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Prioritizing Ethical Storytelling In Peer-to-Peer Events with Covenant House International’s Meghan Coan & Colleen Veldt

Have you ever stopped to question if your fundraising messaging is ethical? Despite our best intentions as professional fundraisers, it is crucial for us to recognize that certain traditional fundraising methods no longer hold up under scrutiny in 2023. 

In our efforts to showcase the serious need for donations with often sad, evocative imagery, we run the risk of contributing to a negative stereotype or, even worse, retraumatizing those we are trying to help. Or we paint a picture of perfect success stories, only to discount the very real challenges our organizations are trying to solve.  

While facing financial targets, it can indeed be tempting to prioritize the preferences and desires of donors. However, it is crucial for us to pause and reflect on whether such prioritization is being done at the expense of our mission and the well-being of our community.

In this episode, P2PPF’s Marcie Maxwell sits down with Covenant House International’s Associate Vice President of Site Development, Meghan Coan, and Associate Vice President of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.  Meghan and Colleen share a passion for ethical storytelling, which informs their work with their signature Sleep Out program. We sat down with them to discuss pivotal moments that triggered transformative change within their team and how they are reevaluating messaging and event experiences to ensure alignment with their mission of providing housing for youth facing homelessness.

In today’s episode, we’ll explore:

  • How Covenant House is continuously evaluating and evolving its fundraising events to ensure mission alignment
  • How they are reframing their messaging and responding to feedback from supporters
  • The importance of respecting personal boundaries in storytelling

Mentioned Links
Covenant House International
Sleep Out

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As peer-to-peer fundraising professionals, we are inherently passionate people. Passionate about our missions, our fundraisers, our events, and our campaigns. We barely shy away from sharing our opinions. Whether it's the debate between back-to-basics, or searching for the next big idea, the battle of retention versus recruitment, or even our very strong feelings about T-shirts and registration fees.

Welcome to The P2P Soapbox, a brand new podcast that amplifies the voices of our peer-to-peer fundraising community and gives us a platform — a soapbox, if you will — to discuss the hot topics facing our industry.

Join your host and P2P BFF, Marcie Maxwell, the Managing Director of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum, as she sits down with industry peers and leaders, delving deep into their soapbox issues, sharing best practices, and celebrating success stories.