today in black history

July 18, 2023

Bishop Stephen G. Spottswood of the African American Episcopal Zion Church, a fierce civil rights advocate, was born in 1897 in Boston.

FUNdraising Good Times

POSTED: December 04, 2017, 8:00 am

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This week we report on nonprofit news. Our topics: an update on #GivingTuesday and sexual harassment in the nonprofit workplace.

#GivingTuesday is a new “holiday” celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. The early results are in: this year over 1,640,000 gifts were made, raising $177 million online in 98 countries. We hope your nonprofit participated. If not, be sure to create your plan for 2018. Visit to download tools, ideas and case studies.

While online giving continues to grow we also know that many of us continue to give the “old fashioned way” – by check, payroll deduction, with gifts of stock and securities, or through a donor advised fund. While these gifts may not show up in #GivingTuesday reports we know they are vital to nonprofits and our communities. Keep giving. Do it joyously. Stay thankful.

Our second topic: sexual harassment in the nonprofit workplace, and specific forms of harassment that fundraisers can be subjected to. Now is the time to discuss your organization’s sexual harassment policy including methods for reporting. It’s also time to reflect on how your organization’s culture may unwittingly (or knowingly!) create an unsafe workplace. We need to look out for misuse of power and cover-ups; and how we may be creating a culture that overlooks (or rewards) harassment and discourages reporting. And it’s time to implement annual trainings for all employees and board members.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Inside Philanthropy have both published articles documenting specific dangers in the nonprofit sector: donors with power and money, and fundraisers who may be evaluated and compensated based on how much money they raise. Other dangers include management who won’t respond to complaints for fear of alienating a donor and losing a “gift.” The large numbers of younger women who must interact with older wealthy men in one-on-one situations creates risk. Men too are at risk – and we can’t let stereotypes or homophobia render their realities invisible. Finally, as one fundraiser shared with Inside Philanthropy, there are issues related to women who “use flirtatiousness and their dating lives as ways of drawing in donors.”

Let’s take time to look at our dynamics, culture, and policies. We – as nonprofit employees, donors and board members – can create safe working conditions.

Articles available online at and

Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on For help growing your fundraising visit or call (901) 522-8727.

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