Craig Pollard [00:00:04]:
Hello and welcome to this new episode of the Fundraising Radicals podcast. I'm your host, Craig Pollard. The Fundraising Radicals podcast is about turning the world of fundraising upside down by sharing and exploring fresh global perspectives on non-profit fundraising and leadership. These unscripted conversations with friends and colleagues old and new, ordinary and inspiring people who are fundraising and leading community projects, causes, charities, and social enterprises in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and beyond the traditional boundaries of the non-profit sector. I hope today's conversation challenges and inspires you to think differently about the world of fundraising and your place in it. I hope it helps you to reflect on your own fundraising practice and leadership. But now it's time for another dose of global fundraising ideas and inspiration. Welcome to this latest edition of the Fundraising Radicals podcast I'm your host Craig Pollard. Today's conversation and doze of fundraising ideas, inspiration, optimism and joy comes from Martha . Martha is a consultant for nonprofits and she specializes in events, recruitment and income generation with an anti-racist lens. She curates BAME Online, which is a conference and a series of online events that center fundraisers of color, showcase new talent and create the space for the challenging conversations we must have if we are ever to get to the heart of how we can dismantle structural racism in fundraising and in the wider charity sector. Her mission is to support black and brown led organisations who are critically underfunded and under-resourced to do brilliant work in their communities and to ensure that black and brown fundraisers are able to thrive within their organisations. I am really excited to be talking with Martha today and having a conversation that really matters. Yes we're going to talk about white supremacy, about privilege and racism in fundraising, about the systems and structures of oppression that we're all conscripted into yet fighting against. But we're also going to talk about what lies on the other side of these challenging conversations. This matters not only for fundraising and the non-profit sector in the UK but globally. At its heart this is about equity, decolonization and dismantling centuries of global oppression and how we as fundraisers can find our place, our purpose, and even joy as we challenge ourselves, others, and our organisations to collaborate and change. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it. I'm really looking forward to talking to you about this stuff. I'm looking forward to it. I hope that you get the best of me. It's all good. It's all good, Martha. Tell me about you, sort of how you got into fundraising, what you do?
Martha Awojobi [00:03:03]:
Yeah, sure. I got into fundraising by accident, as most fundraisers do. I feel like everybody says that. So I am from London. I'm from Tottenham originally. I live in Manchester. And the summer where I turned 18 I was hanging out in Wood Green High Street. No one's going to know what high street I'm talking about but that's fine. No I do know, I know Wood Green High Street. Because that's where we would go, me and my friend Georgia. And I got stopped by a street fundraiser called Sam Copperman, right? I remember his name. And I was too young to sign up. I also didn't have any money or a job. So he said, okay, you can't sign up, but actually I'll get a referral fee if you come for a kind of, you know, interview at my organization. So I was like, yeah, I want money. So went there, did street fundraising, which I think is like the hardcore, the most hardcore type of fundraising. Um, I did that for 2 years. It was really, really tough. At 1 point I was a roaming fundraiser, you know, the ones that drive around the whole country. You'd work 6 days a week and then drive on the seventh day. And I just don't know if that's ethical, but I did it anyway.
Craig Pollard [00:04:23]:
And I guess being that age, right, you're sort of like quite resilient and you don't sort of like you're up for, it seems like an adventure and it's exciting and it's hard work but you do these crazy things right?
Martha Awojobi [00:04:25]:
I cried a lot. Oh did you? I cried a hell of a lot. It was so tough and it was like you know the kind of I think it's a brilliant form of fundraising but I think also the kind I think what it demands from you, the kind of always being on, you're always present in the streets, you know, whether it's raining, whether it's windy, whether it's snowing, whether it's so hot that you literally like, I cannot wear this annoying t-shirt for another minute. It actually was, it's really emotionally taxing. But what I learned from that, I don't think I've learned skills quite as important in any other type of job that I've done. And so much of it was about how to capture someone's attention in 5 seconds, how to help people come out of their shells, how to listen, how to, you know, bring the best out of people in many ways, because, you know, we were trained to kind of think that it wasn't really the organization that people were signing up to, it was you. And I think, you know, that's the kind of flawed concept in many ways, and we can get to that later. But I definitely learned how to how to maneuver, how to be charming, how to be quick, how to be slow, how to hide behind, I used to like hide behind post boxes and then like jump out and be like, ah, you know, like how to have fun, right? How to have fun and how to like bring other people into your fun. I know I said I cried a lot, but I also laughed a lot. Right. And it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. So that's how I started in fundraising. And then over time I had kind of various roles like doing like I did like loads of like data analytics for like fundraisers. That was really cool. So I got really into like spreadsheets, learn all of that stuff, learn how to kind of you know, yeah, read data I think that was pretty useful. And then I started doing corporate partnerships, which was, yeah, it was, it was really cool. So I did corporate partnerships for most of my time and fundraising. So I'd say I did about 5, 6 years in partnerships, working at first a small homeless charity, doing like local partnerships. And it was a homeless charity was based in a really affluent area in Marlborough in London. And it was again, just mind boggling, like going from inside a homeless center where, you know, you're seeing people who were really bearing the brunt of capitalism And then building next door is worth 2 million pounds and there's no 1 in it. And it was, you know, I think that's where I started to kind of realize that there wasn't something quite right about the kind of fundraising I was doing, the way the charity structure worked. I'm gonna tell you my whole career story right now. Are you okay with that? Please do, I'm really enjoying it.
Craig Pollard [00:07:24]:
I'm just sort of like reflecting on my own as well as you're talking and it's really interesting. So please carry on.
Martha Awojobi [00:07:36]:
Okay, cool. There are moments where I'm like, gosh, this is really messed up. I remember you know having going to these kind of corporate dinners and like having lobster and then returning to the homeless centre and just being like this is messed up And then I worked for a domestic violence charity, 1 of the larger ones in the UK, again still doing corporate partnerships, being part of a bigger team. I think that's where I started to kind of really hone in on like my talents in a very kind of institutional way, I'd say. It was a little bit kind of like slapdash before that but I was like really trained properly trained into how to do partnerships, how to kind of you know do all of the contract side of things, how to like maximize value, like all of these buzzwords that like are just so not me. But that's what That's really interesting in itself, right? Yeah.
Craig Pollard [00:08:22]:
That the sort of having to change yourself to mold into sort of the expectations within the charity setting and play that game to succeed.
Martha Awojobi [00:08:35]:
100%. And I'm just not, I'm not really that type of person. And I think actually being in that organisation, like I learnt a lot and, you know, there was, I had a director who like looked for opportunities for me, like really pushed me to grow and, you know, was actually really instrumental in helping me find the courage to do some of the work that I've done since leaving that organization. So there was, much with everything, there are some really shady weird things going on, but also some really important inspirational things happening. I think what I've learned over the last few years is to be able to hold both of those things at once and not be like that was a messed up thing or that was brilliant and actually can I see the complexity of both of those things being present in my experiences? And then we're at 2020 now. I got a job at the Roundhouse in Camden. I felt it was so cool. Oh my God, I was like, oh, that is so cool. I'd just been to see Janelle Monáe perform there and I was just like yeah I'm gonna be hanging out with Janelle, I'm gonna be hanging out with these people. And then Covid happened and yeah I never got to work a single day there. And I was just about to move literally like a couple of weeks before the pandemic. But it's the best thing that could have happened to me because I had no job. I was kind of free to do whatever I wanted to do. And I didn't like the idea, particularly like, now that we were working from home like I'd been doing lots of um activism and kind of organizing work with a campaigning group called Charity So White and we'd been putting on these like wicked events like we did an event called Funding So White where we got like a bunch of white funders together and we were like, talk to us about white supremacy, talk to, you know, and it was just really, really, really cool. And people weren't talking about things in that way at that time, not in the UK and definitely not since, not before kind of the resurgence of Black Lives Matter in the UK. So I was like, wait, I could do more of this stuff. Like I've got Zoom, I've got an audience, people are interested in what I have to say. I was campaigning with charity so why I'd also won an award for being like 1 of the youngest and influential fundraisers in the UK and it was like people were starting to know who I was. I was like all right I would try I'll do my own fundraising consultancy It hasn't quite worked out like that. But...
Craig Pollard [00:11:03]:
Does it ever though? But it's interesting that that gave you the opportunity to pivot and really do what matters to you.
Martha Awojobi [00:11:10]:
100%. And I'm still working out what matters to me. I think I'm, you know, I'm trying to find my place in a movement I think is...
Craig Pollard [00:11:22]:
We all are, right?
Martha Awojobi [00:11:24]:
Exactly, exactly. And I think just that flexibility of like, I'm not there yet, there is no there yet. Like I'm always wanting to be moving. And yeah, I guess consulting really suits me. And in my first year I had so many different projects. I mean, the first thing I did was the BAME online fundraising conference. I did, you know, I started kind of doing fundraising consultancy for 1 of my favorite organizations called Glitch, which I'll talk about a little bit later. I was also getting commissioned to do like anti-racism training to do recruitment of leaders of color into organizations like Comic Relief or into Stonewall. And it was just like, yeah, a really kind of like varied way that I was trying to like chip away at some of the things that I was seeing as issues in the charity sector. Whether I was successful or not is a different story, but I was trying.
Craig Pollard [00:12:16]:
But it sounds like you're sort of seeing the opportunities and not being defined by having to do sort of traditional fundraising consultancy and going in and doing this specific project, but you're able to choose who you work with and working on an individual basis as well, which is kind of cool and exciting, right? And if you're doing stuff that you feel deeply passionate about, it makes a difference, not only to the organization, the people, but there's something that I, you know, not all my consultancy clients are equal, right? I'm going to say that. But because there's some that just feel deeply passionate about, and that makes a difference to the work.
Martha Awojobi [00:12:56]:
Mm-hmm. 100%. 100%. I mean, I'm trying to cultivate a client list that I'm passionate about all of it. And actually, a big learning for me is just being able to say no, not I don't need to explain myself like if I'm not feeling something, then just saying no. And I think when I first started out, I felt like I had to say yes to everything. I didn't know whether I'd be successful, I ended up actually taking on way more than I could handle. And now I make very kind of values driven choices about, actually, is this a values match for me? Can I explain that to myself using our values framework? And a lot of the time the answer is no, actually. So we're definitely now in a place where we're only really working with organizations where we're like, hell yes. And what are the sort of criteria for that? What are the values? What are the sorts of organizations you really want to work with and you do work with? So I mean I even though I run a business I still have values because I'm like a charity sector baby and I cannot escape the values like I love the good vibes. So our values are anti-racism, bravery, curiosity, creativity and joy right And in my first kinds of conversations with clients, I'm checking, like, are they actually serious about doing anti-racist practice, whether it's in their fundraising, whether it's in their comms, whether it's in whatever, you know? Will they name white supremacy as a kind of central feature in our kind of society? You know, are they willing to really do what it takes to dismantle power structures? So there's that, there's bravery of like, actually, will they use the words white supremacy? Will they talk openly about their journey? Will they challenge their funders? And maybe they're not quite there yet, but do I see the potential there? Creativity is again, like, are they willing to abandon the structures that they know, right? The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house? Do they have enough imagination, enough creativity to totally rethink what it means to be an organization, a fundraising team, whatever? And then curiosity is like, are they actually willing to learn? Like, do they have like a curious hunger for learning? Cause like for me, I am like, I'm like a slug. Like I will like stick to a book. Like I'm just like desperate to like learn. Like I will just like find my way and crawl my way into any hole that gives me like more knowledge, right? And I want organisations that will match me in that. And then joy is actually like, are we going to have a good time? Like, is this going to be fun? Because I don't want to work with an organisation where I'm having to like fight with them to even admit that there's a problem or to admit that racism exists in their organisation. So yeah, that's kind of the criteria."
Craig Pollard [00:15:37]:
Speaking of a curious hunger for learning, I just want to take a moment to step out of this important conversation to explore what we mean by white supremacy. I'm going to share the words of Tema Okun from her book, White Supremacy Culture. White supremacy is a project of colonization, a project of appropriating a place or domain for one's use, according to the Oxford Dictionary. White supremacy colonises our minds, our bodies, our psyches, our spirits, our emotions, as well as the land and the water and the sky and the air we breathe. White supremacy tells us who has value, who doesn't, What has value, what doesn't, in ways that reinforce a racial hierarchy of power and control that diseases and destroys all it touches. When I say as I do elsewhere that our goal is to get free, What I mean is that we are engaged in the collective project of freeing ourselves from this project of colonization. We are decolonizing ourselves, our minds, our bodies, our psyches, our spirits, our emotions, our work, our homes, and the land, water, sky and air. You can visit whitesupremacyculture.info to download the free PDF of Tema Okun's book. The link is in the show notes. And those feelings of discomfort and dispensiveness that get in the way of white people talking about racism and white supremacy, this is called White Fragility. You can find out more about White Fragility and its role in preserving white supremacy culture and racism within Robin D'Angelo's work and her book White Fragility. The link is also in the show notes And now back to my conversation with Martha.
Martha Awojobi [00:17:19]:
And then in terms of the types of organizations we like to work with, generally, they are ones who are kind of skirting in and around oppression. So women's organizations, I love working with. Queer organizations I like working with. Organizations that are kind of thinking about mental health, but thinking about it from a structural perspective or have what is almost there to think about it from a kind of structural, historical, capitalism, eugenics kind of perspective. So there's lots of different ways that I kind of assess organizations and a lot of that is like vibes. It's like things I cannot put on paper to say, okay, like you said this thing and it gave me this particular feeling. And that particular feeling is not a feeling that I want while I'm working with you. I can't really articulate that and often I don't, but I can kind of, you know, explain that to myself. So instead of kind of having like strict due diligence processes, it is very much like, what does the vibe feel like? Can we catch a vibe together?
Craig Pollard [00:18:12]:
Yeah. And that chemistry is so important. I mean, all of that stuff that do you find, because that that's super brave, right, to, to only work with as, as an, as a consultant setting out, I was, I was looking back, I found, um, sort of my billing sheet from when my first year, when I set off by myself as a fundraising consultant. That was like 11, 12 years ago. And it just made me laugh, just the amounts of money. And I would just do anything because I just needed to make money. And it took a while for me to get to the point where I had the confidence and courage to say, look, these are the organizations and I still struggle with it now. Like these are the sorts of organizations I will work with. These are the sorts of organizations I won't work with. But increasingly, do you feel in the early days of consultancy, it's really difficult to sort of narrow down your market, right, just practically in terms you need to want to do you feel now that because organisations that are committed to white supremacy, or recognise white supremacy and committed to undoing white supremacy. Those that are committed to supporting vulnerable communities, it's quite a narrow niche. Do you find that it's, do you have enough work, enough interest in what you offer to sort of make a living?
Martha Awojobi [00:19:28]:
Yeah, actually, which is interesting. Like I was, I was like, are people really going to want this thing? But I guess I, you know, I'm a fundraiser, so I know about multiple streams of income. So we have multiple different services that we offer, right? Yes, we've got the fundraising consultancy and kind of BAME online, that kind of big piece of work, right? Which is like 1 side, which is very much based on my experience, my area of interest. But then we also do our kind of anti-racism consultancy, which actually does pay for a lot of the other stuff that we do at a kind of cheaper, cheaper rate. I think I've been quite, I don't know whether I've been quite fortunate. I mean, I work really hard. Like when I first set out, I'm only 3 years in, right? So the best is yet to come, I think, right? But when I first set out, I made sure that every single person in the charity sector knew who I was and knew why I was different. And not like a, I'm better than you, but actually like, I am willing to be brave and I'm willing to do things that nobody else has really tried because what we're doing now does not work. So people, people, People have really liked that. I think something to do about the kind of authenticity and like vulnerability that me and the whole team that I work with brings, I think, yeah, people are loving working with us, which, you know, I'm grateful for. Like I don't kind of take it for granted, But yeah, like my team's wicked. Like we are some cool people. So I'm not surprised people wanna work with us because I wanna work with the people that I work with. Like I'm, when all of them, I was like, please work with me. I think you're so amazing. So, yeah.
Craig Pollard [00:21:18]:
Do you feel like you're tapping into a deep discomfort across the whole sector that this isn't working and that you're sort of helping others who feel that this is not working, that deep discomfort and maybe don't understand why it isn't working to you, are you helping them to navigate this?
Martha Awojobi [00:21:37]:
Yes, and I think it's more than discomfort. What I'm helping people to do is confront their own fears, because I love talking about fear, particularly in like relation to like white supremacy, right? Like, cause like white supremacy is a project of fear, right? It makes us fearful of each other. So therefore we all act like police basically, right?
Craig Pollard [00:21:57]:
So there is something about- And there's The internal fear as well, right? As a white guy, as a white man, there is a fear about not being sort of equipped for the future that I see coming as well. And looking back and retrospectively about the damage and harm that my privilege has caused to others.
Martha Awojobi [00:22:21]:
And there's that fear of like- And that's a difficult journey, right? 100%. There's a fear of loss of control, a loss of power, a loss of status, like all of that, like a deep kind of like, and it's like a fear that like children feel, right? And this is like tapping into people's like deep inner child and like I make room for that in like a joyful way. And I'm, and I think it is like, I'm just like, let's just step into this fearful place and think about why we might be feeling these things, right? And actually make space for that. And I think making space for the emotional, not just the ideological, which I think is really important as well when we're thinking about, you know, how white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism conditions all of us, but actually like how we are all just little babies trying to make sense of stuff, you know, living in utter fear all the time and actually can we just confront that and can we let the baby within us guide us in joyful ways instead? And I think it's just a different type of proposition, I guess. And I think what a lot of people who come into my space is feeling really fearful, they come out feeling quite relieved because they want to talk about this stuff. Like they don't want to live in perpetual fear. Like no 1 wants to sit there sweating, anxious, being like, oh my gosh, like I'm ill-equipped. I'm not good enough. And mainly like everyone's just thinking I'm not good enough. So it is that kind of like, and I'm not even into like psychology like that, but it is kind of matching that kind of psychological, emotional, practical, you know, idealistic together in like 1 mind blowing experience of working with J&B Consulting, basically.
Craig Pollard [00:24:06]:
I'm totally feeling that just talking to you now. I'm totally getting that. Because on the other side of that, I love this joy. I love that. I talk a lot about with my people who are working in corporate partnerships who are a sort of bit worn down, right? And I asked them, you know, do you feel excited to walk in that room with that next meeting with that corporate partner? And you know, thinking about, you know, this is 1 of the measures of how successful and how sustainable your partnerships are, but also on the other side of all this recognition and navigation of white supremacy and privileged and capitalism and imperialism, all of that stuff, there is something, it feels there is something deeply joyful on the other side of all of that.
Martha Awojobi [00:24:51]:
100%. I mean, the opposite of racism is liberation. It is love, right? It is joy, like thinking about like how oppression like crushes you down and like kind of shrinks you like the opposite is just going to set you free and like allow you to be like expansive both like physically and how we like hold ourselves and how that we like reach out to each other but also like how we think and how we feel and how we love and you know the possibilities I think it you know are are endless you know and I think I I was talking today about kind of like hopelessness and feeling like dejected and I've never felt that way before because I'm utterly deluded. I'm utterly deluded in that I think we can do it.
Craig Pollard [00:25:40]:
But surely I think working in this sector there has to be a deep core optimism. Because I feel that too. I feel a deep optimism. Sometimes I do feel a little hopeless about looking at the rainfall here in Auckland, about how it's something like 500% of the worst year ever this year. That's the climate stuff, the social justice and equity stuff. That can feel overwhelming, but I think the optimism from working in the type of people that are drawn to this sector, I feel that optimism is something we sort of all hopefully have, because that's why we're in this work. That's what keeps us going. When we're street fundraising or meeting people that we're asking for donations from people we don't particularly like or want to be in the same room as right that's the stuff that keeps us going as fundraisers?
Martha Awojobi [00:26:33]:
I think so. I mean, I hope so. I hope people go in for optimistic reasons. I mean, I've met some fundraisers that I think, why are you here? Why are you doing this work? Like, what does it serve you? So corporate partnerships, right? Ruthless people are drawn to corporate partnerships. And I have seen fundraising practices. I have seen, you know, organizations do things where I think that is the antithesis to your mission. Like that's about capitalism. That's about accumulation, about status, about your organisation kind of growing because it's I guess copying the logics of capitalism of accumulation, right? It's not actually about achieving. But it's the point where the 2 sectors meet right?
Craig Pollard [00:27:21]:
I know right. There's 2 idealisms meet and there's so much conflict in corporate partnerships from both sides. It is. But it's fascinating. It is fascinating.
Martha Awojobi [00:27:29]:
It's and I think for I think 1 of the people I work with called Khadijah talks about how we are all conscripted. And I love that, right? Rather than saying complicit, you know, she says we're conscripted into empire. We are conscripted into doing things that if we understood the real impact of what we were doing, we would never do them, right? But we have no choice in many ways, or we are ignorant because, you know, we don't actually see the systems for what they are. And I think being in corporate partnerships coming out of that, I'm like, damn, I was so conscripted, like really, really, really conscripted. And I thought it was a good idea to take money from, you know, property developers for homeless organizations. I was like, oh, well, they're doing their part. But really, I was just doing money laundering.
Craig Pollard [00:28:13]:
Reputation laundering. Yeah.
Martha Awojobi [00:28:15]:
So it's always been really complicated for me and that's why I don't do corporate partnerships anymore really. But are we also, also, because I love corporate partnerships.
Craig Pollard [00:28:25]:
So I love them because I see an opportunity to really balance the value because I think most corporate partnerships are deeply undervalued on the charity side and the corporate partners are getting massive massive value from this. And my view is that if if we can shift that balance significantly, I'm working on a couple now and really deeply build these sort of partnerships in purpose that are grounded in values and joy and these sort of things and I think we can really start to shift charities. But you're thinking about conscription, Is it true that's also what conscripted into the charity sector as well, sort of drinking the Kool-Aid and sort of becoming... I mean the charity sector is white supremacy.
Martha Awojobi [00:29:09]:
Tell me more. The charity sector is, you know, a part of imperialism, philanthropic imperialism is a thing. So yeah, we are conscripted. I think the charity sector is a very interesting place where it has a lot of revolutionary potential, right? Well, maybe not revolutionary potential. I think revolutionary is too strong of a word, but there is a lot of potential for the charity sector to be really key in dismantling systems of oppression if it can decide what it is and who it stands for.
Craig Pollard [00:29:43]:
iYes, but s it 1 thing though as well, because it's such a complex, diverse group. And I feel like increasingly, I'm just thinking about the people in the organizations that I want to work with aren't sort of in the charity sector, they're sort of in this sort of subsector that's committed to sort of humanity, justice and equity, this group of organisation and people and movements that are maybe not even organisations themselves, that's the space that feels like revolution. I won't work with universities anymore, I'm just not interested because fundraising consultancy and fundraising knowledge and skills have such power associated with them. And I think as with that power comes a huge amount of responsibility as to I feel who I am able and should share that knowledge and skills with because I see that as a fundraising as an amplification as well of a cause and a message it gives visibility to things and I saw I'm now I'm sort of been doing it for a while I feel I'm really careful about who I train and who I work with.
Martha Awojobi [00:30:50]:
And maybe you're right, I think when I say the charity sector I mean like the charity industry, you know, like the big wigs. Right, the non-profit industrial complex, right? Yeah, the non-profit industrial complex, but obviously of course you have those organizations who are kind of navigating around it, like trying to chip at it. I mean, we're set up as a business because I was like, actually, I don't want to be in the charity sector, but I want to be whacking it from outside, right? And I think you're right. And I think I've been reading, I don't know if you've read, I can't remember, it's called Now Give Back, Derek Bardowell's book coming out, oh, it's very good, coming out of the UK. And of course, the revolution will not be funded beyond the non-profit industrial complex and they kind of talk about how the charity sector is kind of 2 things. It's got that kind of social justice element, it's also got the kind of imperialist arm, it's got resistance within it to it.
Craig Pollard [00:31:48]:
But in doing so, but it also suppresses resistance right? Because it it sort of normalizes these behaviors and sort of pulls the resistance in through funding and advocacy. It pulls the fringe back into the mainstream, right?
Martha Awojobi [00:32:10]:
100%. So in some ways it's sort of, it's preventing the revolution, but can the revolution be funded? Well, that is the big bloody question, Craig. That's the whole theme of my conference this year is can the revolution be funded? I don't know. I'm an optimist. I'm like, depends on who's funding it. Depends on how it's being funded. Depends on what funding means, you know. If we're talking about philanthropy as the love of mankind, what it, you know, the Greek root of the word, then like, hell yeah, it can be. But if we're talking about philanthrocapitalism, then absolutely not.
Craig Pollard [00:32:41]:
Which is what philanthropy is now.
Martha Awojobi [00:32:45]:
I mean, yes.
Craig Pollard [00:32:47]:
I'd love to say, I'd love to say that, you know, philanthropy now is known as the love of mankind, but it's not. It's actually wealthy white people.
Martha Awojobi [00:32:54]:
Exactly. But how do we get back to the love of mankind? The question is how do we restore, I think, philanthropy to not like a form of glory, but to actually like its core of, you know, being in community with people of mutual aid and. But glory, you use that glory, right?
Craig Pollard [00:33:16]:
That word glory, that's what philanthropy is about now.
Martha Awojobi [00:33:19]:
It is the historic glory and the current glory and the individual glory, right? Or the organizational glory. It's about basking in this glow, right? And we need to sort of strip out all of this ego to get back to its roots. A hundred percent. And I've done a lot of the work so I'm currently working with a foundation right who fund young people and they're a really cool foundation. I love all the foundation, not all of them in the UK but out of I think they're pretty decent yeah And we've been doing a lot of work on like white supremacy culture. I don't know if you've ever read the work by Tema Okun who kind of talks about the features of white supremacy culture. It is brilliant, right? And we were looking at all the features like fear, urgency, perfectionism, paternalism, there being 1 right way to do things, worship of the written word and we were basically describing the organization. It was kind of you know, not only were we describing the organization, we were also describing the people in the organization and the what was valued in the organization. We were describing the structures of the organization, we were describing absolutely everything about the mechanisms and the emotions attached and it's it's it I find it fascinating like that you know we these organizations kind of position themselves as being able to alleviate the ills of capitalism and white supremacy. They don't use that language. That's essentially what they're saying. We're doing good work, we're doing social justice, you know, we're creating fairer equal societies, but they'll never name racism as being part of that, right? Yeah, they are completely mirroring the same logics as the East India Trading Company, essentially. So it boggles the minds a lot of the time, but it just goes to show how deep the work has to be and how it has to be work that essentially uproots everything that we know and love and value and I think obviously that's absolutely terrifying.
Craig Pollard [00:35:24]:
But discomfort is super important right because that's the only way things can change because I feel like there's such comfort and trench comfort in the charity sector you know there's well-paid and people in you know and in institutions and it's all very comfortable There's comfortable relationships with donors who are just like, you know, sometimes not great people. But there's the comfort in not upsetting and not challenging the status quo. But I feel like the more uncomfortable organizations and individuals feel, that's actually progress. That's probably, that might be the only indication that we're moving in the right direction, the more uncomfortable we feel. 100%. I mean, I love making organizations uncomfortable and they love it too.
Martha Awojobi [00:36:06]:
Like they actually love it. Like it's been incredible like seeing the vulnerability of these organisations, like watching them go on a journey, like a journey where like, you know, sometimes people are crying in the sessions because it is just like, everything I thought was important is white supremacy. You know, everything that I've been told is success is oppression, you know, and that's really hard for people to hold, but I think what is brilliant about our work is that's not where it stops. It's like, okay, so what next? So what do we actually do? And that's, yeah, I've been really, really, really, really enjoying it, really enjoying it.
Craig Pollard [00:36:46]:
If you're enjoying this episode and want to deepen your understanding and open yourself to new perspectives that centre Black and Brown led organisations and fundraisers, join Martha at BAME Online. BAME Online tickets are pay what you can, so it's for everyone, every way. To find out more and register, visit the websites of JMB Consulting or Fundraising Every Way. The links are in the show notes. So what are the next steps? So, because, you know, what are sort of the next steps beyond the recognition of white supremacy? Because it touches on everything, right? When it pervades every single part of our lives and existence, What are the next steps, the practical next steps that once people and organizations are recognizing this, what's the next step of the journey towards the joy? Big question.
Martha Awojobi [00:37:42]:
Like, I don't actually always know the answers to this. Like, It depends on the organization. It depends on a lot of things. But I guess what's been really interesting for me is that a lot of the changes that seem to happen are quite symbolic changes. So it might be like we change the way that we talk. We change the language on our website. We start talking about being an anti-racist organization when we've done nothing to actually shift the structures. And I guess for me it fundamentally comes down to moving resources, right? And if you are an organization that has loads and loads of money, why aren't you shifting it to grassroots organizations who actually know what it means to build a fairer, freer society, you know, a liberated society for us all. And something I've been reflecting on quite a lot is for white fundraisers in the UK particularly, What can they as individuals, as organizations do? You know, they can't suddenly like go and stop philanthropy from happening. But what they can do is they can work in collaboration with organizations who would never actually get access to that money. Now, what my fear is that if I tell white led organizations, okay, so pitch for funding with this organization that is a CIC or community interest group that hasn't got charity status. How do they go into partnership with this organization without it being an extractive partnership, without it being a paternalistic partnership? So there needs to be kind of a fundamental kind of change of understanding what a charity's role is in kind of social justice and in liberating. And it is taking a back step, being a resourcer, seeing themselves and I think charities is so British as well. Like British people think they need to be the pioneers in absolutely everything. They're like, we sail the seas, we put our flag down, we did the thing. And it's like, actually, you're not the pioneers, your pioneering attitude is what has got us into this mess or what's stopping change from happening. Yeah but that's the roots of that, it is the fundamental core attitude that has got us into this mess. So this has been you know, 100%, 500 years plus coming right? And I think in the same way, so I would say to a charity, right, if you're working with a philanthropist, the philanthropist does not have the expertise, they have the money, but it's the same as a charity working with a grassroots organization. It is likely that the grassroots organisation, the movement builders, the people who are kind of doing community organising, they have the expertise about what is needed for the most oppressed in society and the charity has the resources. So the charity needs to see itself as a bank of resources that can help to actually resource fund, move Intel, move, you know, like physical space, you know, offer your space for an organization to work in. Give, you know, there is so much that, but it is repositioning yourselves. And I think because of the individualism, again, Tema often talks about in white supremacy culture of like, even in ending racism, my organization is going to be the 1 that does it. Are you mad? So, that is what I'm seeing how do we dismantle the charity sector and how do we make it something that is fit for purpose? I see it as a hub of resource. Right? And for collaboration over competition, right? Yeah, 100%.
Craig Pollard [00:41:09]:
That just blows my mind that an organisation thinks it can do that, end racism.
Martha Awojobi [00:41:15]:
It's so interesting. And it's like, organisations think that they have to speak on absolutely everything or, and it's like, that is what stops us from being able to collaborate with each other because we're constantly producing churn. We think that what is important is hitting these ridiculous KPIs that actually I'd say don't solve the problem that we are trying to solve, like the deep rooted structural systemic issue. Make a sense of urgency, make us so busy that we can't see across the horizon who's doing the same work and how we could really work together, right? And I'm, I think urgency, a full sense of urgency is 1 of the biggest things that's holding the people in the charity sector back and that is urgency that is created both by funders who have all kinds of competing things that they want you to do. You might have to write the, you know, 5, 6 different reports for different funders in different styles. So there's the urgency that the funders have created, but then there's also the urgency that charities create, where they think we're the only ones that can deal with this problem. Therefore we have to literally kill ourselves.
Craig Pollard [00:42:29]:
And it's all false. And but everyone's talking over each other as well. It's sort of like just like You know, there's an international day for this, you know, so we have to have a voice on it We have to be talking about this. We have to be doing our social media posts. We have to be competing for donors and this sense of competition that's just so deep. And I, yeah, this idea, this false urgency, which fundraising has had a massive role in building and reinforcing. 100%.
Martha Awojobi [00:42:58]:
Something I regret a lot in my fundraising career was chasing money that then meant that service teams had to change their work, do things that actually wasn't what they needed to do and not collaborating with them properly to know that I could, to say no basically, and to understand like what I was doing. I'd say that was a huge learning for me when I was working in the homeless organization. Was so much of it was about, actually I was so focused on what the funder wanted and to the detriment of a lot of the people in the front in front line positions, you know, they were having to do, you know, I'd be like, Oh my gosh, funders coming in. So now we have to like, look busy, and we've got to put on a show for them. And they're like, Well, actually, I need to do this, like very important piece of work, this mental health XYZ. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no. You've got to meet the funder. And again, that's been a huge, huge, huge learning for me about fundraising. Fundraising I don't think plays well with any of the other teams in charities, in larger charities. I understand why people hate fundraisers. Like I really do, not hate, I think that's a very strong word, but at loggerheads with the comms team, at loggerheads with service delivery, at loggerheads with the advocacy team, at loggerheads with policy a lot of the time.
Craig Pollard [00:44:26]:
But I feel like it's fundamentally because the systemic focus is on income and growth and we justify it by looking at pointing to the cause and say look there's so much more we need to do we need to do and this this obsession with income and growth and and again just competing and this false this false sense of competition that doesn't really need to be there. 100%. Because we could do much better if we actually collaborated and worked in true partnership. But I have hope, Because I see those organizations where fundraising isn't an individual's responsibility. People in organizations don't even have fundraising in their title. But they're often overseas, but where fundraising and resource mobilization is shared, the responsibility between programs teams and the chief exec and the trustees are engaged and they realise that this is not an individual pursuit, this is a team project to secure the resources to do our work. And I feel that that's when those that sort of tension starts to break down. Tell me why, tell me about your because.
Martha Awojobi [00:45:39]:
I was just going to be like because of funders, because of funders.
Craig Pollard [00:45:44]:
But that's the other side of it right? That's the external driver. Yeah definitely.
Martha Awojobi [00:45:49]:
But I like what you said about everybody chipping in and something that I found really great, I worked with an organisation called Glitch, they were like my first fundraising client when I started my consultancy And they didn't have a fundraiser for a really long time, but the work that we did was how-
Craig Pollard [00:46:04]:
Did you know people there? How did that sort of come about that first connection? Cause I think that's really interesting.
Martha Awojobi [00:46:17]:
Oh, do you know what? This is actually even nicer story than the story I was about to tell. So I, it all just worked out really nicely. Like, so I became, I was introduced to a philanthropist or a funder. I feel like, I don't know why I said philanthropist. A funder.
Craig Pollard [00:46:28]:
We're all stuck in this, right?
Martha Awojobi [00:46:31]:
You know, Yeah, let's say a funder. They're based in the States and they have been paying me every year to deliver a certain amount of consultancy days for smaller grassroots or kind of organizations that aren't set up as a charity, who are working along racial justice or around kind of asylum issues and like refugee issues, right? It is the best. Okay, this is like the best and sweetest deal that I have because these organizations, they don't pay anything. They might get 343 to 6 days of my time. In that time, we will do strategy and I will be like, this is all of the ways that you could fundraise. This is the pitfalls to all of these things. And I'm always encouraging people to set up really strong trading arms. That's like my favorite part of fundraising. I'm like, actually, how do you maintain your integrity? You offer a service, you offer a product, right? You bring people into your world and be like, this is how things should be done. And I love it. Like I absolutely love it. So I've been working with them for 3 years now, and I have worked with some of the most inspirational smaller organizations who their visions for the future is so bloody expansive. Like I couldn't even, I couldn't even dream that while I was asleep. Like I literally couldn't, right? And it's been so kind of special to me because I do a lot of work with larger organizations around kind of like anti-racist practice. And this keeps me grounded in like, actually what are the material issues facing people who are at the kind of worst end of the brunt of the state, you know, who do not have citizenship, who are migrants, who are being, you know, faced by horrific, you know, demonizing rhetoric, who are like in fear for their lives a lot of the time, right? In fear of kind of their precarious status in the UK, or who are thinking about how do we build other worlds? How do we create anti-racist futures? How do we protect black activists? And working with them is just, it's the dream. Like it really, really, really is because like all of this stuff about, okay, like I've made these mistakes in my fundraising career. I feel like I'm atoning for my sins in many ways. Doing this work and actually, you know, you spoke about the power and the expertise that like a well-trained fundraiser has being able to share that and also to be challenged on like, these are the more messed up parts of it. And actually, this is how a grassroots organization would take this concept and run with it. Right? Has been like, opened my eyes to how, and it's 1 of the organizations I work with called Migrants and Culture. They have, as part of their, I don't know if I'm supposed to share this, but maybe they'll never know, as part of their fundraising strategy that we built together, they have a section, a strict kind of a, you know, an income stream called economies of solidarity. And I've just like, mind blown, you know, they're like, actually, what does it mean to, and as you kind of said earlier, you know, everybody pitching in, thinking about this beyond money. How do we kind of collaborate together to get money? How do we share space? How do we share things? How do we create an economy of solidarity? And like, that's like central, the first, you know, central to their fundraising strategy. And I'm just like, I, because of the training that I've had, could never ever think of that. And now I can't think of anything else, you know, and it's, it's so exciting.
Craig Pollard [00:49:56]:
So excited. So excited. And so yesterday, I did another 1 of these interviews with a guy called Ezra Hirawani who founded the Maori Kaupapa business here in New Zealand. And this is another great example. And they're a business, but then they don't care about their status. That's just a shell. It's like how other people perceive them, right? And what they're doing is just that they are focused on people who are living in power poverty, who can't afford electricity bills, who have PTSD, because they're worried every time they switch on the light that the electricity might not be there. And so they are now an energy firm. They've set up their energy firm to address power poverty. And they're now, it's so cool. And what they're doing is they're deeply disrupting it, but they're being super thoughtful about how they grow and maintaining their whanau, which is the Maori family and community, at the heart of everything they do. But people are paying, so I'm a customer, I pay my energy bill, I get a discount on my energy bill and the profit that another firm would have made goes into their fund to offset people who can't afford electricity bills. That is so amazing. But they're also linking them, but they're linking them to social services as well. So it's so that they're not the people who are on the other end of the phone are just like, we're not here to give you grief about the fact that you've missed your payment, what's going on with you and who are the services? So if we can direct you to a food bank, you might be able to afford your electricity bill. So it's a real sort of sense of citizenship and this building of community And these are the, I feel like this is the future. Me too, me too. And it's so exciting. It gives me that joy and hope. And it sounds like the same sort of thing. These ideas of creative- 100%. Creative ways of securing funding, economies of solidarity. That is just a completely-
Martha Awojobi [00:51:50]:
It's beautiful. That's the thing, it's beautiful. And it tells you everything that you need to know about that organisation and like how they view money. And I had a speaker at my conference last year who was in is indigenous Canadian right and they were talking about the measure of wealth in their community being not what you own but what you give away and I was just like oh my god like you know it's these like small things that come from people who are either colonized people, people who are living in the imperial core but are still colonized citizens, who are bringing with them their ways of understanding community and being with, you know, and showing us how to live genuinely. And, you know, all of the answers are out, are there, if only we allow these people to show us how to live. And I think what's been so humbling for me has been like working with these smaller grassroots organizations and seeing that they don't have a choice but to be innovative, but to dream, but to heal. And it's like really, really allowed me to do the same, but also to understand kind of the role I play as a bit of a bridge, I think, between the grassroots and kind of these institutions. Cause I can speak in their language, the language of the institutions, the language of philanthropy, but my heart is somewhere else. Right? And that, you know, it feels like a lot of responsibility. Sometimes it can feel like a really difficult tension for me. But, you know, that responsibility and accountability that I have to like my communities. Yeah, it's really important. And in the way, yeah, it's really informed my practice over the last, the last few years, I still feel like I got a lot to learn, got a lot to unlearn. Don't we all? But yeah, it's been really, really great. And it's so funny because when I started, I hated fundraising by 2020. I was like, I hate this. It makes me feel bad. I don't like what I'm doing. The relationships I'm in don't feel quite right. And it's like renewed my love of fundraising, which is awesome. I thought I'd never like it again. I was like, this is rubbish and horrible. But actually I was like-
Craig Pollard [00:54:07]:
But you're about to step into that fundraising role at the Roundhouse, right, as well. And just, it could have been so different. And I'm so relieved and so delighted that that happened to you because it seems like you're bringing you're having such an incredible impact in the sector and you're you're asking the questions but you're finding really sort of and supporting people to navigate towards this future, this different idea. So it's not, you know, the revolution might be funded, but it requires us to look at funding in a completely different way and listen to the communities who are actually supported and understanding all of the historical issues and the systemic issues as well to get to that point. It's so exciting.
Martha Awojobi [00:54:56]:
Pretty much. Yay!
Craig Pollard [00:54:59]:
Let's talk about the conference. Tell me about the conference. Okay, what do you want to know? I wanna know how it started, why it matters and why people should come to it.
Martha Awojobi [00:55:12]:
Okay, so it started in 2020 and it was an organization called Fundraising Everywhere. And they gave me my first big platform to shout at the charity sector. Like they literally were just like, just go and shout at them. And I was like, I'm going. Now I just talk in a normal voice, but the shouting was good in 2020.
Craig Pollard [00:55:32]:
But the shouting happened, but it's interesting because I find that the shouting is super important at the start of the journey to sort of jolt people out of their comfortable existence.
Martha Awojobi [00:55:43]:
That's so interesting. I was having a conversation with someone called Monica whose surname has now slipped my mind, who was talking about kind of resistance in the aid sector and how like shouting and screaming is so important because those people who shout give people permission to talk because they're so extreme that actually it kind of allows the space right for people to kind of fill in the gaps between the whispering and the shouting and actually it means that the conversation can move, which I was like damn that's so good. That is good, I really like that.
Craig Pollard [00:56:18]:
My own sort of journey towards sort of this started with my sister shouting at me. Oh, okay. Just about recognizing my privilege. And this was years and years and years ago, but that was the jolt. That was like, oh, that started that journey of reflection and consideration of my own sort of personal privileges my myriad privileges but so you're you're you're you started the BAME online shout by shouting sorry I have ADHD so I will it's all good. It's all good. I love it
Martha Awojobi [00:56:55]:
However, the brain meanders.
Craig Pollard [00:56:57]:
You saw my briefing though, it's right, they were just like a sort of stream of consciousness, but but so you started sort of a solid sort of the Like the shouting and then and now you're talking a sort of normal voice a stream of consciousness. So you started the shouting and now you're talking in a normal voice?
Martha Awojobi [00:57:06]:
Now I'm talking in a normal voice. Now I laugh. I did laugh a lot before but there was a lot of shouting too. So it started in response to a report by an organisation called Ubele Initiative in the UK, a small kind of black-led organisation that said, and this was in the kind of early months of the pandemic before George Floyd was murdered, And it said that without urgent funding investment, 9 out of 10 black and brown led charities would close in the first 3 months of the pandemic. And that was terrifying for me, right? As someone who was a fundraiser, it was That was a big wake up moment for me. I was like, fucking hell, I hope I can swear, because I did. I have never fundraised for a black led organisation. I have never used my skills. And like, you know, I was fundraising for organisations that had income already in the millions. And these organisations, they need 100, 000 pounds and I could do that. Like that's, you know, that's well within my capabilities. So I was thinking, oh my gosh, like this is like a real kind of like wake up call. Like I didn't even think about the fact that and I was an anti-racism campaigner at the time and I was just like wow like this is really touching a nerve. So fundraising everywhere actually approached me because they knew that I'd lost my job and said will you curate this conference that is for black and brown fundraisers or black and brown people in organizations led by people of color who might not necessarily have a fundraiser or who are really reliant on trust and foundations and shared kind of skills, tricks, and all of the intel about how to do brilliant fundraising. And I was like, this sounds perfect. This is exactly my kind of thing. But because I am a collaborative person, I went into communities, I spoke to like loads of different organizations, and loads of like fundraisers of color who were in larger organizations, and said, what do you need from this conference? And actually, what came out was that people wanted to talk about institutional racism in the charity sector. They wanted to talk about it from a kind of philanthropic perspective. But it was like an open opportunity to capture so many people and actually like push the conversation that was very much and is still quite stuck in the equality, diversity and inclusion nonsense and push it further into, you know, thinking about anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, anti-racism. So curated this conference, 6, 000 people bought tickets. That's incredible. It was unbelievable.
Craig Pollard [00:59:39]:
How did you feel? How did you feel? Cause that must've just blown your mind.
Martha Awojobi [00:59:47]:
I cried every single day. I was just like crying the whole time. Like it was just so intense because not only was it like I think a relief for so many people like here is a space that like I've been like I didn't even know that I wanted you know and it was a lot of pressure for me, but at the same time, like, I was having the time of my life. I can imagine. It was just so incredible, like, connecting with these organisations, like, learning about fundraising again, like, thinking about how to, like, weave a story and, like, I'm a storyteller, I'm a fundraiser. So like all of my conferences tell a story. So the way I position my sessions is to kind of tell a story about like history and then kind of the present and like an imagining a future. Right. Or I'll do kind of like theory and like learning and then practice like that kind of thing to just like bring people up and down. We know what we do, you know, fundraisers. And so what was really special about this conference is, and it's still the same, is pay what you can. So people can come regardless of whether they have a training budget, regardless of whether they have any personal income, all they need is access to the internet, which these days is actually not so, it's a little bit different. We've just had a million people in the UK cancel their broadband and it's mainly people who are on universal credit. And actually like those are the kinds of people that would really benefit from going to a conference like this. But it is online, which means that more can come. It's pay what you can. We split profits with black led organizations. And usually it's like black trans led organizations. And that's, you know, something that's really important to me when I'm talking to organizations all the time about moving money. I'm like okay well let me move some of my own you know. Actually like can we show what is possible through this conference? And over the last few years it's kind of morphed it's become a little bit more radical, but also we've started to kind of, yeah, bring, so we sell organizational tickets. So we have like Oxfam, British Red Cross, Mines, send their entire staff team. So it is starting a kind of like learning revolution. Like that's what I'm seeing. And I think a lot of people are having their hard moments. Like I genuinely think that this is an incredible space for change. Cause it's not so academic that like people don't understand, right? Or it's not using words that are so far removed from people's day-to-day practical lives, but it is pushing people further than equality. It's pushing people further than, we should all be nice. And we all believe in a fair world. And it's like, okay, well, what is a fair world? A fair world is a just world. What's a just world? A just world is a world free from oppression. What does that look like? It's anti-capitalist, it's socialist, you know, it's all of these things.
Craig Pollard [01:02:29]:
And that's uncomfortable conversations that are only gonna get us there, right?
Martha Awojobi [01:02:30]:
Exactly. So yeah, this is our fourth 1, Wild, in the second year. So exciting. I'm really looking forward to it. Yeah, it's gonna be really, really good. Like I've just got the programme ready. We've got our trailer coming out, like it's really good. And what's it and tell remind me the theme. The theme is can the revolution be funded and I don't know if we're going to get to an answer but yeah some of the sessions I'm really looking forward to I mean I'm you know I've I created them all. But you shouldn't be getting to an answer right This is not about coming to an answer right? This is about an exploration, it's an expedition.
Craig Pollard [01:03:06]:
Because you know this is a centuries-old problem and it's about setting a new horizon right and thinking practically about how we can transition towards something that's better. I agree.
Martha Awojobi [01:03:19]:
And I personally do think that the revolution can be funded just not by the people we think it's gonna be funded by. You know? But I mean, who knows? Like we might see like tomorrow, tomorrow, In the next 10 years, like money just move like it could happen. There's so many amazing organizations out there like Black Feminist Fund and you know, decolonizing wealth we've got our own in the States resourcing racial justice, Baobab Foundation, Project Talwa, who are these kind of challengers, right, who are actually thinking we need to control our own resources, we need our own power, this should be kind of, you know, by us, for us. That stuff is like super exciting. I'm having a look through the program.
Craig Pollard [01:04:02]:
But what is interesting, but it's interesting what you're saying about, can the revolution be funded? It's not just about funding, it's can the revolution, how will the revolution be resourced? Yes. Because this is about people, shifting people and power and funding. And funding is just 1 of those things.
Martha Awojobi [01:04:22]:
100%, I think so. And there's, you know, if we're thinking about, you know, we just did an event on decolonization earlier in the day. And like, so much of that is about land, right? The return of land. Yeah, land rights, yeah. And when we're thinking about can the revolution be resourced, like we can talk about funding, but what about actual space for communities? You know, what about community centers? What about places where people can grow their food, where people can connect with the land, where we can kind of restore our, you know, ecologies of care. And you're right, like it goes way beyond that kind of question of funding. And maybe I should say, can the revolution be resourced? But that doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Not for a fundraising conference. These people are like, snooze fest, not coming.
Craig Pollard [01:05:10]:
Yeah. Martha, I feel like I could talk to you for another hour, but I'm really conscious that it's super late there. I massively appreciate it. Yeah, it's way past your bedtime. Thank you so much. I really deeply enjoyed this conversation and, and I'm really enjoying the challenge that you're bringing and, and the difference that your work that you get such joy from is making. So thank you so much for talking to me today. I really appreciate it. Thank you for having me. I feel very special to be the first person from the UK on the Fundraising Radicals podcast.
Martha Awojobi [01:05:45]:
And the best person from the UK as well. Of course. It's been really, really great. And it is, you know, it is past my bedtime, but I've been having my cup of tea. And actually, this has been a really, it's reminded me of why I love fundraising and actually like what its potential can be and is, right? So yeah, thank you so much. It's been really fun and nice.
Craig Pollard [01:06:08]:
There are so many brilliant ideas and challenges in this conversation, but I love how Martha presents these as our shared collective challenge and her sense of optimism and joy for what lies on the other side of these transformative and necessarily difficult conversations, the ones that we have to have with ourselves and each other and within the charity sector. I'm also really grateful to Martha for this conversation, for her energy, her kindness, her passion and her tolerance. It felt like a learning journey for me personally and I can totally see why organisations seek out Martha to guide them, not only to secure funding but to also use this process to navigate the deep personal journeys that engage us with white supremacy and racism within fundraising and the charity sector and how we can dismantle these structures and systems that conscript us. Imagine if we were to move away from the false urgency that the fundraising, non-profit and donor dynamic have created. If we can move forwards with collaboration and humility, that we can't fix this ourselves, and that we must centre the communities that do hold new ideas and models. If we're willing to stop running in the wrong direction and look around and listen, we might just find more economies of solidarity. I hope that this conversation helps more of us white men and women working within the non-profit sector to reflect on our privileges, to challenge ourselves and define the roles we can play in deconstructing these systems. Some first steps might be to read the books that Martha suggests, Giving Back by Derek Bardowell and White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun and also the excellent The Revolution Will Not Be Funded and White Saviourism in International Development. And of course, do register for the next BAME Online Conference. I'll see you there. I hope you've enjoyed listening to this episode of the Fundraising Radicals podcast and that this conversation has challenged, informed and maybe even inspired you and your fundraising leadership practice. Please do check out the show notes, subscribe to the podcast on the platform of your choice and do visit fundraisingradicals.com to find out all the ways in which we're working to empower, equip and engage fundraisers all over the world.