazing leaders! Check out the interview with Maggie and Ruby to learn more about their own experiences with the Youth Corps and their work in the community.
Donate to DRCC to support their environmental and youth leadership work.
Be a Changemaker
By committing to The Champions to Changemakers Annual Fund, you will be making a pivotal impact in communities of color in the Greater Seattle area.
RVC Changemakers are folks who believe that leadership development and capacity building in communities of color should be spearheaded by the individuals working within these communities. RVC Changemakers believe in building a collective of strong voices — voices that may not always be in agreement, but ones that are always honored, heard and respected. RVC Changemakers push for social change on the ground level, for those who need and deserve it most.
The Champions to Changemakers Annual Fund makes a huge difference, it supports:
- Training and strategic planning sessions for grassroots nonprofits
- Lunch-and-Learns to help RVC’s Community Impact and Green Pathways Fellows strengthen their leadership skills
- Community Connections lunches, where RVC’s community-based partners meet with our major donors to foster more cross-sector collaboration.
You may donate by credit or debit card, or check by mailing it directly to us. For other donation options, please email us at [email protected].
Job Opportunities In Our Network
- RVC is hiring a Development Associate
- Skyway Coalition is hiring for a Coalition Manager
- The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hiring for an Operations & Administrative Specialist
- Rainier Beach Action Coalition is hiring for multiple positions.
- WA-BLOC is hiring for a Servant Leader Educator
- Philanthropy Northwest is hiring for multiple positions
- Literacy Sources is hiring a Development Manager
- Casa Latina is hiring for a Homeless Employment Specialist
- Solid Ground is hiring for multiple positions.
- United Way of King County is hiring for multiple positions.
Community Resources & Events
- iPhone & Android COVID alerts are now active in WA State! Read The Seattle Times article with instructions and more information about the COVID exposure notifications: WA Notify system goes live with COVID exposure notifications for iPhone and Android users in Washington state
- United Way of King County, Food Lifeline, the City of Seattle, and Metro Access are offering home delivery of emergency food boxes across Seattle, North King County, and East King County during COVID-19. To order a food box, fill out this online form, or call Toll-Free at 833-540-0800, Mondays to Fridays from 11 am-4 pm.
- Communities Rise is offering COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Clinic. Register at the link below: https://bit.ly/2CezVtH
- Free testing is available in King County regardless of immigration status. Find a testing site near you at the link below: https://bit.ly/3faKlcA
RVC Stuff To Read
Transformational Capacity Building, (SSIR article) written by April Nishimura et al. (2020)
Community Care During the Pandemic: We Are in This Together, written by RVC
What my work at Got Green taught me about environmental justice, Written by Shaylea Pilarski, RVC Green Pathways Fellow
Reflection on Ramadan During Quarantine, by Anbar Mahar Sheikh, RVC Capacity Building Lead
How do we support ourselves and our communities during COVID-19?, written by Tracey Wong, 2019-2021 RVC Community Impact Fellow
We need to retain and invest in our staff during this crisis, Written by Ananda Valenzuela, Interim Executive Director of RVC
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If you have job postings or events that you would like mentioned in our newsletter, please email the details to Saida. We do our best to fit everything in, but we may not always be able to.