Negotiamini Media
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The Culture of Institutional Philanthropy Must Change


I have had the opportunity to work in advancement offices at three different universities, and although they were invaluable learning experiences, not once did I see another individual who looks like me. As an Asian American woman, I find myself, now more than ever, searching for representation in the field of institutional advancement and longing for mentorship from someone with whom I share similar physical features and experiences. This need for relatability and representation in American higher education is crucial, especially now, for the Asian American community. It translates more broadly to the way relationships should be created and maintained between development officers and their institutions’ donors of color.

I remember sitting in on a leadership team meeting in 2018 when, as a college intern, I was the only woman in the room, not to mention one of only two people of color at the table. In fact, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education found in a 2015 study of high-performing university development programs that women make up the majority of fundraising offices but are underrepresented in leadership positions. The study also found that people of color occupied less than 10 percent of all fundraising positions, and more […]

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