3 Fallacies of Voluntourism

In 2019 at the Global PDX Conference, I moderated a panel called “Voluntourism: Power, Privilege, and New Possibilities.” We didn’t shy away from the controversies of sending people overseas for short-term assignments, some of which I’ve documented in the article “5 Pitfalls of Voluntourism.” While the challenges and disappointments of voluntourism have been well-documented in […]

Think Before You Hybrid: Pitfalls of the Quasi-Virtual Experience

With the vaccine looming and pent-up demand for human interaction nearing its bursting point, it’s no wonder we’re all thinking about hybrid events experiences, which occur both in person and in the virtual realm. But hybrid events can be more than twice the work of in-person and virtual events. This article explores common pitfalls to […]

Cultural Differences in Donor-Staff Conversations

I’ve written a lot about the role cultural differences play in travel, particularly, donor trips. But in this article, I want to bring the message of intercultural awareness home to a more familiar territory: staff interactions with donors. Specifically, I’m talking about those the one-on-one meetings that development officers, board members, and executive directors have […]

Reaching Out to Donors about Systemic Injustice: 4 Tips and 10 Conversation Goals

While many inspiring leaders and activists have stepped up to create and share resources on how to respond to the current movement, my colleagues in the fundraising space have lamented the lack specific ideas and tools for having critical conversations with donors. These conversations can feel daunting for organizations whose missions don’t explicitly include the […]

Difficult Dialogues with Curiosity and Intention

We live in a time when remaining silent on critical issues is no longer possible. Even if we have been living lives of relative comfort—the lives of our friends, families, and neighbors are at stake. You know that you need to have more honest, transparent, and authentic conversations with donors, volunteers, and colleagues on race, […]