What We're Reading: An apology to everyone I harmed with my insensitive words regarding donors and philanthropy
"To my esteemed colleagues," begins Vu Le of Nonprofit AF, "On a webinar about Donor-Advised Funds that took place on October 19th, 2022, with Susannah Morgan, Ray Madoff, and Chuck Collins, I used words that were deeply offensive and hurtful. Words that included “the rich,” “white,” “hoarding,” “equity,” “SkyMall catalog,” and, most egregious of all, “hobby.” I am here to apologize, take accountability for my thoughtlessness and insensitivity, and humbly ask for your forgiveness."
"During this unfortunate presentation, I said something to the effect of, 'Philanthropy has often become a hobby for the rich, and it should not be.' I also said that I considered a 'family legacy of philanthropy' to be 'gross.' I am truly sorry that I uttered such unconscionable words and brought trauma to you, your donors, as well as to anyone near you who may have accidentally caught glimpse of these vile invectives."
"I caused indelible harm to donors and fundraisers by bringing up tactless and insensitive points such as that significant wealth has been built on slavery, stolen Indigenous land, worker exploitation, environmental degradation, and tax avoidance, and that nonprofit and philanthropy often serve as a conscience-laundering mechanism for the very inequity and injustice we are raising money to fight. I can imagine donors, each as pure and fragile as a newborn baby bird, hearing these cruel words and weeping for days."