OPINION: Lightning will strike in the Critical Fundraising Network

Esther Kwaku of the Rogare Council explains who the conversations we have in the Critical Fundraising Network are fundamentally different to the types of discussions she’s had elsewhere. 

If you are looking for a lightning strike moment, you might find it in the Critical Fundraising Network. I did.

There is so much information in fundraising and particularly now, it is absolute information overload! How much do we really stop to question what lies beneath the surface as opposed to just skimming? How much do we stop and question the rootedness and evidence behind the deluge of information we’re consuming? Are we all just chugging along, reaching for the next cool snapshot of insight without really challenging and questioning what we’re seeing? Rogare is different. The conversations we have in the CFR Network are fundamentally different to other types of conversation I’ve regularly had in the sector. 

A conversation in the Critical Fundraising Network is not about trying to justify why something might be right or wrong, but to explore the right question so that we can move to a new understanding. Think less cyclical and more expansive. I’m a big fan of building on the conversations we’ve already had and taking them forward into new, often uncharted ground while scooping up all the sticky stuff in between.

The Critical Fundraising Network is a place where your voice will be heard. In the room you’ll find people of like and unlike minds, not just with different knowledge and experience, but a variety of views and opinions.

It’s one of the rare places in our sector where quality conversation presides through in-depth unpacking and unpicking.

This is why I’d recommend that you should join me in the Critical Fundraising Network. 

You’ll get that lightning strike moment too. If you’re hungry for more substance, you’ll recognise instantly upon joining the Network that ‘yes, this is something for me!’. This is the place where all these conversations are happening. Like me, you might get that also cathartic feeling of ‘I’ve been saying or thinking this all along and now I’ve found the place where everyone else is talking about it too’. Not the surface stuff but the real talk.

The Critical Fundraising Network is where it is at.

I would say that any fundraiser who feels they are at the stage in their career where they are relying on their agency to furnish them with their professional knowledge, or who is mainly looking at data, but not the wider context of that data (and let’s be honest, we’ve all been there at some point), then I’d be looking to Rogare and the Critical Fundraising Network to expand your knowledge and your mind.

It’s also a place where your voice will be heard. In the room you’ll find people of like and unlike minds, not just with different knowledge and experience, but a variety of views and opinions. Not the usual suspects either…but other voices we may not hear from in our day-to-day also adding their strong but well-founded opinions, talking together, to fill a void or gap in our collective knowledge and understanding of fundraising.

Importantly for me, I’m also a part of this network because it feels safe to be here. Now more than ever, we need to have conversations that are radical and honest, and engage in healthy debate without it feeling like we are fighting for our twopence. I believe that everyone needs to be heard, it’s what matters to people, even if it makes for uncomfortable listening for some of us.

One thing for sure is that right now we all need to be taken out of our comfort zone. Dear curious friends, if you are ready for that, then on behalf of the Critical Fundraising Network, we welcome you.

  • Esther Kwaku is a member of the Rogare Council. She is the CEO and founder of the Nerve Network and transformation lead at ActionAid’s global secretariat.

To join Esther in Rogare’s Critical Fundraising Network, click here.

More information

  • To find out more about getting involved with Rogare, take a look at Ian MacQuillin’s blog, visit the Rogare website, or download our new paper, Rethinking Fundraising.
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