OPINION: At Rogare, I’ve found ‘my people’

Rogare Council member Ashley Belanger explains that while getting involved in Rogare may not be for everyone, it is for anyone.

Rogare is not a tribe for fundraisers looking for immediate wins or sure-fire tactics to nail their next campaign. This is a group of individuals who want to think about the broader context in which those campaigns sit, the structures around which those tactical analyses are built, and to question…well, everything. We believe wholeheartedly it’s our collective imperative to do so. If this is you, then welcome. Truly. You’re home.

By nature, I’m a questioner. I’m an intellectual tinkerer, if you will — trying to make sense of how and why things ‘work’ (or don’t). I can’t help but interrogate underlying assumptions, sources of data, methodologies, and mechanics. I am constantly asking “Why?”.

This doesn’t always make me the most popular person in the room…or at the dinner table with my spouse. But it certainly does make my life — and my career — more interesting. And it has landed me among ‘my people’ at Rogare.

True, Rogare is not for everyone. But it is a place for the nerdiest and most inquisitive among us. And for anyone whatsoever who’s eager to dip their toes into that pool. It’s a forum for ideas, intellectual banter, critical thinking, and seeking. This is my fundraising tribe.

This is a community of thought and practice for those of us who don’t simply accept what is as the only way, the best way, or even the way we suppose it to be. It’s where I’ve had my most exciting conversations since university, and it’s where I know I can bring my most challenging thoughts and ideas.

It’s not for everyone, but it is for anyone.

Rogare is a space for anyone interested in questioning the notion of ‘best practice’ and seeking to define next practice — one that’s grounded in research, in science, in applied theory, and in a belief that we must not accept the limited scope of the status quo.

Rogare is a place for the nerdiest and most inquisitive among us. And for anyone whatsoever who’s eager to dip their toes into that pool. It’s a forum for ideas, intellectual banter, critical thinking, and seeking. This is my fundraising tribe.

Rogare’s approach is a starting point for challenging and engaging the ‘why’ in order to get to what’s next, what’s better. We are grounded in a common goal and mission, but we each bring our own motivations and perspective. 

We don’t all share the same pathway to the field: we have different politics, job titles, demographics, years of experience, world views, and ideas about what changes when Rogare’s mission is met. We disagree. We debate. We welcome conflict. How refreshing! 

If you’re tired of shallow echo chambers and baseless rhetoric, please join us. We know it’s a small set who will be motivated enough to translate that fatigue into substantive work as change agents. Only so many people in our field will be thrilled to dive deep into academic journals, theory, research, history, behavioural science, or whatever else. 

But for those who do, welcome home. 

We will not agree on everything. But we do agree on one thing: ours is a tribe of people who are looking for a better way forward — the one our profession, our organisations, our sector, our communities, and our world deserves.  

  • Ashley Belanger is a member of the Rogare Council. She runs her own organisational development consultancy in Rhode Island and chairs the professional development committee of the AFP’s Rhode Island Chapter.

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

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