Fundraising Academy

FACC Cohort 2013

The 2014 Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color Cohort



helps organizations raise the funds they need in a more sustainable way by developing relationships with community donors and increasing the diversity of income sources. The program is delivered in collaboration by CompassPointCommunity Partners, and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training.

Since 2004, more than 100 organizations have benefited from the Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color, through which they’ve acquired the critical awareness, skills, and systems to grow and sustain a base of donors and support. 


Learn more about our other leadership development programs here.
Sign up to receive updates about this program here


By learning strategies and practicing skills in a multicultural learning environment, Academy participants increase their comfort and confidence in raising money in ways that resonate with the communities in which they work.

The FACC curriculum and training integrate donor development principles and knowledge with the perspective that there are traditions of giving and voluntary action within all communities of color.

We know that the learning and motivation to act is more powerful when participants can see and hear from other people of color who are approaching similar challenges and opportunities to raise funds.

Academy trainers and coaches are seasoned fundraisers and leaders of color who have successfully raised diverse funds in their communities. Articles from the Grassroots Fundraising Journal and presentations by Academy alums further enrich learning by providing examples of strategies and implementation within different communities of color.

Watch “A Dream for My Daughter” 
by Maria Nakae

In this video, 2011 Fundraising Academy alum Maria Nakae shares how she went from experiencing burnout to rekindling her excitement around fundraising for communities of color. 



A cohort of 20 leaders meets over a period of 10–12 months to learn together (in a multicultural environment) through in-person gatherings, hands-on practice that puts fundraising strategies to work, and one-on-one sessions with a fundraising coach.

Through the course of the program, participants experience the following: 

  • They grow confidence in asking for funds, cultivating donors, and engaging board members.
  • They learn practical skills on developing individual donors, building their organizational strategies to raise contributed income, and developing their own leadership approaches to fundraising within their organizations. 
  • They draw strength and support from other leaders of color actively working as fundraisers.
  • They explore their own cultural experiences around money to develop a personal stance around fundraising.
  • They gain awareness around traditions of giving within communities of color and relate them back to their own organization's approach to fundraising. 

A 2007 survey of Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color participants found the following:

  • 80% of participants surveyed reported higher levels of money raised from individuals and increases in the number of individual donors than in previous years.
  • 85% of participants reported that their fund development efforts have improved as a result of their participation.
  • 50% reported that the Academy had a high impact on their overall fundraising, and 50% reported a moderate impact on their overall fundraising.

For a full list of past participating organizations, click here


Project Leads

Steve Lew 
Senior Project Director at CompassPoint


Project Support

Spring Opara
Project Director

Kad Smith
Project Director

Our special thanks to California Community Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, and the Weingart Foundation whose support makes it possible for us to work with communities of color in their efforts to raise funds more confidently and sustainably.