Racism exists in the nonprofit sector.
We can’t hide from it.
Much of nonprofit marketing and communications reinforces a savior complex for white donors, discouraging them from turning a critical lens on themselves.
The philanthropic sector is dominated by white decision-makers, and donors disproportionately skew white, creating more opportunities for white folks to dictate how change happens, and whom it benefits.
Nonprofit marketing continues to undermine community voice in favor of stories that pull at the "heartstrings."
Nonprofit leadership is predominantly white, and there is plenty of research to show that nonprofits led by people of color access fewer resources than nonprofits led by white folks.
Systemically, nonprofit law continues to allow wealth to accumulate and to be passed down through generations so that folks in power maintain control, dictating how philanthropic dollars are spent while simultaneously evading taxes.
White supremacy culture is rampant in our organizations.
Catharsis is currently a white-led organization. Catharsis’ stakeholders are its non-profit clients and their audiences. This group includes many BIPOC folks who have been harmed by systematic oppression for generations. To operationalize its value of anti-racism, Catharsis makes the following commitments:
Catharsis is committed to learning and expanding its understanding of racism and how it shows up in nonprofits and marketing. I engage with new monthly anti-racist resources.
As a small way to offset the barriers facing nonprofits led by folks of color, Catharsis offers a 20% discount on all services to organizations led by BIPOC folks.
How do we determine what qualifies “led by BIPOC?” We don’t. We trust you to tell us if your organization is led by BIPOC and you get the discount.
Catharsis uses an anti-racist and decolonizing lens in its work. It looks at oppressive power structures and white supremacy culture and how they show up in nonprofit marketing. Catharsis’ recommendations will be made through that lens, and I work with you to understand the unintended impacts of traditional marketing tactics.
There are plenty of folks who are much better-versed in this conversation than Catharsis is. If this webpage makes you feel puzzled, or defensive, I’d recommend immersing yourself in these resources:
Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva
Emergent Strategy by adrienne marie brown