Purpose

Culture of Philanthropy

OPERATING PRINCIPLES 

Co-created by the Long Beach Forward team in February 2021.

Fundraising is grounded in equity and anti-racism.
We are a values-driven organization and are willing to stand alone to represent our values and commitment to the community. This means we are intentional with every action and relationship in fundraising and our culture of philanthropy. We work in solidarity with the Community-Centric Fundraising movement and seek to learn, grow, and share alongside allies and partners. Within our local ecosystem, we are cognizant of the role and scale at which we organize. We actively work to minimize inequitable fundraising practices like mission creep, scarcity mindsets, and Trickle-Down community engagement. Our fundraising is guided and shaped by our ethics and connection to the communities we come from, informing all our decision-making and priorities.


Fundraising is collaborative and mutually supportive.

Our fundraising efforts rely on teamwork both inside and outside of the organization. We regularly collaborate with other groups and nonprofits, while rejecting scarcity mindsets and embracing abundance mindsets. When we come into grant opportunities, we first ask ourselves if there are other partner organizations better suited for the work than us. We use every funding and fundraising opportunity as a way to build the skills and talents of our ecosystem both in and out of our organization, whether through shared learning or shared resources. We reject the idea that fundraising means we have to naturally compete against other partners, and believe that we can continue to be part of a vibrant community with abundance for all. 

Individual organizational missions are not as important as the collective community and movement.

The Long Beach community is best served if we see ourselves as part of a larger ecosystem working collectively to build a more just society. Our end goal is not to meet our organization’s financial needs, but to build our communities up as they deserve to be. Our fundraising work is driven by a long-term vision of community power instead of short-term financial goals. Collectively, we are building a narrative and culture that moves people into action and inspires others to give back to their own communities.

Everyone has a role and a voice in fundraising.

Everyone who engages in strengthening our community is equally valued, whether they are a volunteer, staff member, donor, or board member. We ensure that all our team members feel part of fundraising efforts by fostering inclusiveness and reminding each other of our value to this movement.

We treat donors as partners.

Fundraising is not just about getting a check, but building a relationship. Our movement-building work and our fundraising are relationship-centered, meaning we see everyone as partners in our vision and we keep clear and open lines of communication. We commit to deep listening in relationship building and we don’t shy away from difficult conversations with one another, even if this includes challenging traditional fundraising strategies, roles, and expectations. 

Time is valued equally as money.

For many marginalized community members who may not have the financial means to contribute to our organization, the gift of time is just as significant and we treat it as such. Whether it is a person or organization’s time, talent, or treasure, we honor all contributions made in alignment with our shared vision. 

We practice transparency and openness. 
We build collective understanding with each other and our community through honesty as we share our wins, our struggles, and our full selves. There are times when fears and doubts will play a role and we welcome these feelings in practicing our openness with one another. Sharing our joy and discomfort with each other is part of the process of placing the community at the center of fundraising.


We foster a sense of belonging, not othering. 

Everyone is valued for their role and contributions to our culture of philanthropy. We are thoughtful of the impact on our community members and partners when we invite them to join us or ask them to share their stories for fundraising purposes. We carry out our organizational operating principles into our culture of philanthropy and model the world and relationships we want to build. We do this to nurture belonging and foster healing for ourselves and our community.