The WA Charters Fundraising Learning Series is a short video series providing equity-driven fundraising practices and tactical learnings to help schools raise more funds, tell ethical stories, and center student and community voices. The series strive to reimagine “fundraising best practices” that have traditionally caused harm to Global Majority communities and explore other ways to fundraise that center the community. We are grateful for all the speakers who participated in the series. Check out the list of speakers and their bios here.

Ethical Storytelling and Communication

Nonprofit storytelling for fundraising purposes has exploited the constituents they serve and further perpetuated harmful stereotypes. We have an opportunity to do better for and with our community. Zahra Nealy, a communications expert, shows us how to identify, tell, and share ethical stories.

How To Avoid White Saviorism & Exploitation

As Zahra said, “ethical storytelling is about creating awareness but preserving the respect and dignity of people’s story you are telling.” In part two of our conversation, Zahra shares five ways to avoid white saviorism and exploitation in your communication.

How Leaders and Board Members Can Practice Equity-Driven Fundraising

As an executive director of a Bellingham nonprofit and board member of Whatcom Intergenerational High School, Jason McGill shares his advice on how leaders and board members can practice equity-driven fundraising while centering the needs of the community.

Institutional Funding Types

While institutional funding makes up 25% of all US philanthropy, it accounts for almost 100% of the fundraising revenue for charter public schools. Check out this video with Gillia Bakie, founder and principal of Flicker Consulting, to refresh your institutional giving knowledge and the differences between foundations types.

Grant Funding Strategies for Foundation Types

In this video, Gillia walks you through the various foundation types – family, small and community, national, and community foundations and United Ways – and the specific strategies to get funded.

Tips for Writing a Successful Grant Proposal

Seasoned grant writer and consultant Gillia Bakie speaks about the importance of being clear about 1) your community’s actual demand, 2) your short, mid-term, and long-term impact, and 3) alignment of your shared values. Watch this video to learn three tips for writing a successful grant proposal.

Equitable and Empowering Grant Writing

As fundraising professionals, we must center the community we support by using asset-based and empowering language to talk about them in our communication and grant proposals. Gillia takes inspiration from Community Centric Fundraising and has been on a journey to incorporate asset-based language in her grant proposals. Check out her tips and resources.

How to Engage Major Donors

According to CCS Fundraising, major gift requests yield the highest ROI for charter schools. In this video, major gift expert, Nashmeen Moslehuddin, shares tactical strategies for engaging with major donors, from identification to stewardship, and tips for making a strong ask.

Bringing Donors onto a DEI Journey

With over two decades of experience in fundraising, Nashmeen shares what inspired her to stay in fundraising and how her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has helped her lead courageous conversations with donors. She advised that organizations must do their internal work and reground in their mission and vision before bringing donors on a DEI journey.

Donor Solicitation Role-Play – Donor said Yes

Many people struggle with the mechanics of the ask itself and fear that making asks to people in their network will ruin personal relationships. Learn how to make an ask without compromising relationships in this video as Nashmeen walks us through a conversation with a donor who said yes and what made this ask successful.

Donor Solicitation Role-Play – Donor said No

One of the most uncomfortable parts of fundraising for leaders and board members is often asking for money. It’s mostly due to the fear of rejection. In this video, Nashmeen models how she handles the situation when a donor says no and the learnings she took away from that experience.

Student-Led Fundraising Campaigns

Student storytelling is one way to center student voices, honor ethical storytelling practices, and engage your community in supporting the future of your school. Meet Eole and Mo, 6th and 7th graders, and co-founder Sara Rolfs at Pinnacles Prep on how they launched their student-led fundraising campaign.

Building an Event and Development Program

Rainier Prep has hosted three successful fundraising events, in-person and virtually, to support core program operations. Check out a conversation with the school’s founding teacher and development director, Scott Hicke, to learn tips on how they exceeded their fundraising goals while building a strong community of supporters.

How To Engage Corporate Partners

Corporate partners are a unique donor group that provide financial and in-kind support, matching gift opportunities, and bring mission-aligned volunteers to the school. Watch the video to hear how Scott identifies, qualifies, cultivates, asks, and stewards corporate partners.

Engaging Board Members in Fundraising

As a founding board member of Rainier Valley Leadership Academy, charter school champion, and senior development professional, Joe Hailey shares his passion for the sector and his advice for board members on fundraising for charter public schools.

Crowdfunding through DonorsChoose

Currently, 87% of public schools nationally are crowdfunding through DonorsChoose. Spokane International Academy (SIA) uses DonorsChoose to fund classroom projects from hundreds of donors. Travis Franklin, SIA CEO, shares his tips on setting up and creating successful campaigns.

Preparing for a Funder Ask

Scott Canfield, Co-Founder and CEO of Why Not You Academy, shares how he and his board prepare for funder asks and secured the partnership with the Why Not you Foundation.