The WA Charters Fundraising Learning Series is a short video and blog 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 strives to reimagine “fundraising best practices” that have traditionally caused harm to Global Majority communities and explore other ways to fundraise that center the community. The series has evolved to include board governance resources to help charter public school boards stay accountable to their charter and community.

We are grateful to all the speakers who participated in the series.

Check out past blog posts, resources, and videos of the Fundraising Learning Series. You can filter the content by the categories in the resource library below (Fundraising, Governance, and Communications.)

Featured Blog Posts

Resource Library

Engaging Board Members in Fundraising (BLOG)

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 advice for board members on fundraising for charter public schools.

How Leaders and Board Members Can Practice Equity-Driven Fundraising (VIDEO)

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.


Capital Campaigns (BLOG)

Denella Clark, President and CEO of Boston Arts Academy Foundation, shares the key elements from her school’s $32M comprehensive campaign, equity-driven fundraising practices, and school-specific capital campaign advice.

Strategies and Tips for Running a Successful Capital Campaign (VIDEO)

Capital campaigns can be a huge undertaking but also provide significant benefits to the community by helping your organization achieve major goals and deliver on its mission. Seasoned capital campaign fundraiser, Denella Clark, shares key ingredients you need to launch a successful capital campaign.

Making a Case for Operating Reserves (VIDEO)

An operating reserve allows nonprofits to stabilize their finances when unexpected events or expenses occur. Hear from Denella about how she made a case for raising operating reserves in her school’s comprehensive campaign.

Engaging High-Net-Worth Individuals in Capital Campaigns (VIDEO)

Individuals account for 40% of the total giving for capital campaigns. Check out fundraising expert Denella Clark’s tips for engaging high-net-worth individuals.

capital campaign resourcescapital campaign case statements resources

Capital Lending and Partnerships (BLOG)

James Heugas, the Regional Director at Washington Charter School Development, demystifies the charter public school facility landscape in Washington and shares advice on how to build relationships with lenders.

charter school facilities resources

How To Engage Corporate Partners (VIDEO)

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


Building an Event and Development Program (VIDEO)

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.


Student-Led Fundraising Campaigns (VIDEO)

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.

Crowdfunding through DonorsChoose (BLOG)

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 Founder, shares his tips on setting up and creating successful campaigns.

fundraising campaign resourcescrowdfunding & donorschoose resources

Institutional Funding Types (VIDEO)

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 foundation types.

Grant Funding Strategies for Foundation Types (VIDEO)

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 (VIDEO)

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 (VIDEO)

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.

grants and foundation resourcesEquitable language in grant writing resources

How To Engage Major Donors (VIDEO)

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 (VIDEO)

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.


Preparing for a Funder Ask (BLOG)

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

Donor Solicitation Role-Play – Donor said Yes (VIDEO)

Many people struggle with the mechanics of the ask itself and fear that making asks people in their network will ruin personal relationships. Learn how to make an ask without compromising relationships. In this video, 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 (VIDEO)

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.


Donor Newsletter Tips from Charter Public Schools (BLOG)

An easy way to steward your donors is by creating a quarterly or monthly newsletter to showcase the school and highlight how the donors’ gifts are making an impact. Learn how communications specialists across the Washington charter sector cultivated and stewarded donors through their donor newsletter.


How to Recruit Diverse, Mission-Aligned, and Community-Rooted Board Members (VIDEO)

Baionne Coleman, CEO of Rainier Valley Leadership Academy, shares her vision of RVLA, what skills are needed to govern a charter public school board, and a step-by-step guide on how to find the talents and experiences required for a diverse, community-rooted board.

Where to Recruit Diverse, Mission-Aligned, and Community-Rooted Board Members (VIDEO)

Baionne looked within the school community and asked community elders to seek talented board members who have the skills the board needs.

Recruiting Accountable Board Members (VIDEO)

In this video, Baionne shows us how she incorporated a community-centered process to vet her prospective board members. This process helped ensure new board members were accountable to the community and the charter contract.

Advice for Recruiting Diverse, Mission-Aligned, and Community-Rooted Board Members (VIDEO)

Seasoned educator and school leader Baionne Coleman shares her wisdom on building a vibrant board that brings the expertise and experience necessary to achieve your mission.


Board Governance (BLOG)

Gina Fafard, senior governance coach for BoardOnTrack, shares important roles charter public school boards should play, effective strategies for board-stakeholder communication, and advice for founding and operating boards.

Fostering a Sense of Belonging on the Board (VIDEO)

To retain the talent you bring to your board, there must be intentional strategies to create an environment where marginalized and different perspectives are welcome and board members understand what’s happening at the school level. Rainier Valley Leadership Academy CEO Baionne Coleman shares strategies for keeping her board engaged and feeling a sense of belonging.

Building a Board that Shares Power (VIDEO)

Learn about Rainier Valley Leadership Academy’s co-chair model and how they break down traditional power structures on boards.


Ethical Storytelling and Communication (VIDEO)

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. As a communications expert, Zahra Nealy shows us how to identify, tell, and share ethical stories.

Avoiding White Saviorism (VIDEO)

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.


Donor Newsletter Tips from Charter Public Schools (BLOG)

An easy way to steward your donors is by creating a quarterly or monthly newsletter to showcase the school and highlight how the donors’ gifts are making an impact. Learn how communications specialists across the Washington charter sector cultivated and stewarded donors through their donor newsletter.


Featured Videos

Fostering a Sense of Belonging on the Board

Ethical Storytelling and Communication

Student-Led Fundraising Campaigns