Equity in Philanthropy: Abolition, Reform, Expansion

Date and Time: Tuesday, January 11, 2022Location: N/A - online


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Do fundraisers have an obligation to disrupt systems of inequity? We invite fundraisers at all career stages to join us as we explore the past, present, and future of the philanthropic ecosystem and the threads of inequities that continue to plague it. This series includes three distinct yet interconnected sessions that will take you on an exploration of equitable philanthropy. With three diverse and experienced facilitators as your guides, you will consider various aspects of the philanthropic ecosystem.

Which aspects are irreparably broken and need to be abolished? Which could benefit from reform? Where is healthy and equitable philanthropy flourishing, and how can these philosophies and practices be shared, expanded, and fostered?


Session 1: From Root to Ritual: The Systemic & Historical Characteristics of Inequity in Philanthropy

This session will unearth the systems that root philanthropy and fundraising by grappling with history, intention, and impact. We will discuss philanthropy’s role in ensuring that equity, diversity, inclusion, access, and belonging exists within the nonprofit sector, and whether the practices of philanthropy and fundraising have evolved with society.  Participants will gain clarity on viewing the philanthropic ecosystem through an equity lens and understand where fundraisers can disrupt long standing (and potentially inequitable) rituals that exist in philanthropy today.


Session 2: Activating Your Leadership to Disrupt the Status Quo

This session posits that each of us can find our own path toward leadership in building equitable philanthropy.  We will identify ways that you can be a change agent within your nonprofit (with your colleagues as well as with your Board) by helping to build a mindset and culture that achieves the twin goals of resource development and equitable practices.  We will explore how to seek out allies in building your leadership capabilities as well as how to use your experience and authority to be an ally for others. Acknowledging the importance of intentional volunteerism as you move about the nonprofit sector, will spark ways to leverage your valuable talents as a fundraising professional to effect equitable change.


Session 3: Philanthropy As Political Activism: De-Centering the Donor, Re-Centering the Community

Several years ago, the nonprofit advocate Vu Le (Nonprofit AF) began expressing concerns about the donor-centric approach to fundraising, which is built on creating long-term and trusting relationships with donors and, as the name suggests, intentionally puts donors and their preferences right in the middle of nonprofit work. In this session, we will explore tactics associated with donor centric fundraising models and the ways in which we might challenge these practices in favor of models for fundraising that center communities and right size donor engagement. We will examine solicitation & stewardship strategies, communication and engagement messaging, and when taking a donor’s advice goes too far.


90 Minute Consulting Session*

As part of your application to this series of courses, you will be asked to share two to three practical challenges that you are wrestling with related to Equity and Philanthropy. Some of these challenges will be discussed during the courses. Some of these challenges will likely benefit from more in depth, “ask the expert” conversations. Everyone who participates in all three facilitated sessions will be eligible to have a small-group consulting session led by one of the instructors. One of your practical challenges will be lifted up for “puzzle solving” by the instructor and several of your coursemates. In turn, you will support several of your coursemates in resolving one of their challenges.


Closing Panel Discussion*

Moderated by Laura Otten, recently retired Executive Director of The Nonprofit Center, this closing session unites the three facilitators who have led your exploration of the philanthropic ecosystem through the lens of equitable philanthropy. As panelists Dennis Dumpson, Jennifer Shropshire, and Tina Barber will discuss the similarities and differences of their fundraising philosophies. Their conversation will illustrate that the nonprofit sector is just at the beginning stages of developing best practices in this area. You will leave this session armed with alternative approaches to effecting change within your nonprofit.



Session 1 – 1/11/2022 – 9am-12pm

Session 2 – 1/25/2022 – 9am-12pm

Session 3 – 2/8/2022 – 9am-12pm

*Consulting Session – 2/23/2022 – 9am-10:30am

*Panel Discussion – 3/1/2022 – 12pm-1pm


*Attendance at the consulting session and panel discussion is only available by registering for the full program.  You may register for each of the first 3 sessions individually at the following links:

SKU: N/A Category: Audience: Fundraisers interested in exploring the inequities of the current philanthropic ecosystem and how it might be reformed.

Event Location

Date: January 11th, 2022


Member $345
Non-Member $395


  • Jennifer Shropshire

    Jennifer Shropshire is a principal with Edward F. Swenson & Associates, Inc., a management and fundraising consulting firm, where she uses management and fundraising expertise to support nonprofit clients. She was formerly director of development for the Walnut Street Theatre. In addition to her consultant work with The Nonprofit Center, she was a CLEAR Circle facilitator, working with nonprofit executive directors. She holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BS from the State University of New York at Oswego.

  • Dennis Dumpson

    Dennis Maurice Dumpson is an author, thought leader, strategic consultant, and racial equity practitioner. He is Founder and Principal Consultant of #InvestBLK, a boutique racial equity & strategic planning consulting firm specializing in strategy development, training, and coaching for nonprofits and leaders. Prior to #InvestBLK, Dennis served as a Diversity Teaching Fellow & Lecturer with Community College of Philadelphia.

    Previously, he served as the first Director of Community Engagement & Outreach at the Philadelphia International Airport; Managing Director of Development & External Impact at KIPP Philadelphia Schools; and Vice President of Development at Opportunity Finance Network.  He has also served on

  • Tina Barber

    Tina M. Barber, MPA, has a varied and robust fundraising background that includes leadership positions at some of the Delaware Valley’s most well-known nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, The United Way, Philabundance, and the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. She currently serves as Director of Community Giving at The Trevor Project where she is responsible for growing annual fund revenue nationally. As a highly skilled individual giving strategist, Tina has been a key part of multi-million dollar capital campaign projects as well as boutique fundraising initiatives. Her training experience includes development and communications planning, board management and development,