The Fundraising Community’s Pursuit of Belonging and Higher Purpose.


September 14, 2023 – Episode # 105

Forging an Inclusive Fundraising Community featuring Rachel D’Souza

In the world of fundraising, community is the cornerstone, the very essence that fuels our efforts as fearless fundraisers. It embodies the connection, the shared sense of purpose, and the higher calling we all rally behind. Yet, at times, it can feel like we’re moving in circles, struggling to bridge the gap. Engagement falters, and unity remains elusive. We understand the age-old wisdom of ‘united we stand, divided we fall,’ but what are the roadblocks? One glaring impediment is the presence of racism. Authentic community-building cannot thrive in its shadow. Dismantling this barrier is the crucial first step toward genuine inclusion.

Rachel D’Souza, Founder & Chief Purpose Officer, Gladiator Consulting and premiere Raise speaker stands at the forefront of the Community-Centric Fundraising movement, a global endeavor dedicated to reshaping the nonprofit sector with a commitment to radical collaboration, racial equity, social justice, and decolonization. Alongside her dedicated team, she partners with community leaders to drive meaningful change, channeling a wealth of resources toward fostering more inclusive and equitable communities. Join us as Rachel shares insightful perspectives on integrating a genuine community-centric ethos into nonprofit endeavors.

In this episode, Rachel confronts the vital topic of anti-racism and dives deep into what it truly means to be community-centric specifically in the the event fundraising space. As event fundraisers, It’s imperative to transcend the nitty-gritty of event planning and challenge ourselves to infuse anti-racist and community-centric principles into every facet of our planning process. This transformative approach not only enriches our missions but also propels our fundraising efforts.

And there’s more. This Peloton fanatic, devoted law student, and avid Instagram user is propelled by a deeper purpose than just a sense of justice. Her true inspiration emanates from her two extraordinary children, Emelia and Cameron. Her goal is to influence not only their leadership but that of their peers, working towards a more inclusive and community-centric tomorrow that enriches us all.

This episode covers:

  • Denounce donor-centered fundraising in favor of a community-centered fundraising model.
  • Shift from transactional to transformative.
  • Incorporate systems change and an antiracist approach.
  • Craft events that foster connections between a diverse range of stakeholders.

Connect with Rachel on Linked In Rachel D’Souza or visit Gladiator Consulting.

Related Reading and Resources