132: Redefining Fundraising through a Community-Centric Approach with Michelle Shireen Muri

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“Recognize the history, the racist history, around how nonprofits and foundations were built.”

– Michelle Shireen Muri
Episode #132


In this episode of What the Fundraising Podcast…

Are you aware of the inequalities in conventional donor-centric fundraising strategies? Are you intrigued by the burgeoning interest in community-centric fundraising, but unsure how to effectively participate or get it ‘right’? It’s time to embrace a shift towards more community-focused fundraising methods. However, many organizations find themselves ensnared in perfectionism, unsure how to integrate these principles into their operations. In this episode, we’re demystifying the process, addressing how to overcome these obstacles, and successfully implement fundraising initiatives that make a real impact in your community.

I’m excited to introduce Michelle Shireen Muri, a passionate advocate of community-centric fundraising and the dynamic host of the Ethical Rainmaker Podcast. As a co-founder of the community-centric fundraising movement, Michelle’s work has been instrumental in sparking dialogues around equity and social justice within the nonprofit sector. With her background in immigrant rights advocacy and extensive consulting work in fundraising, Michelle offers a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities that nonprofits face today. I’m particularly excited to discuss with Michelle how organizations can tackle barriers like perfectionism and fear, which often hinder the adoption of community-centric fundraising methods.

The reason I was so keen to have this conversation with Michelle is because of a recurring theme I’ve noticed among organizations: the desire to incorporate community-centric fundraising principles, tempered by fears of making mistakes and uncertainty about where to begin. This apprehension perpetuates a cycle wherein white supremacy culture continues to dominate our organizations. Our discussion also delves into the relationship between community-centric and donor-centric practices, and how to challenge the deeply ingrained white supremacy culture in many organizations, while acknowledging its historical roots in the sector. To me, Michelle is an inspiring figure, and I greatly appreciate her steadfast dedication to keeping our sector accountable, helping us navigate complex principles and standards in a non-binary and open-minded way.


Michelle Shireen Muri


  • Many thanks to our sponsor, Neon One for making this episode possible. I love partnering with Neon One because I believe they care for the whole nonprofit, and I know that my clients will be well taken care of. I also love how they work with consultants to value our time and expertise. They pay for speaking at their events, and they understand how consultants support the entire sector. To learn more about Neon One’s partner program CLICK HERE.
  • If you haven’t already, please visit our new What the Fundraising community forum. Check it out and join the conversation at this link.
  • If you’re looking to raise more from the right funders, then you’ll want to check out my Power Partners Formula, a step-by-step approach to identifying the optimal partners for your organization. This free masterclass offers a great starting point

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Michelle Shireen Muri is the founder of Freedom Conspiracy, a small collective of consultants focused on bringing values-aligned practices to growth opportunities, with and for communities of color and the nonprofits that serve them. Her clients have including Decolonizing Wealth Project, Designing Justice, Columbia Legal Services, LAUNCH and others. Michelle is the current Co-Chair of the founding Seattle chapter of Community-Centric Fundraising and a former Director of Development for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the largest immigrant rights org in the nation.

With 15 years of fundraising experience, she believes there is deep power and personal healing in the work of generating resources from a values-aligned space.


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I teach nonprofit fundraisers to bring in more gifts from the RIGHT donors… so they can stop hounding people for money. Fundraising doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.


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