If you’ve had conversations about philanthropy lately you may have heard the phrase, “Community-Centric Fundraising” or its acronym, CCF. You may have even heard that KZCF is shifting our model to Community Centric Fundraising to align with our mission, vision and values. But what exactly is Community-Centric Fundraising?

What is Community-Centric Fundraising?

Community-Centric Fundraising is a movement to evolve how fundraising is done in the nonprofit sector. Aimed at grounding fundraising and philanthropic practices in racial and economic justice, the movement was created by and centered around communities of color. It asks organizations like KZCF to re-examine every fundraising philosophy and practice we have been taught, engage in vigorous ongoing conversations and explore ways that reduce harm and further social justice.

Utilizing a set of principles as guidance, the CCF movement prioritizes the entire community over individual organizations, fosters a sense of belonging and interdependence, approaches work holistically and encourages mutual support between organizations.

How is CCF different from other approaches to philanthropy and nonprofit work?

Community-Centric Fundraising does just what the name implies - it moves the entire community into the center of efforts for outreach, recognition and decision-making. This differs from some of the other models used in fundraising. Sometimes, fundraisers employ a purely donor-centric approach and try to cater to a donor’s individual needs. This can reduce the impact of gifts if donor interests do not align with the greatest needs of the community. Or, fundraisers only recognize donors’ financial contributions and fail to acknowledge those who provide other critical resources, like time or expertise.

When nonprofits and foundations join the CCF movement, they commit to value and build relationships with all members of the community including, but not limited to, donors. This means paying more attention to how we work with nonprofit partners, volunteers, those who access services and programs, board members and staff.

Over our nearly 98 years of history, Kalamazoo Community Foundation has worked to continuously improve how we center community – it is our middle name, after all! For just as long, community members who give through KZCF have supported and strengthened our county in a multitude of ways. As we move into our second century working together, it's clear that nurturing collaborations between KZCF, donors, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and the entire community is key to an equitable Kalamazoo County. When we can see the value of all contributions, our collective power can change systems, address injustice and make life here better for all of us.

We will continue to share our gratitude with our donors, and we are committing to better recognize everyone working together to make Kalamazoo County the most equitable place to live.

In this video, members of the Community-Centric Fundraising movement share more about the movement's history, goals and principles.

What does CCF look like in practice?

Because CCF is a grassroots movement, it plays out differently across communities and organizations. Some of the practices recommended by the CCF movement include:

  • Valuing the power of many people working together to make a lasting impact over individual contributions
  • Encouraging opportunities for collaboration over competition
  • Prioritizing the greatest needs of the community ahead of individual interests
  • Inviting donors and partners into conversations about race, inequity and privilege
  • Shifting narratives to more accurately reflect how equity and justice benefit everyone in a community
  • Centering the voices of people most impacted by injustice and making space for the community to share solutions
  • Equitably sharing resources and power with people and organizations that have been oppressed

Interested in learning more about Community-Centric Fundraising? Visit communitycentricfundraising.org.