Dunedin Community Builders, Hui E! Community Aotearoa and Volunteering New Zealand are bringing Vu Le (“voo lay”) the blogger behind NonprofitAF.com and the former executive director of Rainier Valley Corp (RVC), a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice, to Aotearoa, New Zealand!
Whichever way you choose to consume Vu Le, be it YouTube or via this blog NotforProfitAF, it’s evident that he stands for a fair and equitable community and voluntary sector. On his blog Vu writes about everything, from board and funder relations to work-life balance and unicorns. Using his quick wit and humour to shed light on important topics that are relevant to all of us, Vu has engaged thousands of people around the world who seek out answers on how to create an inclusive and welcoming space within the community and voluntary world.
Vu lives and breathes social justice. He is the former executive director of Rainier Valley Corp (RVC), a non-profit in Seattle that promotes social justice by supporting leaders of colour and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. He is also a founding board member of Community-Centric Fundraising, a movement that aims to ground fundraising practices in racial equity. In one of his videos, Vu talks about his conversation with a funder, where they were discussing the challenges of getting funds to marginalised groups and communities of colour. Vu’s overall message was this: we have to level the funding playing field.
Across the globe in New Zealand, Dunedin Community Builders was working on just that. Using kōrero they collected in Ōtepoti as a launchpad, they sought to drive funding change in Aotearoa. Their ‘Be the Change: Funding and Equity” resource’ was born. Centering on the stories and experiences of the Dunedin community, this resource tackles the need to improve our funding models to be more responsive to Te Tiriti O Waitangi and make funding much easier to access.
Hui E! Community Aotearoa strongly echoed this sentiment, and because of this they wanted to partner with Dunedin Community Builders to bring this taonga to decision-makers and those who influence where funding is distributed. Vu Le was an obvious choice to help carry this mahi further. The decision to bring him to Aotearoa makes sense, says Hui E! Kaiwhakahaere Matua, Rochelle Stewart-Allen. “It is an important time to understand and make visible the incredible contribution community organisations have made to our nation since the pandemic arrived,” says Rochelle.
Vu’s upcoming trip will begin in Dunedin for the official launch of ‘Be the Change’. It will then continue with a Parliamentary event in Wellington | Te Whanganui-a-Tara and more events in Auckland | Tāmaki Makaurau. Vu’s visit to Aotearoa is timely, we have seen the effects of the pandemic on small community groups, many of which struggle to be sustainable. These challenges have increased since the arrival of the pandemic. It’s definitely time to help the helpers.
This makes it more important to have kōrero on how we can move away from competitive-based funding towards more equitable and fair outcomes. Vu Le’s visit will spearhead creating systemic change and shifting the narrative to highlight the importance of the community sector. The time is now.